Join us next week for FoodNavigator-USA's digital Futureproofing the Food System Nov. 14-16

By Elizabeth Crawford

- Last updated on GMT

Introducing the FoodNavigator-USA digital summit: Futureproofing the Food System Nov. 14-16

Related tags Futureproofing the food system food as medicine Sustainability Unmetered Unmetered

To feed a global population of 10bn people by 2050 we need to produce more food in the next 40 years than we have in the past 8,000 years, but as illustrated by the Green Revolution simply increasing available calories isn’t the answer – they need to be nutrient-dense and accessible so as not to contribute to diet-related chronic disease and produced in a way that doesn’t further compromise the health of the planet.

This is a tall order – and one the FoodNavigator-USA team, along with experts from across categories and industries tackles in our FREE-TO-ATTEND digital summit Futureproofing the Food System ​Nov. 14-16.

During the three-day virtual event, we will explore three themes through a combination of fireside chats and panel discussions from stakeholders​ from across the supply chain, including modern day farms (think climate controlled agriculture, bioreactors and molecular farms as well as more conventional fields or forests), innovative entrepreneurs (including women making products for women across life stages and a clinically trained cardiologist prescribing food for heart health) and public health advocates who are working with legislators, insurers and others to make healthy eating more accessible.

Each day will be broken into two bite-sized sessions around 90 minutes, so you register ​for the whole thing, or mix and match the sessions in which you are most interested. Choose from:

  • Nov. 14: Food Tech in Focus ​(setting realistic expectations for food tech, understanding how consumers think about food science and exploring how AI and digital technologies are impacting food production)
  • Nov. 15: Food As Medicine ​(the crossroads of nutrition, health & equity and how stakeholders are meeting the evolving demand for ‘healthy’)
  • Nov. 16: The Circular Economy ​(safely navigate shifting sustainability expectations and claims, and understanding what sustainable sourcing really means)

DAY ONE Nov. 15: Food Tech In Focus


FIRST SESSION: Setting Realistic Expectations

PANEL: Delivering on the promise of cellular agriculture, precision fermentation and molecular farming to create more sustainable proteins​ – Between FDA and USDA greenlighting the sale of cultivated chicken in the US, the ground-breaking of large-scale precision fermentation facilities and advances in molecular farming, 2023 has been a banner year for novel protein production. But the path forward for these technologies is far from clear with manufacturing backlogs and bottlenecks, additional regulatory hurdles, and a tightening investment landscape. We will explore how front-runners in this space continue to move forward, as well as consumer and investor appetites for evolving food-tech.

  • David Bucca​, founder and CEO, Change Foods​,
  • Gastón Paladini,​ co-founder and CEO, Moolec Science​,
  • Josh Tetrick​, co-founder and CEO, Eat Just​,
  • Paul Shapiro​, CEO and co-founder, The Better Meat Co.
  • MODERATOR: Elizabeth Crawford, ​senior editor, FoodNavigator-USA

PANEL: What is the consumer appetite for food tech? ​Advances in food-tech promise to produce food more ethically and sustainably than conventional methods, but consumers historically have shied away from the combination of science, technology, and food, with some worrying about the long-term health and environmental impacts of food-tech while others idealize ‘natural’ foods. But consumers could change their tune as they learn more about climate change and food insecurity. In this panel, industry leaders discuss the role technology plays in today’s food system, how consumer perceptions of food-tech are evolving and how industry can communicate with consumers in a scientifically accurate and digestible way, as well as what challenges lie ahead.

  • Daniel Villalobos​, CEO, Atarraya​,
  • Haven Baker​, co-founder and chief business officer, Pairwise​,
  • Laurie Demeritt​, CEO, The Hartman Group​,
  • Michael Seldon​, co-founder and CEO, Finless Foods
  • MODERATOR: Ryan Daily,​ senior correspondent, FoodNavigator-USA

SECOND SESSION: Separating Hype From Reality


FIRESIDE CHAT:Indoor farming’s moment of truth – ​Vertical farms promise to reduce the distance traveled and environmental impact of food from farm to plate – and in doing so offer consumers fresher, more nutritious options and retailers more stable supply and a better ESG proposition. But with high development and maintenance costs, including massive infrastructure and expensive tech demands, the industry is teetering on the edge of the trough of disillusionment. How should stakeholders in the nascent industry rethink their business models and offerings to lower their costs and improve their margins? What factors continue to fuel strategic investment and partnerships in the segment? And what is the value proposition for consumers?

