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The educational lineup for the Specialty Food Association’s Fancy Food 24/7 digital event kicks off this morning at 11 a.m. with the latest consumer and new products trends as reported by the SFA Trendspotter Panel and content team.

Following is the lineup of sessions for the first week of this two-week event. You can sign up here to attend.

Monday, September 27

11 a.m.            On the Radar: What Will Be the Trends of Fancy Food 24/7?

What will be the big trends on display at Fancy Food 24/7 and which will continue into next year? The SFA Trendspotter Panel and content team have been watching consumer trends, new product entries at this show and on the Product Marketplace and Infinite Aisle, and category forecasts in the association’s annual State of the Specialty Food Industry, to determine what trends are on the radar heading into Fancy Food 24/7. Join them for this preview.

Tuesday, September 28

11 a.m.           Understanding the Needs of the Evolving Pandemic-Era Consumer

COVID-19 has upended consumer behavior patterns and created new and unexpected purchasing trends. As shoppers begin to navigate their “next normal,” what behaviors will prove to be temporary and which will last? Join Mintel Global Food Analyst Melanie Zanoza Bartelme as she explores how convenience, health, and technology have become fundamental in the lives of today’s consumers.

Wednesday, September 29

11 a.m.            The Bonfire Effect: How Physical Retail Will Survive a Digital Future

It’s a common headline these days: another well-known retailer is closing its doors. In the face of digital alternatives, changing consumer habits, and a global pandemic, many business leaders and investors wonder if there will be a place for physical retail in the future.

The answer: yes – but for new reasons. To attract consumers to your stores, you have to go beyond selling commodities and expand your value equation by offering social magic and mystique that provides a bigger payoff. In this session, Kevin Ervin Kelley – a retail architect and behaviorist – will describe the process his firm has pioneered to help retailers like Harley Davidson, Whole Foods Market, Kroger, Save Mart, Gelson’s Markets, Nabisco, and Cadbury as they convene consumers around their brand bonfires.

Thursday, September 30

11 a.m.            SFA’s 12 Under 35 Panel: Innovators Changing Specialty Food

Join three women who’ve been named to SFA’s fifth annual 12 Under 35: Young Talent to Watch list by the association’s editors: Gaïana Joseph of Fuel the People, Cara Nicoletti of Seemore Meats & Veggies, and Vanessa Pham of Omsom. Each of these change makers brings something special to the table and you’ll learn more about their projects and products during this exciting panel.

Friday, October 1

3 p.m.  Fast Pitch Friday

Don’t miss this rapid-fire pitch competition with contestants including Noah Bleich of The TeaBook, Carol Ann Carrington of Kickerfeast, Michelle Williamson of Mel’s Toffee, Ariel Shao of Coaslink Corp., and Alexis Tejeda of Runamok. You’ll learn about what buyers are looking for in a new product as you watch these SFA members make their quick sales pitches to judges Kate Harper, chief brand curator for Hive, Hunter Fike, category manager for cheese and charcuterie at Di Bruno Bros., and Ian Kelleher, co-founder of Peeled Snacks. SFA members are welcome to attend this session.

Related: The Next Normal in Supply Chain Interactivity; SFA Reveals Annual 12 Under 35: Breakout Talent to Watch.

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