The specialty and fancy food show

Conference Program


Growing markets are changing markets. Staying competitive requires that you keep up with the latest market insights but more importantly that you’re at the forefront of selling on Social Media, that your website is optimised for conversion, that you’re harnessing the power of digital marketing and ecommerce and much more to drive growth in your business.

We’ve brought together a powerful mix of practical, hands on, expert advice with brand stories, topical panel discussions and deep dives right in the middle of the widest mix of fancy, new, innovative food and beverage products.

Gain entry to all seminars, across all days with your All Access Pass.

Sessions by Theme

Sunday, 29 April - 10:30am - Red Room Facebook & Instagram in 2018

Alita Harvey-Rodriguez - Managing Director - Milk it Academy

Marketing on both Facebook and Instagram has changed. There’s less organic reach, but do you have to pay to play? What else should you be doing in 2018 to continue to reach your customers? Award winning digital marketing expert Alita Harvey-Rodriguez gives you her top tips for staying relevant, and being seen today. She’ll cover:

• The big algorithms changes you need to know

• How customer-centric content is changing the social selling game

• How to increase engagement without “baiting”

Sunday, 29 April - 11:00am - Green Room Beyond probiotics: The new frontier in gut health

Kara Landau - Australian Accredited Practicing Dietitian, Nutritionist & Founder - Uplift Food

Gut health continues to dominate the wellness agenda with consumer awareness of the functional benefits is at an all-time high. But what’s next? What are the new market segments for products that support a healthy gut, where is the innovation, and how should retailers and brands position these products in the future? Gut health specialist Kara Landau will discuss:

• Prebiotics – the next wave and the missing piece of the gut health puzzle. What are prebiotics and resistant starches, and what is their role in the good health equation?

• Why messaging matters and how to resonate with younger audiences

• What retailers can learn from emerging online brands

• The role of social media and influencer culture in awareness, education and driving demand

• Understanding the gut health link in products claiming functional benefits – beauty, concentration and mood

• Emerging products locally and across the globe.

Sunday, 29 April - 11:30am - Red Room Winning influencer collabs: Getting it right in 2018

Mary Proulx - Social Media Director - Red Agency

Adam Freedman - Head of Consumer - Red Agency

Influencer marketing is here to stay and should be a critical part of every marketer’s toolkit. But the landscape and social platforms are evolving, consumers are becoming savvier, and influencers are upping the stakes. So what do you need to know to build a profitable influencer program in 2018? Award winning marketer Adam Freedman shares the latest on how to build a strategy, engage the right influencers, prioritise partnerships over payments, and drive and measure your ROI.

You’ll learn:

• What influencer marketing means in 2018 and why it matters now more than ever

• Three ways to maximise your efforts – how to navigate influencer marketing, and ignite and maintain winning collaborations

• Measuring success – tangible ways to make sure your effort counts

Sunday, 29 April - 12:00pm - Green Room Highest converting Facebook ads and how to use them

Mitch Barrington - Founder - Freshly

Knowing how to use Facebook ads effectively can drive more leads for your business in 2018 that any other paid channel. Fourteen years in and with more than 2 billion monthly users, Facebook still dominates the social media landscape. It can help you push more on-the-fence leads down your funnel and build new qualified leads – if you have the right strategy and execute with agility and precision. Mitch Barrington, Founder of pureplay Facebook advertising agency Freshly, shares proven tactics to help you win on Facebook in 2018 in this fast-paced, must-attend session!

You’ll learn:

• How the algorithm works right now and why this is key to mastering Facebook advertising

• Why the word “social” is the most important one in the term “social media”

• Three things that (almost) every Facebook advertiser does wrong and how to avoid doing them yourself

Sunday, 29 April - 12:30pm - Red Room The craft revolution: Why small is the new big

Victoria Tulloch - Founder, Kindred & Head of Marketing - Archie Rose Distilling Co.

Global Goliaths with generic offerings have traditionally dominated the food and drink landscape but the ground has shifted beneath. Millenials, demand for transparency and quality, support for local producers with unique stories and a back-to-basics approach is seeing changes in the way consumers think, feel and behave.

Join growth marketer Victoria Tulloch as she discusses how independent brands and retailers can play a part in the craft revolution sweeping Australia. She’ll present the seven ingredients she believes are the secret behind successful independent food and drinks brands and present a growth marketing framework, including four things to do today to get you started.

