As the weather has warmed
up during the past few weeks, I‘ve found myself thinking a lot about
summer. Here in the Chicagoland area, we‘ve learned to pack as much
as possible into those few months of the year, and inevitably the weeks and
weekends get booked up before you know it. That‘s why I wanted to
take the opportunity in April to remind you to save a date this summer for Beverage Industry.
We are gearing up for our fifth annual Beverage Industry New
Products Conference, June 15-16 at the Fairmont Hotel in Dallas, and for
everyone who develops, markets or even thinks about new products, this is a
must-attend event. Packed with beverage companies, retailers and industry
experts, this year‘s line-up promises to be one of the most
interactive, well-rounded and informative yet.
For the first time, we have asked Stephen Goldstein,
president of Foodthinque and director of research and development for the
Culinary Institute of America, to host a new products contest. If
you‘ve ever thought there must be a better process for coming up with
product ideas, you‘ll want to meet Stephen. We‘ll even publish
the best product idea and the team that creates it in an upcoming issue of
Presenting views from the battlefield, John Carson,
chairman, president and chief executive officer of Marbo Inc., will discuss
understanding real consumer trends and defining success in
“Challenges for Successful New Product Launches”; and Marcel
Nham, Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages‘ director of marketing,
Hispanic brands and ingredients, will talk about “Rebranding for the
New American Consumer”.
Bill Hargis, chief executive officer at the Switch Beverage
Co., will discuss something many start-up companies must consider — making a
hybrid distribution system work; and Lance Collins, chief executive officer
at Fuze Beverages, will talk about the obesity crisis and possible beverage
industry solutions. Ralph McRae, chairman, president and chief executive officer
at Leading Brands will discuss “Coordinating Product Development and Innovative
Marketing”; and Donna Bimbo, president of ChampionLyte, will talk about health
and diet concerns in “Beverage Development for Optimum Health”.
We‘re also happy to have the perspective of two
retailers at the conference. Debbie Wildrick, category manager, new product
development, non-alcoholic beverages at 7-Eleven, will talk about how her
company grows its business through new product development; and Mary Mulry,
senior director of research, development and standards at Wild Oats Markets
Inc., will talk about recent trends in low-carb products, diet and natural
products as well as how retailers evaluate new beverage products.
Kim Feil, chief executive officer at Mosiac InfoForce,
will speak about “Competition, Consumers and the Challenges of Retail
Innovation”; Joan Schneider, president of Schneider & Associates,
will share her expertise in product development as well as consumer survey
insights; and Tom Vierhile, general manager at Marketing Intelligence
Service, will talk about new beverage launches and worldwide trends,
drawing upon MIS‘s vast Producscan network.
So mark your calendars for June 15 and 16 in Dallas, and take
time out of your summer to hear these dynamic speakers.
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