MEET THE SPEAKERS

Managing Director, Global M&A – Beverages, KPMG Corporate Finance

Ross Colbert leads KPMG Corporate Finance's coverage in global beverages. He has over 30 years in beverage industry valuation, capital markets and M&A advisory. His industry knowledge and deal experience includes soft drinks, beer, wine & spirits, coffee, tea and plant based beverage companies. His industry insights have been published in the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, and shared on CNBC and Bloomberg.

Senior Scientist Protein Technology, Wageningen University & Research

Laurice is a research scientist and project leader ‘Protein technology’ at Wageningen University & Research (WUR). Laurice trained as a protein chemist in France, after which she acquired her PhD in the Food Chemistry chair group of WUR, studying potato proteins. Laurice further pursued interest in plant proteins at NIZO, a contract research institute, and subsequently at Cargill, where she gained experience in (mild) fractionation, structuring and application in food products using a broad range of plant proteins. Laurice is driven to contribute to improving the quality of new sources of protein and delivering sustainable and tasty food products.

Research Team Leader, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

Emilia Nordlund is the leader of Food Solutions research team at VTT Ltd. Her scientific expertise is in processing of plan-based materials for food ingredients and food applications. In particular, she has experience on enzyme-aided modification of cereal materials, valorisation of plant-based proteins for food applications and dietary fibre technologies. More recently she has explored cellular agriculture for food and development of new health promoting eating concepts.

Senior Research Manager - Menu, Technomic

Lizzy Freier is a Senior Research Manager of Menu at Technomic, a Winsight Company. Lizzy covers trending flavors, ingredients, dishes and preparations for food and beverage at independent restaurants, emerging chains and top chain restaurant brands. She has also analysed global trends. She has presented at numerous conferences in the U.S. and internationally on menu trend development, data and forecasting for restaurant operators, manufacturers and distributors. She currently resides in Chicago.

Senior Consumer Research Scientist, ProVeg International

Dr Kai-Brit Bechtold is a Senior Consumer Research Scientist at ProVeg and a lecturer with extensive expertise on developments, trends, and data in the food sector. Before holding positions on agency side for Nielsen and then on industry side for Upfield (formerly Unilever), she worked as Scientific Researcher (PhD and Postdoc) at the Department of Food Economics and Consumption Studies at the University of Kiel and investigated consumers‘ preferences and willingness-to-pay for innovative food products. Her passion for sustainable food and her knowledge of insights into consumer trends and behaviour, position her as a true food industry expert.

Sensory and Consumer Research Consultant, Carol Raithatha Ltd.

Carol Raithatha's professional space is sensory evaluation, consumer research, and market research. She is director of Carol Raithatha Limited, a UK based consultancy which focuses on food and drink and related sectors, such as personal care and homecare. Clients include multinational consumer goods companies, smaller manufacturers, and research organisations and agencies. Carol is the author of a number of market reports and articles on topics including food and drink trends, flavours, packaging, salt reduction, and more. She is a Fellow of the UK Institute of Food Science and Technology and a committee member of its Sensory Science Group. Carol is also a Certified Member of the Market Research Society.

Prinicipal Food Law Adviser and Allergen Specialist, Campden BRI

Dr Helen Arrowsmith is currently a Principal Food Law Adviser in the Regulatory Affairs Department at Campden BRI. Helen uses her knowledge, gained over 16 years working with the food and drink industry, to provide advice and consultancy on relevant UK and harmonised EU legislation, to present on training courses on food law, and to contribute to publications. Helen is also a food allergen specialist; having spent 9 years managing the provision of technical contract services in the area of food allergen detection, including interpretation of testing results and delivery of consultancy, information and advice on food allergen analysis, and cleaning validation for allergen removal

Executive Director, European Flavour Association (EFFA)

joining the EFFA secretariat in 2016, Mr Mohr was the Secretary General of APEAL, the Association of European Producers of Steel Packaging, and previously headed the public affairs practice for the European container glass industry (FEVE). Mr Mohr has previously worked for a political think tank on global political party consulting issues and has been a lecturer on international relations at the ‘Institut d’études Politiques de Paris’ (SciencePo) and Senior Advisor to the Permanent Thai Delegation to UNESCO in Paris. He has published several articles and interviews in the context of EU regulatory and policy developments and more recently on the EU Flavour Regulation progression.

Expert Immune Health, TNO

Dr Jolanda van Bilsen is Senior Scientist Immune Health and Food Allergy at TNO. She is a board certified Immunologist (SMBWO) and a European registered Toxicologist (ERT). The unifying theme of her work at TNO has been the application of academic knowledge to modify and/or strengthen immune responses by microbes, pharma or food components. She is currently involved in several applied research programs applying artificial intelligence solutions in immune health, food allergy and immunotherapy initiatives, and works as a consultant for companies.

Founder & Owner, European Baking Innovation

Richard Charpentier is a classically trained French baker, Certified Master Baker, holds a degree in Baking Science from KSU with a minor in Cereal Chemistry, and a degree in Sales and Marketing from Benjamin Morel, France. Richard spent years working in the industry in retail bakeries and for large CPG Brands where he held and led Research and Development positions.

President, Culinary Tides, Inc.

Suzy Badaracco is the President of Culinary Tides, Inc. and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminalistics, Associate degree in Culinary Arts, and Master of Science degree in Human Nutrition. Suzy has been trained in military intelligence, Chaos theory, and predictive analysis techniques, and has been practicing trends intelligence and predictive forecasting for more than 15 years. Using these techniques, she has been able to successfully predict and profile government, technology, adversary and ally, food, flavour, consumer, industry, and health trends. Culinary Tides, Inc. helps food industry partners navigate trends by revealing relevant patterns so they can create products that connect with customers. They specialise in foretelling a trend’s birth and forecasting its trajectory, personality and longevity. The forecast results are used to create entrance, navigation, and exit strategies.

Food Texture Consultant, Big Village Consulting Ltd.

Linda Bellekom-Allen is a specialist in hydrocolloids in food applications. As technical and sales support for cellulosics, she developed a broad and practical working knowledge of most food gums and how to assist developers in using them. She was instrumental in the incorporation of methylcellulose in plant-based foods and the dramatic improvement of texture in gluten free bread using hydroxypropyl methylcellulose. Now a consultant, not tied to company or product range, she can advise on hydrocolloid selection and use, based on the developer’s requirements.Linda lives in the UK and has a small development kitchen with lots of pots of gums.