Sunday, 29 April - 1:00pm - Green Room Retail discounters: 5 strategies to beat them in 2018

Tim Sperry - Founder - The Tim Sperry Group

Fighting discount retailers is becoming a bigger challenge each year. How can independent retailers compete without losing margin? In this session we will share examples of effective strategies used by independent retailers to bring meaning to today’s buzz words: fresh, convenience, differentiation, special diets, service, community.

Sunday, 29 April - 1:30pm - Red Room Profitable emails every business should use

Alita Harvey-Rodriguez - Managing Director - Milk it Academy

When it comes to attracting new customers, research shows email works 40 times better than Facebook and Twitter combined. And with customers three times more likely to make a purchase (and spend more) via email links than social media, this is one tool every business should use whether you run a bricks and mortar store or sell online. Leading digital marketing futurist Alita Harvey-Rodriguez will take a deep dive into the most profitable emails from drip campaigns to cart abandonment, post purchase retention, cross-selling and upselling. You’ll gain the tools and strategies to run a growth-focused, sales generating, email marketing program that will satisfy and delight your subscribers and customers, and boost your bottom line.

You learn:

• How to identify the gaps and opportunities in your existing email marketing strategy

• How to Boost email ROI with campaign integration techniques

• Understand how to boost your open, click, conversion and revenue rates from email using three simple tricks

Sunday, 29 April - 2:00pm - Green Room Ethical consumers: Are you ok turning them off or on?

Sara Agostino - Research Analyst - Euronmonitor International

Katrina Fox - Journalist - Vegan Business Media

Consumers are becoming more mindful and increasingly making purchase decisions that match their values. These two talks explore the growth of the ethical consumer, their preferences and how to capitalise on this growing opportunity.

The rise of the ethical consumer, Sara Agostino, Research Analyst at Euromonitor International.

Increasing awareness around ethical and environmental issues is driving the rise in mindful consumption. The new frontier of ethical consumption is integrating into all aspects of consumers’ lifestyles with health and nutrition being obvious starting points. But how can you get the attention of these consumers and influence their buying decisions?

Research Analyst Sara Agostino from Euromonitor International will dive into the realm of the ethical consumer and discuss:

• What are the driving forces behind ethical consumerism

• What is the Australian ethical consumer looking for and how can you capture their attention

• How local brands and retailers are encouraging the growth of ethical consumerism


How to position ethical products, Katrina Fox, Vegan Business Media

As more consumers seek out products that align with their values, brands that have a strong ethics policy in regards to people, animals and planet are uniquely equipped to serve this fast-growing market. But what is the best way to position ethical products?

Journalist, author and Forbes contributor Katrina Fox from Vegan Business Media will explore these issues including:

• How to convey your ethical stance without coming across as ‘preachy’

• Should you use the word ‘vegan’ in your branding, marketing or packaging, or is it better to use ‘plant-based’? Where should retailers position these products in store?

Sunday, 29 April - 2:30pm - Red Room Hey big spender: Attracting and retaining premium shoppers

Ian Segail - General Manager - Jam and Co

Consumers are trading up everyday products in their shopping trolleys, but what makes them consider paying higher prices and how do you attract and retain those willing to pay more? Leading brand and marketing expert Ian Segail shares key strategies and tactics to appeal to consumers looking for premium goods – and it’s not just about price! He’ll discuss the how the premium market is being disrupted by new players and the mindset shift necessary to take advantage.

You leave this session knowing:

• Why traditional marketing is failing and how to capture the new premium consumer

• Which segments are willing to pay more and what are they looking for

• Three key tactics for attracting, selling to and retaining these customers

Sunday, 29 April - 3:00pm - Green Room Must-know dos and don’ts of digital marketing

Anna Martin - Lawyer - Sinclair + May

Jessica Kerr - Director - Sinclair + May

Digital marketing helps level the playing field between small and big business, but understanding what you can and can’t do online and how to protect your own IP can seem like a minefield. Sinclair+May Director Jessica Kerr and solicitor Anna Martin simplify the complex, sharing critical ways to avoid common pitfalls in this must-attend session. She’ll cover social media; online competitions; privacy and data collection; email marketing and spam; advertising; security; and what to do if your intellectual property is violated online.

You’ll leave this session knowing:

• How to make sure your website protects your business

• Rules of play for online marketing, social media and copyright

• Trade promotions and online competitions – how to get them right

Sunday, 29 April - 3:30pm - Red Room How to nail commercial storytelling: Insider intel from Archie Rose and other food and drink heroes

Sophie McComas - Co-Founder - Buffet Digital

Nikki To - Co-Founder - Buffet Digital

Victoria Tulloch - Founder, Kindred & Head of Marketing - Archie Rose Distilling Co.

