Future is Close at Hand at Upcoming AFFI-CON Gathering

Futurist and generational marketing maven Kenneth Gronbach will be the keynote speaker at the March 4-7 American Frozen Food Institute Convention (AFFI-CON) in San Diego, California. His talk will take place during the 7-9 AM annual meeting and breakfast on March 6 in the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel.

Author of “The Age Curve: How to Profit from the Coming Demographic Storm,” Gronbach is an internationally respected demographer who has a track record for accurately forecasting societal, commercial, economic, cultural and political phenomena. At AFFI-CON he will address how America’s Baby Boomers, Generation X, Generation Y (millennials) and other countries’ age curves intersect to create opportunities and challenges.

ken affiFuturist and demographer Kenneth Gronbach is the keynote speaker.“We look forward to hearing Ken’s generational insights,” said AFFI President and CEO Alison Bodor. “Understanding the needs and desires of various demographic groups will help the frozen food and beverage industry identify the windows of opportunity as well as challenges that lay ahead.”

More than 1,400 industry professionals are expected to attend AFFI’s annual gathering, which brings together processors, logistics providers, suppliers, retailers and foodservice distributors and operators from all sectors of the frozen food trade to conduct business meetings and learn about key industry issues.

The four-day event will kick off at 8 AM on March 4 with an orientation for international delegates attending AFFI and Food Export USA buyer’s mission meetings scheduled in the Marina Room through 5:30 PM on Saturday; 7 AM to 5 PM on Sunday; and 9AM to 1:30 PM on Monday.

AFFI-CON’s 75th Anniversary Welcome Reception will take place from 6 to 7 PM on March 4, followed by the Frozen Food Hall of Fame/Zerocrats Dinner from 7:30 to 9:30 PM. It will be capped off with musical entertainment in the form of an “industry jam session” from 9:30 to 11 PM.

Business begins in earnest on March 5 with the AFFI Logistics and Supply Chain Council Meeting and the FPPI Board of Directors Meeting at 9 AM.

The International Issues Forum will be presented by AFFI’s International Processors Council from 10:30 AM to Noon. It will focus on new international food safety regulations that are required to be implemented as soon as May of 2017. Discussing how it relates to processors will be Mark FeDuke of VLM Foods and Domenic Veneziano, former head of the US Food and Drug Administration’s Division of Import Operations.

The Future of Labeling is the topic of a panel discussion slated for 2:30 to 4:30 PM. Maya Wilson of ESHA will review particularly important aspects of the new revisions to the Nutrition Facts Label and provide implementation and compliance tips. Doug Baker, private brands vice president at the Food Marketing Institute, will discuss trends in adopting Facts Up Front labeling and utilizing the Smart Label to efficiently provide consumer-desired information. Finally, Emma Gregory of AFFI will share insight on Washington, DC’s political regulatory environment and what the future holds for labeling in the context of President Donald J. Trump’s Administration.

AFFI’s Public Policy Council Business Meeting is set for 10 to 11:30 AM on March 6 to review regulatory and legislative issues facing the frozen food industry. Dr. Maureen Storey will preview the results of AFFI-commissioned research on the consumption of frozen fruits and vegetables nationwide. Chere Shorter and Dana White of the US Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service will also participate in the meeting and discuss opportunities for the frozen food industry to engage in the development or improvement of grade standards for frozen fruits and vegetables.

Numerous other activities and social events are scheduled. More details, as well as registration information, are available by visiting www.afficon.org.

AFFI CON 545AFFI-CON will feature interactive educational sessions as well as a host of social events for networking.