The Great American Taste Test

Session Track: Consumer Lifestyles & Demographics

Date: Wednesday, March 23, 2011, 2:00 p.m. -3:00 p.m.

Session Description:

Food marketers face tough challenges ranging from requests by regulators, opinion leaders, and the scientific community to lower the sodium content in packaged foods, to heightened demand to improve the nutritional profile of foods. As a result, formulators are examining entire product lines to pinpoint where and how products may be modified. At the same time, marketers are plagued by the "New Coke" phenomenon, when The Coca-Cola Company announced that it was changing the formula for the world's most popular soft drink, spawning strong consumer reactions. How can food companies avoid raising consumers' ire over changes in a beloved product? Learn how consumer insights, R&D, and marketing can work together to face such challenges, and review best practices in communicating taste changes to consumers without negatively impacting sales.

Karl AdamsSpeaker Information:

Karl Adams, Ph.D., Vice President, Research & Development, McCain Foods
Dr. Karl B. Adams is vice president of Research and Development for McCain Foods USA Inc., providing the leadership necessary for the company's new product development strategy and activities. With more than 30 years in the food industry, a major part of his career is focused on the development of new appetizers and snack foods products. Prior to his work at McCain Foods, his experience includes leading new product development teams for Anchor Food Products, Inc.; Universal Foods, Inc.; Pizza Hut, Inc.; and Central Soya, Inc. Additionally, from 1991 through 1993, he chaired the Nutritional Labeling and Education Act committee of the American Frozen Food Institute. His work was instrumental in selecting the final design for the nutrition facts panel used today. Dr. Adams received his doctorate degree in food chemistry from Kansas State University.

Kari RyanKari Ryan, Ph.D., Group Manager, Nutrition Sciences and Regulatory Affairs, Frito-Lay
Dr. Kari Hecker Ryan is the group manager of Nutrition Sciences and Regulatory Affairs for Frito-Lay, Inc. Dr. Ryan directs the Healthy Snacking Research Center, which involves clinical nutrition research programs, regulatory claims and compliance issues, and the nutritional aspect of health professional outreach programs. She supports the use and marketing of heart-healthy oils, whole grains, fiber, lower sodium, and nutrition for women, children, and adults for Frito-Lay snacks. Her team sponsors clinical nutrition research and evaluates current data to support product innovation and nutritional enhancement of existing products. Dr. Ryan is a registered dietitian.

Jaime SchwartzJaime Schwartz, M.S., R.D., Vice President, Food and Wellness Group, Ketchum
Jaime Schwartz leads the professional education activities for Ketchum’s food and wellness clients, creating valuable educational opportunities for thousands of health professionals. She also oversees the development of learning tools for nutrition educators. She was named the 2009 Young Dietitian of the Year by the American Dietetic Association. Her research interest focuses on environmental factors that influence eating behaviors. Ms. Schwartz holds a master’s degree in Nutrition from  Rutgers University.