  • Brendan Somervill​, co-founder and COO, Oishii
  • MODERATOR: Deniz Ataman​, deputy editor, FoodNavigator-USA

PANEL: From Fields To Fermentation: How AI and digital transformation are evolving the food and beverage industry ​Manufacturers and retailers are improving their technology stack through digital transformation strategies and AI to improve operations and address historical food and beverage challenges from ingredient shortages and reformulations to predicting current and future market opportunities.

  • Manish Ghosh​, corporate vice president, industry strategy, consumer industries, Blue Yonder​,
  • Matias Muchnick​, co-founder and CEO, NotCo​,
  • Nick Markman​, director of product management, Evocalize​,
  • Sofia Elizondo​, co-founder and COO, Brightseed
  • MODERATOR: Deniz Ataman,​ deputy editor, FoodNavigator-USA

DAY TWO Nov. 16: Food As Medicine


FIRST SESSION: The crossroads of nutrition, health & equity

FIRESIDE CHAT: ‘Step One’ on the path to food as medicine – How to convince consumers and insurers of healthy eating’s potential​ – After 20 years of prescribing pills to help patients manage their heart health, John Hopkins-trained cardiologist Dr. Elizabeth Klodas found many of her patients felt worse from the drugs – even if their cholesterol and other numbers were better. Frustrated and ready for a new approach, she launched Step One Foods as a clinically proven ‘food as medicine’ alternative to the ‘pill for every ill’ culture. In this session, she shares how she developed and tested the efficacy of her snack bars, pancake mix, granola-like sprinkles and oatmeal packets, as well as how she is navigating FDA regulations that limit health claims on food and insurers’ reticence to cover treatments that are difficult to quantify.

  • Dr. Elizabeth Klodas​, founder and chief medical officer, Step One Foods​,
  • MODERATOR: Elizabeth Crawford,​ senior editor, FoodNavigator-USA

PANEL: Resetting the table to ensure equitable access to nourishing and sustainable food – ​Chronic diet-related diseases are among the leading causes of death in the US, especially among low-income communities without equitable access to healthy nutrition, and yet nutrition is often overlooked or left out of the health care system. Public health advocates and stakeholders across the food system, including retailers, delivery services and manufacturers, are working together to help more people access the nutritious food they need to live healthier. In this session, we explore the extent and impact of poor nutrition on health, accessibility issues, initiatives to measure and build evidence for a large-scale ‘food as medicine’ movement in the US and policy efforts to support healthy food as a covered benefit by insurers. We also look at barriers to equity and efforts to address them.

  • Devon Klatell​, vice president, Food Initiative, The Rockefeller Foundation​,
  • Kevin Volpp​, MD, PhD​, director, Penn Center for Health Incentives and Behavior Economics​,
  • Sarah Fleisch​, director, policy research & development, Instacart​,
  • MODERATOR:Elizabeth Crawford, ​senior editor, FoodNavigator-USA

SECOND SESSION: Meeting the evolving demand for ‘healthy’

FIRESIDE CHAT: How do consumers define healthy? ​More than half of Americans follow a specific diet with many seeking to lose weight, improve their appearance or protect their long-term health, and three-quarters believe what they consume impacts their emotional well-being, according to the International Food Information Council’s most recent Food and Health Survey. But how do they define ‘healthy’ and determine which products support their goals? And how do socio-economic factors influence their views and what they can access? In this session, IFIC unpacks consumer perceptions about health and nutrition, what drives their diet and purchase decisions, how their beliefs about food production and technology influences their selections and how social media and marketing impact them.

  • Kris Sollid​, senior director, nutrition communications, International Food Information Council​,
  • MODERATOR: Deniz Ataman​, deputy editor, FoodNavigator-USA

PANEL DISCUSSION: Innovating for Women’s Health: An unmet need with opportunities across categories and life stages – ​Women’s diverse nutritional needs have long been overlooked or pigeonholed to focus primarily on appearance, but a new class of products made by women, for women across life stages are on the rise as is research to support the development of sex-specific products. This panel explores why there is a dearth of products (and information) focused on women’s wellness, the market potential for foods and beverages to fill this gap, how physiological differences between men and women impact nutritional needs, and strategies for effectively marketing to modern women.

  • Sherry Frey​, vice president, Total Wellness, NIQ​,
  • Linda Alvarez, MD, ​co-founder and CEO, Levelle Nutrition​,
  • Julie White​, founder and CEO, MenoWell Menopause Bars
  • MODERATOR: Elizabeth Crawford, ​senior editor, FoodNavigator-USA

DAY THREE Nov. 16: The Circular Economy


SESSION ONE: Navigating shifting sustainability expectations and claims

FIRESIDE CHAT: What to expect from FTC’s updated Green Guides? ​The Federal Trade Commission is reviewing its Green Guides as more Americans weigh products’ environmental impact when shopping. Find out what types of claims are under the microscope, where industry would like more guidance and strategies to avoid greenwashing.

