by Heather

It’s Time Again for the IFT Conference!


We are headed to Chicago July 10-13!

The full annual IFT FIRST conference is in-person again at the McCormick Place Exhibition Center. The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) is an international, non-profit scientific society of professionals engaged in food science, food technology, and related areas in academia, government and industry. It has more than 17,000 members from more than 95 countries. While the conference will be in-person this year, there will still be a virtual component with on-demand sessions.

At IFT FIRST, InsightsNow is looking forward to sharing knowledge at the conference through our four on-demand talks on a variety of subjects and our four live panels on which we are contributing our thoughts. We will also be attending and learning from other sessions at the show, like the keynotes with Amy Webb from Future Today Institute and John Donvan with ABC News. The theme of the 2022 conference is “Hacking the Food Supply: Can We Synthesize a More Sustainable Future?” and looks to bring together a “diverse perspective of front-line scientists and product developers to explore the potential promises and pitfalls of hacking the future of food.” Read on to see where we will be and what topics we will be diving into, along with other experts, at IFT FIRST.


The IFT Achievement Awards

On Sunday, July 10, we will be at the Awards Celebration Ceremony and Reception to honor and celebrate recipients of the prestigious IFT Achievement Awards—and recognize award recipients from 2020 and 2021 when the conference did not take place in person. This year, our CEO and Founder Dave Lundahl, is nominated in the Consumer and Sensory Science Division for the Achievement Award. Dave joins his colleagues in all areas of the food industry being recognized for their outstanding contributions to the field of the science of food, scientific advancement, teaching, research and commitment to service.


On-Demand: Consumers’ Implicit Reactions

Here at InsightsNow, we talk quite a bit about implicit testing, and the importance of understanding humans’ implicit biases through the right kind of market research. Our Implicit / Explicit Test™ allows a deep level of understanding when it comes to implicit reactions, and also how to turn those insights into action. For IFT, InsightsNow’s Dave Lundahl will be presenting an on-demand session on “Overcoming Implicit Biases for a Future of Sustainable Food.” During his session, he will dig into how consumers will accept or reject foods with a sustainable component based on the brands, claims and ingredients that respectively do or do not align with established attitudinal points of view. By understanding—and creating a path to overcoming—potential implicit biases regarding foods and their sustainability initiatives, brands can ensure the best success of their products in the marketplace.


Live Panel: Making Food Innovation Decisions

Dave’s session on implicit biases, and what to do about them, will be further built upon by a panel discussion of industry leaders on Monday, July 11, at 12:30 PM in Room S404, where they will answer the question “How do consumer biases and misinformation affect innovation initiatives?”. This moderated discussion will outline challenges and opportunities—culminating in an extended discussion period where attendees will have the opportunity to engage with presenters and other attendees. The panel experts include our Dave Lundahl, Dusan Ristic (German Institute of Food Technologies), Roxi Beck (The Center for Food Integrity), Taylor Wallace (Think Healthy Group), Tia Rains (Ajinomoto Health & Nutrition North America), and Chris Findlay (C-K Findlay Consultants), hosted by Paula Feldmar (Ken’s Food).


On-Demand: Sustainable Food Innovation

Another on-demand session will come from InsightsNow’s Chief Research Officer Greg Stucky about “Targeting Sustainable Food Innovation for Stakeholder Value.” This session will share how to co-create with consumers to bring fresh thinking to your innovation process by involving more key stakeholders in the process of moving toward sustainability. By expanding the inclusion scope when researching developmental white space or co-creating products, you will invite new energy, passion and investment capital to imagine and develop creative—and sustainable—solutions.


Live Panel: Sensory Science Advancements

Greg will also participate in a panel on “What are recent advancements in sensory science that will lead to new products or methodologies?” This session will build on his on-demand talk on food innovation and will take place Tuesday, July 12 at 9:45 AM in Room S404. In addition to Greg, the panel will include Han-Seok Seo (University of Arkansas), Nancy Rawson (Monell Chemical Senses Center), Zata Vickers (University of Minnesota), Janet McLean(Diageo) and Vinay Mannam (Framingham State University).


On-Demand: The Future of Sustainable Food

Our CEO Dave has another on-demand session available through IFT on “The Future of Sustainable Food” where he will explore the challenges for a sustainable future and what sustainable food will look like ten years from now. This session will address how food science and technology can overcome challenges in food sourcing and production to build a picture of the future of sustainable products.


Live Panel: Elitist Ingredients

Building on Dave’s future-thinking on-demand session, there will be a live panel discussion at IFT that addresses the question: “Are foods and/or beverages containing synthesized ingredients or components elitist?” During the panel on Tuesday, July 12, at 12:30 PM in Room S403AB, attendees will hear from a leading academic and food science and technology department head, a futurist working in uncovering and predicting food trends, a culinologist working in clean label food product design, a plant-based food marketer, and a venture capitalist specializing in investing in sustainable food innovations. In addition to Dave Lundahl, the panelists will be Jaime Reeves (Mattson Co.) and Mitch Kanter (Global Dairy Platform Inc.), hosted by Cloviece Thomas Sanders III (Bulletproof 360) and Michelle Braun (International Flavors & Fragrances).


On-Demand: The Future of Clean Label

InsightsNow’s Greg Stucky has another on-demand session available where he will present a “Redefining Clean Label” session for IFT. He will be discussing how clean label trends shifted during the pandemic, with a heightened focus on health and environmental concerns. Clean Label Enthusiasts™ had to make tradeoffs and difficult choices due to perceived safety concerns and supply issues. Greg will share about clean label perceptions, beliefs and behaviors.


Live Panel: Clean Label Buzz

A panel discussion will follow up on Greg’s on-demand session answering the question “Is ‘clean label’ the future of food and beverage labeling or marketing buzz?”. This panel is happening Tuesday, July 12, at 12:30 PM in Room S404. Experts will gather together to discuss the implications and applications of clean label perceptions and trends. Laurice Pouvreau (Wageningen University & Research), Leslie Cook (Sealed Air Corporation), Katie Nance (Synergy Flavors) and Nicolas Bordenave (University of Ottawa) will join Greg for this discussion followed by a question and answer period with attendees.


Whether you will be at IFT in-person or virtually or not at all, the topics of overcoming implicit bias for further sustainability, the future of clean label and sustainable food innovation are trends that are not going away.

Reach out to us to ensure your business is keeping up! We hope to see you there, or online soon.