Monday, November 8, 2021 ET
Coffee Hour/Open Time in Virtual Ballroom
Welcome from AFFI’s President & CEO
Day One Keynote: The Future of Frozen
- Sally Lyons Wyatt, Practice Leader – Client Insights, IRI
The frozen food aisle has been a growth driver for retailers since 2016 with acceleration ahead of most other departments. Although the coronavirus pandemic drove a 21 percent increase of retail frozen food sales due to the majority of eating occasions being consumed at home, consumers will eventually venture out and eat more away-from-home. In addition, economic and social challenges are changing consumers’ food shopping, cooking, and consumption behavior within the broader food landscape. New frozen consumers, new occasions, shifts in how shoppers buy food, as well as lifestyle shifts provide a landscape that has future growth potential for frozen. However, it will take more than convenience, variety, and value to win. Join IRI’s Sally Lyons Wyatt as she dives into the data and to looks ahead at the what opportunities lie ahead for frozen food manufacturers and suppliers.
Sustainability As a Critical Factor for Frozen Food Growth
- Brian Gray, EVP of Commerce, MXNS
- Katya Hantel, Senior Director of Sustainability, Conagra Brands
- Josh Hinerfield, CEO, Firestone Pacific
- Kai Roberson, Senior Corporate Sustainability Advisor, KOR Consulting
The changing climate is disrupting supply chains with extreme weather patterns and shifting growing zones. Water availability is strained in major growing regions. Regenerative agriculture will be increasingly important as a way for food producers to reverse climate change through soil management practices. Milllennials with children are core consumers of frozen foods, and they report that environmental considerations play a role in product purchase decisions, which means that the chosen solutions to these challenges will directly impact a company’s bottom line. Panelists will provide different perspectives on why sustainability is business critical for frozen foods and what approaches their organizations are taking to address climate change.
Frozen’s Role in Improving Food & Nutrition Security
- Sean McBride, Founder & Principal, DSM Strategic Communications
- Thomas Gremillion, Director of Food Policy, Consumer Federation of America
- Ted McKinney, Consultant & Former Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs at U.S. Department of Agriculture
- Margo Wootan, President, MXG Strategies
The ongoing pandemic has revealed the urgent need to reduce food insecurity as global studies have documented a devastating connection between COVID-19 and diet-related disease. With the upcoming congressional reauthorizations of the Child Nutrition programs and the Farm Bill, there is an opportunity to improve access to a variety of foods that meet the nutritional needs of our increasingly diverse population. This panel discussion will be centered on opportunities for frozen food companies to help reduce diet-related disease and improve health equity.
Dedicated One-on-One Meeting Time
Networking Hour with Door Prizes in Virtual Ballroom
Tuesday, November 9, 2021 ET
Coffee Hour in Virtual Ballroom
Day Two Keynote: Profiles in Frozen Food Leadership
- Adnan Durrani, Founder & CEO, American Halal Co. Inc., Saffron Road
- Alison Bodor, President & CEO, AFFI
Saffron Road is the culmination of Founder Adnan Durrani’s life’s work. The natural food pioneer envisioned a premium Better For You meals brand that also embodied ethical consumerism and celebrated world cuisine, ethnic diversity and cultural integrity. As CEO, Adnan’s priority is delivering on the brand’s “ Journey to Better® ” , providing clean label world cuisines that are better for the farmers, better for the planet, better for livestock and most of all better for your health. Saffron Road’s success validates it’s BFY appeal among Modern Consumers, being sold now in 25,000 stores as the leading BFY Animal Protein frozen entrée brand in USA. Join AFFI’s CEO, Alison Bodor, in her conversation with Adnan to get his insights on the most pressing issues facing frozen businesses today and hear what he sees for the future of the category.
State of the Foodservice Industry
- Joe Pawlak, Managing Principal, Technomic
Consumer, operator and channel related trends can have an enormous impact on an industry for the longer term. This session will provide attendees with a forward-looking view of what’s in store for the foodservice industry, including specific implications for frozen foods and the suppliers that provide them to the channel, as it emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Build a Winning Direct-to-Consumer Strategy
- Sudarsan Thattai, CIO, Lineage Logistics
- Nicholas Nathanson, General Manager of Global Digital Commerce, JBS
The Direct-to-Consumer model has taken the industry by storm. How can frozen food manufacturers take advantage of new shopper omni channel strategies to grow the category? This session features a leading logistics company (Lineage) and a frozen food retailer (Wild Fork) executing in the space at a high level. They will share insights on the logistics considerations and the digital-first approach frozen food companies need to adopt to move confidently into this rapidly growing sales channel.
Securing the Safety of the Food Supply Chain
- Dr. Donna Garren, Executive Vice President of Science & Policy, AFFI
- John Tentomas, Owner, Nature’s Touch Frozen Foods
- Michael Roberson, Director of Corporate Quality Assurance, Publix Super Markets
The pandemic has taken frozen food demand to new heights and has manufacturers sourcing from multiple suppliers more than ever before. What hasn’t changed is the expectation of regulators, foodservice and retail buyers, and ultimately consumers that frozen foods remain safe to consume. This session will explore the biggest challenges to food safety, propose solutions and outline what frozen food companies should be doing right now to ensure their supply chains can meet consumer demand while staying safe.