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Business FIRST

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Live On Stage from IFT FIRST. Your inner entrepreneur is going to love the programming for Business FIRST. Startups and investors alike will have the opportunity to experience dynamic live panel discussions on a variety of topics impacting the future of food. Check back regularly for programming updates.

Business FIRST is presented by IFT's flagship magazine, Food Technologythe leading publication addressing all facets of food science and technology. Its in-depth and balanced coverage includes the latest research developments, industry news, consumer product innovations, and professional opportunities.

Business FIRST Sessions

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  • Future-Proofing Ingredient Supply Chains Against Climate Change

    Monday, July 15, 2024

    12:00–12:45 p.m.

    Extreme weather events, temperature swings, and water scarcity are challenging the phenological stages of plants, shifting agricultural zones, and threatening the quality, availability, and price of raw ingredients. How can ingredient suppliers and food manufacturers mitigate the risks of an increasingly unstable supply chain and build a diverse pipeline for the future? Through expert insights and case studies, this session will offer actionable strategies to help navigate the complex landscape of food ingredient sourcing in the face of climate change.

  • Seizing Career Opportunities in an Evolving Workplace

    Tuesday, July 16, 2024

    10:30-11:15 a.m.

    Workplace opportunities and expectations are changing. What do employers really want? Are you ready? Hear from a panel of experts on how to prepare for and adapt to an evolving world of work, exploring topics that include science of food market demand, compensation trends, must-have skill sets, and the changing demographic composition of the workforce. The session will open with highlights from the newly released 2024 IFT Employment and Salary Survey.

  • Preparing for Generation Alpha

    Tuesday, July 16, 2024

    4:15-5:00 p.m.

    Generation Alpha, those born between 2010 and 2024, are projected to number nearly 2 billion globally by 2025, making them the largest generation in history. Foodservice providers and consumer packaged goods companies are already seeing the importance of this generation to their businesses. Trend experts and industry professionals will discuss the latest trends in snacks for kids and how brands can position themselves to take advantage of this generational boom.

  • How Rising Food Prices Create Challenges—and Opportunities

    Wednesday, July 17, 2024

    10:30-11:15 a.m.

    Stubborn inflation in grocery stores and restaurants is vexing American consumers so much that it's become the biggest "kitchen-table" issue in this year’s presidential election. Persistent ingredient supply chain problems, CPG companies' quest to lock in higher profitability, and restaurant chains' attempts to cover higher labor costs, have kept food prices high. Frustrated shoppers are buying less, buying less frequently, purchasing more private label products, and eating out on fewer occasions. Industry has responded with smaller packages, reduced portion sizes, more promotions, and a bigger focus on loyalty programs. Our panel will talk about how things got this way, where they're headed, and what the industry can do about it.