Tuesday, March 7

Climate Day: Increasing Consumer Adoption of Plant-Based with Climate-Centered Innovation

4:00 – 4:45 PM PT; Marriott, Marquis Center


  • Rachel Dreskin, CEO, Plant Based Foods Association
  • Julie Kunen, Director of Sustainability, Oatly
  • Emma Stein, Sustainability Manager, Miyoko’s Creamery
  • Danielle Nierenberg, President, Food Tank (Moderator)

According to the IPCC report, eating a plant-based diet is one of the most impactful things individuals can do to reduce their climate impact. This session will address how the natural products industry can drive climate-friendly innovation in the plant-based category and how we can increase consumer adoption and engagement along the way.

Wednesday, March 8

Keynote: The State of Natural and Organic

8:00 – 10:30 AM PT; Marriott, Marquis Center


  • Kathryn Peters, SPINS
  • Carlotta Mast, New Hope Network
  • Nicolas McCoy, Whipstitch Capital
  • Isabella Hughes, Better Sour | Roya Capital
  • Pauline Idogho, Mocktail Club
  • Ayeshah Abuelhiga, Mason Dixie Foods

Don’t miss this information-packed session highlighting product trends and retail insights. Inform your business strategy, discover what’s next in product innovation and join the conversations driving positive change within the natural and organic products industry. Plus, celebrate International Women’s Day with insights from a panel of powerhouse women influencing CPG and how we do business today.

Thursday, March 9

Daypart Hacking: A Blueprint for Nutritional Innovation

10:30 – 11:30 AM PT; Marriott, Marquis NE

Speaking: Shawn Gerstenkorn and John Kaufmann, Kerry, Inc.

In a 2022 research study, Kerry surveyed consumers who prioritized their health and purchased specific functional foods and beverages. In this session, we will leverage the feedback of over 10,000 consumers, providing an innovation blueprint for the nutrition-conscious consumer of the future. By matching dayparts with needs states that matter most to consumers, you will learn what ingredients, claims and formats to tap into from sun-up to sun-down, ultimately creating a product that will fly off the shelf.

Friday, March 10

NCN Investor Kickoff & All-Star Pitch Showcase

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM PT; Marriott, Grand Ballroom F


  • Chef GW Chew, Something Better Foods
  • Nicolas McCoy, Whipstitch Capital
  • Ashley Pagenstecher, New Hope Network
  • Will Grubb, Nutrition Capital Network
  • Mike Dovbish, Nutrition Capital Network

The NCN Investor Kickoff & All-Star Pitch Showcase is Nutrition Capital Network’s exclusive session at Expo West purpose-built for investors, featuring top innovators from the 2022 NCN cohort. By attending, you’ll get a sneak peek at highly-curated companies in trending categories actively seeking capital at the show. Attendees will also receive access to NCN’s list of Exhibiting Companies Seeking Capital, featuring companies actively seeking external partners at Expo West.

The State of Plant-Based and Alternative Proteins

2:30 – 4:00 PM PT; Marriott, Grand Ballroom E

Welcome (2:30 PM)

Speaking: Rachel Dreskin, PBFA

Uncovering the Unmet Needs of Plant-based Consumers (2:30 – 2:55 PM)


  • Julie Emmett and Linette Kwon, PBFA
  • Shannon Weis, 84.51

As the plant-based industry continues to evolve and grow, understanding the breadth of plant-based consumer expectations is crucial to success. Join The Plant Based Association (PBFA) as we take a deep dive into consumer sentiment using Kroger’s shopper data through 84.51’s cutting edge research tools and expertise. Understand what consumer needs are being met, which ones are not, and where there’s opportunity. Learn how you can leverage this information to grow consumer loyalty and overall sales by meeting consumer needs.

How Retailers Collaborate with Emerging Brands: Access, Supplier Diversity, and Innovation (2:55 – 3:35 PM)


  • Chef GW Chew, Something Better Foods
  • Impossible Foods
  • Le’ Spencer Walker, Target
  • Dan Kurzrock, Upcycled Foods Inc.
  • Adrienne Smith, New Hope Network

Join us for a conversation with retail and brand leaders on how strategic collaboration can support the growth of emerging brands. As retailers look for meaningful ways to increase supplier diversity to meet consumer demand for innovative, sustainable, and accessible plant-based foods, emerging brands can help to address industry needs. This panel will highlight real experiences from retail and brand perspectives that showcase creative pathways and tactics to ensure mutual success.

Fundraising in 2023: How Plant-Based Companies Can Attract Investment (3:35 – 4:00 PM)


  • Anu Goel, SPINS
  • Audrey Gyr, The Good Food Institute

While overall venture funding has slowed in the past year, there are still plenty of opportunities for plant-based companies to raise capital. Join the Good Food Institute and SPINS to discuss how plant-based companies can set themselves apart in a tighter fundraising market. Topics include:

  • Total U.S. food industry landscape and the role plant-based foods play.
  • 2022 investment data for the alternative protein industry. 
  • Insights from GFI’s survey of investors active in alternative proteins.