Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Three "Do Not Miss" Conferences For Innovation In Processing, Packaging & Sustainability

From Istanbul, Turkey, through New Orleans, LA and Chicago, IL, if your interest lies in innovation from a processing, packaging or sustainability perspective, these are three conferences that are a "Do Not Miss" this summer.

Global Dairy Congress, 17-18 June, Istanbul, Turkey

The Global Dairy Congress, now in its 8th year, is a two day event incorporating market briefings, conference sessions and FoodBev Media’s annual World Dairy Innovation Awards to be presented at the gala dinner. The Congress will cover a range of key themes for the global dairy industry and provide excellent networking opportunities for industry leaders, suppliers, customers and analysts.

The theme for 2014 is Breaking new ground. The dairy industry has always been convinced of milk’s inherent goodness, but now consumers want even more in products, from pleasure and convenience, to excitement and innovation, alongside value, health and sustainability. The conference aims to open up discussion on meeting the challenge today of breaking new ground for tomorrow.
The event will cover the full range of market developments including global and regional trends, consumer concerns over health and the environment, as well as key areas of innovation.
I will be speaking on the afternoon of the first day on How dairy can deliver against consumers' sustainability expectations. My presentation will cover research that identifies what consumers sustainability expectations are for dairy, and how brand owners can deliver on these - through innovation throughout the value chain, from processing through to packaging and distribution.
When it comes to sustainability and reducing the carbon footprint for liquid dairy products, extended shelf life (ESL) features high on the list of ways to reduce energy consumption as this request from a processor in India on the Linkedin Global Dairy Innovation Networking Group illustrates: 
"We are a dairy start-up in India with a keen focus on providing fresh (un-pasteurized) milk to consumers through a temperature controlled supply chain. In the process the biggest challenge we face is preserving the freshness and taste of milk throughout the supply chain. The options that we have to chill the milk are quite energy intensive and at times inefficient. We would appreciate your suggestions for us to add efficiency and effectiveness to the entire process."
IFT Annual Meeting, 21-24 June, New Orleans, LA

More than 18,000 of the world’s top food science and technology professionals, representing the most prominent organizations in the global food sector, will be in New Orleans to learn about the most recent product, ingredient, and technology developments, and their potential business impact, as well as to identify trends that will shape the industry.
The IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo brings together professionals involved in both the science and the business of food — experts in R&D, product development, and QA/QC, as well as executive management, marketing, procurement, sales, and more — from industry, academia, and government.
I will be the moderator as well as a speaker for a session on Ultraviolet light for food plant safety and ESL applications on June 24.
The session description reads as follows: 
Tom Gallagher, CEO of DMI
"According to Tom Gallagher, CEO of Dairy Management Inc., in the coming years, there will be hundreds of millions of dollars of investment in plant infrastructure renewal, often focused on new extended shelf-life (ESL) and aseptic plant capabilities that will bring the right products to consumers. In order for this to happen there needs to be an understanding traditional as well as novel and emerging technologies, e.g. ultraviolet (UV), and also the interrelationships between product processing and sanitary and environmental factors. This session will feature presentations from a research and manufacturing perspective focusing on the role that UV technology can play, with the end result being a comprehensive overview on how to leverage UV applications for quality, food safety as well as shelf life across product categories."

Global Food &Beverage Packaging Summit, 16-17 July, Chicago, IL

This year's event offers an enhanced program with two tracks to bring attendees strategies for marketing and brand differentiation plus technical intelligence to enhance production and engineering. Speakers from top brand owners and packaging companies include Kraft, Pepsico, Target and Tetra Pak.

I will be the Chairperson for the event and will also moderate a panel discussion on July 16 on, "Designing when the package is your only medium." Panelists will include Janet Eaton, Vice President of Strategy & Insight at Kaleidoscope Brand Strategy, Sneha Shah, Global Technical Director for Avery Dennison and Terry Schwartz, Director of Global Design for the Campbell Soup Company.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Processors look for sustainable packages for dairy foods, beverages

Sustainability is becoming increasingly important to consumers who expect the products they buy to be produced and packaged in an environmentally responsible way.

Speaking at the 2013 International Dairy Show in Chicago in November last year, EcoFocus Worldwide CEO Linda Gilbert said, “We know that dairy shoppers are rethinking their shopping decisions and making changes and choices that reflect a lifestyle commitment to being environmentally friendly.”

Cary Frye, vice president of regulatory and scientific affairs for the International Dairy Foods Association, said that sustainability is playing a big role in the evolution of the dairy sector. “We’re seeing that in packaging, with lighter packaging and more efficient packaging."

The Infini bottle from the UK’s Nampak Plastics exemplifies the kind of lighter and more efficient packaging to
which Frye was referring. The company was awarded the Waste Minimization Award in 2013 and received the
accolade of “Green Product of the Year” at last year’s British Engineering Excellence Awards. In making this award, the judges stated, “The reduction in material used in the Infini bottle is very impressive and will have a significant environmental impact.”

When it comes to making a slimmer milk package, there are generally three ways that this can be done. Read more in the February issue of Dairy Foods, or download a copy here.