New Way to Look at New Products
Sarah Theodore
Because we know the beverage business is driven by new products, Beverage Industry has for several years offered a new products conference to provide information and ideas on how to drive new product development. This year, we’ve changed things up a little bit, joining our fellow Stagnito publications and Bob Messenger, publisher of The Morning Cup, to offer a conference that will cross industries and allow attendees to think of new products in new ways.
The conference is scheduled for Sept. 8-9 at the Drake Hotel in Chicago. In addition to a full slate of speakers, we’ve built time to network and focus on your specific new product needs. The two-day conference will include a half-day breakout session just for beverages, an opportunity to view and judge new products from several consumer categories, and a new product ideation session.
Datamonitor’s Tom Vierhile will kick things off with trends and analysis of new product launches, including examples from around the world.
Beverage industry veteran Larry Trachtenbroit, president of Brain Twist Beverages, will discuss product image in “Beverage Packaging: It’s all about Image.” Trachtenbroit, who founded Planet Java and then sold it to The Coca-Cola Co., believes product imagery is at least as important as flavor, and he will discuss how to capture a trend.
Tim McMahon, author of The Little Green Book of Marketing, has spent 25 years working in food marketing, and will offer attendees insights and techniques for marketing new products in “The 10 Keys to New Product Success.”
Tom Fishburne, associate marketing manager at Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream, will share his perspective on real-world marketing. Fishburne is known as a witty speaker and uses cartoons to illustrate the often amusing ups and downs of marketing consumer products.
Conference moderator Bob Messenger will sit down for a one-on-one with Tyson Foods Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Tyson to discuss new product strategies and consumer trends. He also will host “The Shape of Things to Come in 2010,” a look into the future and what consumer preferences might look like down the road. Offering retail, processor and foodservice perspectives will be Tim Rose, senior vice president at Costco; Stephen Kalil, senior product developer for Chili’s Culinary; and James D. Schloss, vice president of marketing at Smithfield Foods.
In a second one-on-one session, Gary Wells, chief executive officer at Wells Dairy, will talk to Messenger about wellness, where it’s taking the food and beverage industry, and what consumers are really looking for to help them manage wellness issues.
Offering insight into innovation in foodservice will be Denny Post, chief concept officer at Burger King Corp. Post will discuss how foodservice operators chose which product concepts to pursue and how they learn what consumers are demanding.
And Laurie Demeritt, president and chief executive officer of the Hartman Group, will wrap things up with a view into what consumers are looking for at retail.
We hope that by combining beverage insights with ideas from other segments of the industry we can provide the most valuable new products conference yet. If you would like more information about attending the conference, log on to our Web site at or give us a call at 847/205-5660. BI
Sneak Peek
Cover Story — Ocean Spray
State of the Industry Report
Beverage R&D —  Protein ingredients
Marketing —  Foodservice opportunities
Packaging — Case packers and wrappers
Cover Story — InBev
Category Focus —  Bottled water
Marketing —  Ethnic marketing
Packaging —  Labeling equipment
Beverage R&D — Ingredient roundtable