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November 5, 2019, 1:00 - 5:00 p.m., CT
The Standard Club, Chicago, IL
The Food and Beverage Forum features presentations and panel discussions on the latest food and beverage trends and the opportunity to network with your peers and other industry insiders.
Full shopping cart at grocery store.Our annual food and beverage event brings together over 200 industry professionals and business leaders for learning and networking opportunities. This complimentary event is designed with you in mind. It’s not just presentation after presentation, but a forum for collaboration and support where you can meet with your peers and discuss successes, challenges, and the issues that affect your day-to-day operations. Our goal is for you to walk away with actionable ideas and business solutions.

Hosted by Plante Moran, Nixon Peabody, and BMO Harris Bank, this half-day conference will keep you ahead of the game. From industry predictions and trends, to hot topics such as technology, private equity investments, the impact of tariffs, and industry disruption, our thought-provoking speakers and panel discussions cover it all. According to Sean Zecman, the president of National Food Group, the Food and Beverage forum is “not only an opportunity to meet with other business leaders in the food industry, it's proactive, not reactive".

SAVE YOUR SEAT          

Event details

Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019

1:00 – 5:00 p.m. CT*
*Cocktail reception to follow

The Standard Club
320 S. Plymouth Court
Chicago, IL 60604


1:00 - 1:30 p.m. | Registration open

1:30 – 1:35 p.m. | Welcome remarks

Janet Garetto, Partner and Co-leader, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Nixon Peabody LLP     

1:35 – 2:05 p.m. | Economic outlook: The fog of trade war

Michael Gregory, Deputy Chief Economist and Head of U.S. Economics, BMO Capital Markets

U.S. and global economic momentum is ebbing because of increasing trade restrictions. In response, the Fed has shifted into a rate-cutting gear. However, markets are sensing a recession could be looming, ending the longest economic expansion in U.S. history. Michael will discuss what’s in store for the economy along with the implications for the food and beverage industry.

2:05 – 2:50 p.m. | The business case for social responsibility

Matthew Pakula, senior manager, CSR, Tyson Foods; Katya Chistik Hantel, director of sustainable development, Conagra Brands; Margaret Skrmetti, community engagement manager, Morton Salt

Moderator: Seth Green, founding director of Loyola's Baumhart Social Responsibility Center

Across every dimension of the economy, there is a growing movement to integrate business strategy and social purpose. Investors now measure environmental and social impacts alongside financial returns. Companies are developing new products with the simultaneous goals of creating shareholder and societal value. And consumers are increasingly expressing their values through their buying decisions. This panel will discuss what this movement in corporate social responsibility means for the food and beverage industry.

2:50 – 3:10 p.m. | Break & networking

3:10 – 3:30 p.m. | Not just tremors: The tectonic shift in American food culture

John Lowe, chief executive officer, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams

A fast-paced and thought-provoking presentation tying together the evolution of the American diet, the growth of private equity in consumer-packaged goods, and the tectonic shift in consumers voting with their dollars.

3:30 – 4:15 p.m. | How consumer trends are affecting product innovation in the beverage sector

Danielle McLarnon, CFO, New Belgium; Jeff Kozak, CEO, WhistlePig Whiskey; Kim Feil, CMO, CSO, Aspire Healthy Energy Drinks 

Moderator: Mark Douglass, Director – Beverage Finance, BMO Harris Bank

Health and wellness concerns have consumers increasingly focused on ingredient quality and provenance, with more consumers willing to pay a premium for that uniqueness. This panel will explore how established beverage brands innovate and stay relevant to match evolving consumer tastes.

4:15 – 5:00 p.m. | Industry 4.0: Ready or not?

Tim Raven, managing director, Worximity Technology Inc.; Ben Reich, CEO and co-founder, Datasembly; Jim Schultz, founder and managing partner, Open Prairie; Jim Ilaria, president & CEO, UNO Restaurants, LLC.

Moderator: Tim Weed, partner, strategy and operations, Plante Moran

Industry 4.0 is starting a revolution in manufacturing. Many companies are willing to grapple with the myriad people, process, and technology challenges because of the potential upside to their business. Others are taking a “wait-and-see” approach. Our panel will explore what food and beverage companies are doing today to deploy Industry 4.0 and discuss real-life examples of challenges faced and success achieved.

5:00 – 5:05 p.m. | Closing remarks

Janet Garetto, Partner and Co-leader, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Nixon Peabody LLP

5:00 -7:00 p.m.  | Cocktail reception

Valet Parking is available after 7:00 a.m. each weekday at the Plymouth Court entrance at a charge of $32.00. Click here for additional parking information.

Business casual and casual attire acceptable

Please note this event is by invitation only