How do the most loved brands use storytelling to create a connection with their audiences and dominate their niche? This lively Q&A will dive deep into the behind the scenes strategies used by some of Australia’s most loved food and brands. Join the content team behind Archie Rose Distilling Co. and other well-known food and drinks brands as they share their secret recipes for success.

You’ll learn:

• The definition of great brand content

• How you can use it to drive brand engagement and growth

• How often should you refresh your content

• A step by step case study look at using content to launch a new brand or product

• Where it fits in your overall marketing plan

Sessions by Theme

Monday, 30 April - 10:30am - Green Room State of the organic industry: 2018 Australian organic market report

Dr Andrew Monk - Chair - Australian Organic Limited

Nicholas Bez - Director - Mobium Group

Rhiannon Christie - Communications & Marketing Manager - Australian Organic

Gillian Fish - Director - The 6AM Agency

Australia’s appetite for organics is growing year on year but what are consumers buying and why? Where are the growth areas both locally and in the global marketplace? For the first time you’ll receive exclusive intel on top-selling product categories, emerging trends in shopper behaviour and where future opportunities lie in this must-attend session. Discover what’s hot in key categories of food and beverage, beauty and personal care and more.

Emily Arnold, General Manager of Australia’s most influential organic group, Australian Organic Limited, will take a deep dive into the state of the market, trends, challenges and opportunities, opening to a panel discussion on where to from here.

Monday, 30 April - 11:00am - Red Room 10 quick wins to increase shopping cart conversion

Kate Gamble - General Manager - Resolution

For e-commerce companies, there is no metric more important than the checkout process conversion rate. Even a minuscule increase of 1 per cent in conversion rate can add thousands of dollars in real money to your business. Award winning e-commerce marketer Kate Gamble shares the most profitable techniques to help customers can find what they want to purchase it with ease. She’ll cover how to best use imagery and charts, the psychology of conversion statements, reciprocity, reputation, urgency and scarcity, and making the most of media. This fast-paced talk is a must for everyone who sells online!

Monday, 30 April - 11:30am - Green Room Trends from the US (health and specialty)

Bob Burke - Principal - Natural Products Consulting

Don’t miss your essential annual briefing on what’s new and next! Globally renowned health and specialty products expert Bob Burke shares insider intel on what’s hitting the world’s largest and fastest-growing heathy, premium and gourmet product market – North America. With the Australian market rapidly following US trends, this session delivers a critical and expert view of key growth areas for our local market. He’ll cover three key categories – healthy and premium food and drink, beauty and personal care, and vitamins and supplements.

Bob Burke is a sought after speaker at Expo West and East, The Specialty Food Association’s Winter and Summer Fancy Food Shows in the US and is an advisor to leading natural, organic and specialty food manufacturers and retailers worldwide.

Monday, 30 April - 12:00pm - Red Room 2018 Food and drink trends

Justin Nel - Key Account Director - Mintel

Discover the four key trends driving growth and influencing consumer behaviour in Australia’s food and beverage market. Mintel Key Account Director Justin Nel will explore the impact of increasingly stressful and hectic lives on food and drink choices, the demand for transparent labels, and how engineered food is disrupting the traditional food chain. Don’t miss your essential industry briefing for 2018!

Monday, 30 April - 12:30pm - Green Room How we win: Tactics from leading independent retailers

Joseph Romeo - Owner - Romeos Retail Group

Christian Hage - Owner - Quattro Deli

Read Simon - General Manager - Bel & Brio

Fred Harrison - CEO - Ritchies IGA

Tim Sperry - Founder - The Tim Sperry Group

Independent retailers can feel like an endangered species in a market dominated by the Big Guys, with their purchasing power, discounts and capital to invest in technology, staff and keeping shelves stocked. This panel will share the strategies of Australian independent retailers who are thriving, despite the multitude of threats to their existence.

You’ll hear how these independents serve their local communities while propelling innovation, diversity and entrepreneurship. Gain insights into how the nimble and agile business model offers the greatest opportunity to quickly respond to changing consumer demands, embrace trends, engender local support, offer diversity and and support the growing number of entrepreneur suppliers, who are often unable to start out on the shelves of larger corporates.

