The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) will host its annual meeting and food expo June 25-28 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas. The annual event invites food scientists and technology professionals to learn about the latest in product, ingredient and technology developments; identify the trends that shape the industry; enhance skills; and expand professional networks.

On June 26 at 8:30 a.m., Howard Schultz, president, chief executive officer and chairman of Starbucks Coffee Co., will provide a keynote address titled “The Importance of Innovation.” Schultz will share insights on the importance of scientific innovation in creating thriving companies and communities, and filling the talent pipeline.

The Beacon Lecturers sessions will return this year with a schedule of two talks, including a June 26 presentation by Mehmood Kahn, global executive officer of the global nutrition group and chief scientific officer of PepsiCo.

Each day, various scientific sessions have been planned that are divided into key focus area program and core science tracks. This year’s IFT Food Expo also will feature specialty pavilions on the show floor such as Healthy Food Ingredients, Organic Food Ingredients and Food Safety and Quality.

 In addition, Chicago-based market research firm Mintel has planned a lineup of presentations at its New Product and Consumer Insights pavilion at booth 1569. Each day of the expo, Mintel’s new product experts, Lynn Dornblaser and Dave Jago, will guide attendees through a series of popular trends in food and beverage categories. This year’s sessions include “The Many Faces of ‘Natural,’” “Healthy Nutrition for Kids,” and “Approaches to Weight Management.” Hosting one session on each topic daily, each presentation will break down a particular trend with real market examples, provide Mintel’s forecast on the future of the industry, and then provide attendees with the opportunity to experience some of the products mentioned in the presentation. BI