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Haworth College of Business News

Annual conference will explore food trends

NBC’s Today Show supermarket guru, Phil Lempert, will join a list of top food industry professionals as a featured speaker at this year’s annual Food Marketing Conference on March 25-26, at the Radisson Plaza Hotel in downtown Kalamazoo. This year’s conference will explore “Moving the Metrics on Performance.”

Lempert will kick off the conference by sharing his perspective on the top ten food trends for 2013 and outlining how consumers are changing shopping patterns based on the economy and changing demographics. An executive forum exploring these trends will follow Lempert’s presentation. This year’s executive forum includes the following industry leaders:

Other industry leaders slated to speaker at the conference, which draws more than 500 leaders in the food industry from across the nation to Kalamazoo each year, include Erik Wahl, artist and motivational speaker, and Todd Harbaugh, chief operating officer, Sam’s Club. On Monday evening, Wahl will share insights on the rewards of risk taking, collaboration and thinking differently. Harbaugh closes the conference Tuesday with his discussion about successes at Sam’s Club and what changes lie ahead for the warehouse giant.

Other speakers include Thomas J. Sullivan, president, VideoMining, who will share the findings of an extensive shopper behavior study in his presentation “Reality TV goes in-store: tracking the path-to-purchase”; and Tom Furphy, president and CEO of Consumer Equity Partners, and Kevin Coupe, speaker, author and founder of, will present “Competing for the E-Commerce Space,” on Tuesday morning.

The conference also will offer a variety of breakout presentations from 10 to 11 a.m. Tuesday, including the following:

A second breakout session, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, will feature a panel of food marketing experts. Those on the panel include:

The WMU Annual Food Marketing Conference is presented by WMU's Food and Consumer Package Goods Marketing Program in the Haworth College of Business. Proceeds from the conference support food and consumer package goods marketing scholarships and related program operations.

For more information, including cost and registration details, visit or call the event hotline at (269) 387-2132.


Editor: Cindy Wagner
Haworth College of Business
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Western Michigan University
Kalamzoo MI 49008-5457 USA
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