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global food & drink trends 2016
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Mintel Main Stage presentations are marquee presentations on products, trends and food science, delivered by some of Mintel’s top global analysts with interactive tasting sessions throughout.

Stop by anytime, we guarantee to have experts sharing their insights all day long.
Comfort Food: Modernized From macaroni and cheese to birthday cake to hard soda, consumers are flocking to recognizable flavors when it comes time to indulge. What innovations are expanding “comfort food” into new formats? Which categories are capitalizing on this trend? What’s next? 10:00 AM-12:00 PM • Monday & Tuesday
What’s Next in Beverages? A look beverage innovations from around the world and how these are leveraging or driving consumer trends, such as health and wellness, new flavors and hybrid formats. 12:00PM-2:00PM • Sunday, Monday & Tuesday
Eat With Your Eyes: The importance of appearance Food and drink continues to be a leading topic on social media, creating a need for products that are as documentable as they are delicious. How can color, shape and texture be used to attract shoppers and their hashtags? 2:00PM-4:00PM • Sunday, Monday & Tuesday
Innovating for the iGeneration Sarah Theodore On the heels of the oft-hyped Millennial generation, the iGeneration, or those born between 1995 and 2007, are another important group to consider when formulating. Who are these consumers? What are they looking for in terms of flavors, functionality and formats? 10:00 AM – Monday & Tuesday
Senior Solutions: Developing products for the aging consumer Stephanie Mattucci As the senior population continues to grow globally, there is an increased opportunity to provide products tailored to their needs. This presentation will cover things product developers should consider when formulating for seniors, from flavors to nutrition to packaging. 10:30 AM – Monday & Tuesday
The Value Paradox: The challenge of creating products for the budget consumer Lynn Dornblaser Many of the trends driving the food and beverage industry today, such as organic, clean label, and authentic ethnic foods, are ones that often are more challenging to develop and command a price premium. But what about products for those budget- conscious consumers? We’ll look at what retailers and consumer packaged goods companies are doing to offer choices across a price spectrum, and provide insight into what consumers are looking for. 11:00 AM – Monday & Tuesday
What does product innovation really look like? Lynn Dornblaser Many in the industry like to talk about the most unusual product development, but what do consumers think? You may (or may not) be surprised that what we think as innovative is not necessarily what consumers think of as innovative or as products they would actually purchase. We’ll use new data from Mintel to uncover consumers perceptions and intentions regarding what we may think of as truly innovative, compared to the products that they see as innovative. 12:00 PM – Sunday, Monday & Tuesday
Charting Flavor Expansion and Innovation Lynn Dornblaser How can you predict where a flavor may be going next? It truly is part art and part science. Using Mintel’s global tracking of product introductions, we’ll look at a few established flavor profiles (such as sriracha and caramel) to chart where they developed, how they moved regionally and from one category to another. Using that model, we’ll then look at a few emerging flavors to offer insight on where they may be going next. 12:30 PM – Sunday, Monday & Tuesday
Helping Consumers Cook Dinner: Innovation in Meals and Meal Kits John Owen We know that consumers tell us they don’t have time to cook. So what are they doing? We’ll explore what’s happening in meals and meal kits, how ideas from outside the US may have application for the US market, and discuss the impact meal kit delivery has on prepared products. 1:00 PM – Sunday, Monday & Tuesday
“Simple” isn’t so simple Stephanie Mattucci Interest in clean labels and concerns about ingredients and food safety continue to be pressing issues for the food industry. In an effort to communicate naturalness and freshness, brands have shifted to an emphasis in simplicity in all aspects of a product, including labeling, ingredients, and packaging. However, as many food scientists know, making something simple can be very complicated. This presentation will not only explore what it means to be simple but also the challenges that face simplicity. 2:00 PM – Sunday, Monday & Tuesday
Free-From for All: Alternatives are ready for the spotlight Amanda Topper & Billy Roberts Alternatives are infiltrating the mainstream as variety grows and tasty innovations contradict olds reputation of being inferior substitutions to meat and dairy. Vegan and vegetarian options, non- dairy milks and yogurts, and allergen-free product are proudly promoting their free- from claims and are being embraced by a variety of consumers. 2:30 PM – Sunday, Monday & Tuesday
From the Inside Out: The embrace of ingredients as superheroes Jenny Zegler As more consumers use their diets to help improve the way they feel and/or look, ingredients are fast becoming the new focal points. How are brands communicating the potential benefits inherent in specific ingredients? What are some of the most desirable ingredients? 3:00 PM – Sunday, Monday & Tuesday