  • Lesli Esposito​, partner, McDermott Will & Emery​,
  • MODERATOR: Elizabeth Crawford, ​senior editor, FoodNavigator-USA


PANEL DISCUSSION: Sustainable Packaging: Balancing the health of the planet & people – ​What progress is the industry making on reducing the environmental impact of food packaging, and how are companies balancing food safety and shelf-life concerns with consumer demand for more earth-friendly options?

  • John Hewitt​, vice president of packaging sustainability, Consumer Brands Association
  • MODERATOR: Ryan Daily​, senior correspondent, FoodNavigator-USA

SESSION TWO: What does sustainable sourcing really mean?


FIRESIDE CHAT: Navigating the legal minefield of sustainable & environmental market claims – ​Environmental claims are now ubiquitous in the marketplace from the chasing arrows indicating a product’s recyclability to emerging but hard-to-measure claims of ‘carbon-neutral,’ ‘sustainably-sourced,’ ‘regeneratively-farmed’ and ‘climate-friendly.’ How do consumers – and perhaps more importantly – regulators, consumer class action attorneys and competitors assess these claims?

  • Rachel Lowe​, partner, Alston & Bird​,
  • Sam Jockle​, senior associate, Alston & Bird
  • MODERATOR: Elizabeth Crawford,​ senior editor, FoodNavigator-USA

PANEL DISCUSSION: Creating resilient supply chains – From sustainable sourcing to ensuring worker welfare to balancing supply & demand – ​Global food supply chains have been stretched to – and occasionally past – the breaking point in recent years between the impact of COVID, climate change, inflation, mounting consumer ESG concerns and other macro-trends. Industry stakeholders from across categories and the value chain share how they are addressing these and other challenges, shortening and building redundancy into their supply chains and balancing supply and demand to effectively deliver on the needs of consumers, the planet and their businesses.

  • Carla Saunders​, senior marketing manager, Cargill​,
  • Doug Baker​, vice president, industry relations, FMI – The Food Industry Association​,
  • Lisa Curtis​, founder and CEO, Kuli Kuli Foods​,
  • Marc Diaz​, chief commercialization officer, Terviva​,
  • MODERATOR: Ryan Daily​, senior correspondent, FoodNavigator-USA

To find out more about this FREE EVENT​, ​which is sponsored by FoodChain ID, Cargill, California Almonds, Benson Hill, and supported by LabVantage, click the links below:



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FOOD-TECH IN FOCUS: Setting realistic expectations


Cutting-edge food-tech promises to relieve mounting threats to climate change and food insecurity with new ways of producing food more efficiently, with fewer resources and more ethically – but can it deliver? And are regulators, investors, and consumers ready?


FOOD-TECH IN FOCUS: Separating hype from reality


Industry stakeholders across the value chain are betting big on technology – from AI and increased automation to precision farming and environmentally controlled agriculture – but will it pay off? For example, indoor farming promises fresher food and shorter supply chains, but it faces significant challenges including high costs and infrastructure demands. At the same time, AI and digital transformation strategies are evolving so quickly that separating their positive potential from precarious unknowns can feel impossible.


FOOD AS MEDICINE: The crossroads of nutrition, health & equity


Good food is foundational to good health, but with constantly changing diet trends and nutrition advice, most people are unsure where to begin and who to trust. At the same time, affordable and accessible, nutritious food is out of reach for far too many – prompting industry and healthcare leaders to call for a new way of feeding Americans.


FOOD AS MEDICINE: Meeting the evolving demand for ‘healthy’


How consumers define and access healthy food is heavily influenced by the nutritional information and products available to them – two ever-shifting and often inequitable factors that innovative industry stakeholders are tackling with new and necessary research and personalized product development.


THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY: Safely navigate shifting sustainability expectations and claims


Sustainability claims can dramatically amplify brand reach upwards of 33 percentage points when paired with traditional category claims, according to research by the NYU Stern Center. But such claims are catching more than consumers’ eyes – regulators and class action attorneys also are scrutinizing the veracity of green claims, leading to an uptick in enforcement and litigation.


THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY: What does sustainable sourcing really mean?


Making sustainability claims and sharing progress on ESG goals – even when substantiated – can feel risky as regulators, legislators and class-action attorneys crack down on greenwashing. At the same time, consumers want to know how businesses are responsibly reinforcing supply chains and caring for the health of the planet and the people. Discover best practices from across the industry and how to safely share ESG efforts with shoppers.


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