Stagnito’s Obesity 2004 Summit

Food Industry Crisis & Opportunity
Food industry takes aim at America’s health crisis
The roil of media attention is unrelenting. The obesity crisis is good copy, in all its permutations. In May, Time magazine’s cover story was Low-Carb Nation. “Nutritionists are horrified, but they can't stop the force that is reshaping the food industry — and our bodies,” its editorial team intoned.
This hyperbole comes in the wake of similar diet and health cover stories, network news specials, a rising volume of medical research targeting connections between food and fat, and popular diets such as Atkins and The Zone. Many of these stories are based on questionable assumptions about the link between food marketing and obesity. But where there are victims, there must be someone or something to blame. Behind the headlines, cash-strapped legislators are looking into how best to help slim down their constituents by taxing junk food — and pour much-needed revenue into state and local coffers. And veteran tobacco-war lawyers, after winning massive judgments against the cigarette companies, are now hungrily eyeing “big food.”
They have deep pockets and substantial incentive, based on two facts: Obesity was declared a national epidemic in 1999 (today 31 percent of U.S. adults between 20 and 74 are obese); and the food industry is the most visible and lucrative potential target.
Fortune magazine devoted its January 21, 2003, cover to the headline: “Is Fat the Next Tobacco?” The writers concluded: “…prudent food companies might do well to start scrutinizing their advertising and packaging, tweaking product lines, and, yes, squirreling away some reserves for potential judgments.”
Predictably, the public debate surrounding obesity centers more on blame than solutions. While the food industry has taken its share of flak, public education, suburban sprawl, labor-saving machines, the rise of the service economy, cable television, and a highly affluent society in which food is relatively cheap and plentiful, are cited as co-conspirators.
Consumers, however, seem less willing to blame the industry, according to the National Restaurant Association. Nearly all surveyed consumers oppose additional taxes on restaurant foods known to be high in fat, and 84 percent oppose a law or regulation limiting portion size.
To date, this has not dissuaded those who are determined to find a smoking gun. And the food industry is beginning to get the message. Just how this message is taking shape, and how it will shape the food industry is the theme of Stagnito’s Obesity Summit 2004, to be held June 24-25 at the Indian Lakes Resort near Chicago. Trial lawyers, food manufacturing companies, retailers, and foodservice all will be represented. Hear Richard Daynard, Northeastern University law professor; Barry Sears, creator of The Zone diet; Sylvia Rowe, president of the International Food Information Council Foundation; Mark Baum from the Grocery Manufacturers of America; and chief executives from Monterey Pasta, Carbolite Foods, Natural Ovens Bakery, Anderson Erickson Dairy, Subway Development, and Keto Foods in a powerful assessment of how the food industry can proactively respond to both the crisis and the criticism. This is an issue destined to have a profound and long-term impact on the food industry. Find out how you can be a positive, profitable part of the process. For more information about registration, visit, and click on Obesity Summit 2004, or call 866/265-1975 or 212/596-6006.
Thursday, June 24 and Friday, June 25, 2004 Indian Lakes Resort, Bloomingdale, IL (suburban Chicago) Thursday, June 24
7:30-8:15 Continental Breakfast
8:15-8:30 Welcome/Introduction
8:30-10:00 Session 1: Blue-Ribbon Keynote Panel Discussion
Framing the crisis: Threats and Opportunities
10:00-10:15 BREAK
10:15-11:15 Session 2: The new marketing paradigm—obesity and consumer trends Food, fitness and a sedentary lifestyle
11:15-11:30 BREAK
11:30-12:15 Session 3: Understanding the low-carb phenomenon
Is it a fad or a trend?
12:15-1:45 LUNCH
1:45-2:45 Session 4: Foodservice Panel Menu changes, litigation,
schools. How to win in new business
2:45-3:30 Session 5: Retail Store formats, private label, new
niche retailers, public information
3:30-3:45 BREAK
3:45-5:15 Session 6: Manufacturing/Processing Panel Healthy
foods that balance taste, nutrition, convenience and value—can it
be done?
Friday, June 25
7:30-8:15 Continental Breakfast
8:15-8:30 Opening Remarks, Day One Summary
8:30-9:15 Session 7: Case Study 1 Start-up company—health
focused, riding the new tide
9:15-10:00 Session 8: Case Study 2 How companies reposition
10:00-10:15 BREAK
10:15-10:45 Session 9: Case Study 3 Growth through innovation
10:45-12:00 Session 10: Wrap-up Panel: Summary and Look at the Future

Stagnito’s Obesity Summit 2004
Dr. Barry Sears Entrepreneur, innovator and author of The Zone, published 1995
Irwin Simon CEO, Hain Celestial Group
Mark Baum Executive Vice President, Grocery Manufacturers of America
Richard A. Daynard J.D., Ph.D., Professor, Northeastern University School of Law, and Director, Law and Obesity Project, Public Health Advocacy Institute
Paul M. Hyman Director, law firm of Hyman, Phelps & McNamara, P.C.
Sylvia B. Rowe President and CEO, International Food Information Council
Tracy Bargman President, T-Catalyst, LLC, and former VP, ConAgra Foods
Jim Williams President and CEO, Monterey Pasta
Stuart Lawrence Trager, M.D. Medical Director, Atkins Nutritionals, Inc and Chairperson of the Atkins Physicians Council
Dr. Mary Mulry Senior Director, Research, Development and Standards, Wild Oats Markets, Inc.
Roeland Polet CEO, Carbolite Foods
Paul Stitt Founder and CEO, Natural Ovens Bakery
Miriam Erickson Brown President and COO, Anderson Erickson Dairy
Tim Straus Co-Founder and Principal, Chief Marketing Officer, Turover
Straus Group
Arne Bey Chairman and CEO, KETO, LLC
Steven W. French Managing Partner, The Natural Marketing Institute
Catherine Roberts VP Market Research, Food Spectrum, LLC
Lisa Talamini, R.D., Chief Nutritionist and Director of Program Development, Jenny Craig, Inc.
Stacey Lauen New Product Manager - Freschetta, Schwan's Consumer Brands North America, Inc.
Phil Mesi President, Subway Development Corp.
Jerry P. Smiley Principal, Strategic Growth Partners
Joan Schneider President, Schneider & Associates
Colleen Zammer Principal, Food and Beverage Technology, TIAX, LLC
Suzanna Prong Eygabroat Director of Information Services, Productscan Online