Protein for Kids: The Importance of Reaching Parents, Delivering Taste, and Starting Each Day with a Nutritious Breakfast

Session Track: Consumer Lifestyles & Demographics
Date: Wednesday, March 28, 2012; 1:50 – 2:50 p.m.

Session Description:

Marketing healthy children’s foods successfully has always been a tricky business. Parents, as the “gatekeepers,” have a voice in what foods are brought into the home. Children, through acceptance or rejection of those selections, directly impact whether that food makes a return visit. Along that journey, many factors can influence success, including packaging, positioning, healthfulness, taste acceptance, and perceived value based on investment. This session will focus on market opportunities for protein-enhanced foods targeting children. It will examine parents’ role as the “gatekeeper” for children’s foods, uncover new research reinforcing the importance of breakfast as the cornerstone of healthy eating and a key opportunity for protein-based foods, and identify sensory approaches that can help predict market success or failure.

Speaker Information:

Colleen Conley, B.S., B.A., Lead Sensory Scientist and Associate Fellow; Solae, LLC
Colleen Conley has over 30 years of experience with Solae, LLC, and began the Sensory Evaluation program which has grown from a single-person operation to a two-laboratory department with Descriptive Analysis (Spectrum Method), Discrimination Testing, and Consumer Testing capabilities that support Product Development and Global Applications R&D efforts, QA, and Customer projects. She currently directs Solae’s Sensory Science Group. Conley earned a B.S. degree in Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1978 and has completed numerous short courses on the fundamentals of Sensory Science, including Leadership in Sensory Evaluation, Sensory Spectrum Descriptive Methodology and Panel Leadership, Focus Group Moderating, Targeting the Consumer, Statistics for Sensory, and Current Topics in Sensory and Consumer Research.

Barbara Davis, Ph.D., R.D., Vice President, HealthFocus InternationalBarbara Davis
Barbara A. Davis, PhD, RD has more than 15 years of experience in nutrition research and new product development in consumer packaged goods and academic environments. She is currently Vice President, Science & Technology for HealthFocus International. Prior to joining HealthFocus, Dr. Davis was Director, Innovation, Nutrition & Claims within R&D at The Dannon Company, Inc. There she led scientific aspects of company-wide brand innovation by evaluating scientific and technical feasibility of ingredients and opportunities for new product development. She directed and coordinated clinical trials in support of claims, developed scientific substantiation dossiers for health claims in the US and EU, served as liaison between R&D, Marketing, Regulatory, Legal and Manufacturing departments and between Dannon’s North American business units and Groupe Danone to drive product innovations.


Heather Leidy, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, University of Missouri Heather Leidy
Heather J. Leidy, PhD joined the faculty in the Dept. of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology in July 2010.  Dr. Leidy received her MS (2000) and PhD (2004) in Physiology at Penn State University.  She then went on to complete a Post-doctoral fellowship (2007) in the Department of Foods and Nutrition and the Ingestive Behavior Research Center at Purdue University.  In 2007, Dr. Leidy became an assistant professor in the Department of Dietetics and Nutrition at the University of Kansas Medical Center before joining the faculty at MU.  Dr. Leidy’s research includes a multi-disciplinary approach to examine several, key dietary factors that modulate both the homeostatic signals involved with appetite control and energy regulation and the non-homeostatic, neural signals involved with reward-driven eating behavior to combat obesity in young people.