Trend Panelists to Explore How Consumers Are Redefining Value
by Mary Ellen Kuhn
posted on June 8, 2009
Want to understand “the new value equation” that is changing the way consumers shop for food and the decisions they make about eating out? Then be sure to grab a front-row seat for the Food Technology Trend Panel presentation from 8:30–10 a.m. on Tuesday, June 9, in Ballroom B of the Convention Center.
Leading trend experts—Barbara Katz (photo at left), President, HealthFocus International; Ron Paul (photo at right), President, Technomic; and A. Elizabeth Sloan (photo, below), President, Sloan Trends Inc.—will come together for the panel discussion. The session will be moderated by Bob Swientek, Editor in Chief of Food Technology magazine.
Sloan will set the stage with a discussion of consumers’ new value behaviors and what they mean to product developers. “Every time there’s been an economic downturn, it has dramatically changed consumers’ behavior,” Sloan observes. “This time, though, many of the behavior changes are not what was predicted.
“The question is: How do we sort through this as an industry? What value changes are going to be sustainable and will be important to better planning our product development?”
Katz of HealthFocus will zero in on how the recessionary climate is affecting the way shoppers view healthful foods. (Here’s a preview: A large number still consider eating healthfully a priority, although how they go about it is different for those whose incomes have been reduced and those who are holding their own financially.)
Technomic’s Paul will approach the panel discussion from the dual perspective of consumers and foodservice operators. His presentation will draw from a recently completed Technomic study, The New Foodservice Consumer. In addition, Paul will share insights into how foodservice operators are repositioning their offerings and approach to better respond to consumers who may no longer make casual decisions about dining out.
Trend panel organizer Sloan emphasizes that although the presentations will be rich with facts and figures, the focus will be on interpreting what the data mean for the industry’s future. After the three presentations, audience members will have ample time to continue the conversation in a question-and-answer period.
The Food Technology Trend Panel is sponsored by DSM.