Monday, 30 April - 1:00pm - Red Room From broke to cult brand: The Harris Farm story

Tristan Harris - Co-Chief Executive Officer - Harris Farm Markets

A family-owned business 46 years in the making, Harris Farm has stood the test of time and financial adversity to become a cult brand. Winning the hearts and purse strings of customers with it’s values-led approach and bold moves in the name of ethical retail, the independent chain has grown from single fruit shop in western Sydney to 28 stores, 2,500 staff and an online shopping offer that gives the majors a run for their money. We get up close and personal with Co-CEO Tristan Harris in this intimate discussion on how Harris Farm rose from the ashes of liquidation to become a retailing empire.

Monday, 30 April - 1:30pm - Green Room How to win or lose with female shoppers

Katrina McCarter - Founder & CEO - Marketing to Mums

Simon Cheng - Chief Marketing Officer - Healthy Life

Irene Falcone - CEO - Nourished Life

Gillian Fish - Director - The 6AM Agency

With women making 90 per cent of consumer decisions and the global female consumer economy valued at $28 trillion, they have more power to transform your bottom line. Today’s women are influential and educated, and more likely to share their experiences with brands online and offline. Yet they continue to be business’ biggest blind spot, a dissatisfied, untapped market seeking validation and understanding. This powerful panel will demystify what women truly want, sharing how to avoid common pitfalls and opportunities for businesses to win the hearts and minds of women.

Monday, 30 April - 2:00pm - Red Room Digital marketing hacks to get more customers and make more sales

Kate Gamble - General Manager - Resolution

The growth of new channels, platforms and retail ecosystems is giving consumers more choice than ever before on where and how they spend their hard earned dollars. How do you find your tribe, stand out and achieve cut-through in an increasingly fragmented market? Award-winning marketer Kate Gamble shares out of the box strategies to get more customers and make more sales – whether you’re a bricks and mortar store or sell online, these are techniques every business should use. Learn the latest strategies to help you understand and connect with your audience, from hacking the algorithms to personalisation and more!

Monday, 30 April - 2:40pm - Green Room Private label: Big changes – is it for you?

Bill Trainor - General Manager - Private Label Manufacturers Association

Private label products have traditionally been seen as cheaper, lower quality alternatives, but perceptions are changing and the switch is on! Savvy Australian consumers have become a nation of ‘super savers’, driving growth of private brands in their quest for value without compromising on quality. Retailers around the world are heavily focused on driving exclusive ‘store brand’ offerings in order to grow store loyalty. Should you be doing the same? What is driving this growth trend?  Which consumer segments are leading the charge? How can private brands help retailers attract new shoppers and increase their number of weekly visits? And how can manufacturers and retailers work together to take advantage?

Private Label Manufacturers Association General Manager Bill Trainor shares insights, opportunities and the state of play from both the retailer and manufacturer perspective.

You’ll learn:

• Current trends impacting private label

• What consumers want and key segments driving growth

• Branded vs private label: how can they co-exist?

• Should all retailers focus on launching exclusive ‘retailer brands’?

• How do you take advantage of this enormous opportunity for your business?

Monday, 30 April - 3:00pm - Red Room Gen Z: Are you ready for the next generation of shoppers?

James Purcell - GenZ Strategist - Growth Tank Agency

Gen Z is rapidly becoming Australia’s next purchasing superpower, representing 20 per cent our population and 30 per cent globally! True digital natives, these younger siblings of millennials are tech saavy, highly selective and are demanding things be done differently. Understanding how they differ to older generations is critical as they start to form their own brand preferences and develop personal buying habits. What are the rules of engagement for brands? How are they shopping? And what are the key things businesses need to consider now to create loyalty?

David Willey, Director of Growth Tank and founder of Youth Marketing Australia, is the county’s preeminent expert in understanding and connecting with Australia’s 4.9 million Gen Zers. He’ll share research and key insights into how today’s 12-20 year olds differ from their older siblings in behavior, consumption and shopping patterns.

Monday, 30 April - 3:30pm - Green Room Ingredients and claims: Navigating the healthy shopper and their changing behaviour

Rahim Ladha - Director - Retail Industry Group Nielsen

Defining healthy products is a real challenge. High protein, no sugar, low fat, high fibre, gluten-free and many other claims on-pack are changing the way consumers shop. In the last five years, there were 28% more people choosing a vegetarian diet and 11% more people purchasing organic, while reduced fat or low GI claims saw a decline in popularity among grocery shoppers. 17% of Australians are highly concerned about their health and are making active decisions to choose healthier products, but what does that mean for their grocery baskets? Which ingredients and portions of are most likely to get your product in more Australians baskets and what trends are emerging in the market? During Nielsen’s presentation, Rahim Ladha, Director Retail Client Service will discuss the claims that are trending in market now and how to navigate the changing healthy consumer.