What to Expect at NEXT 2021

What to Expect at NEXT 2021

Denis Storey
August 11, 2021

NEXT: Oct. 13-14, 2021

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NEXT: Oct. 13-14

We're bringing the CPG industry together. Regulators, industry experts, leading brands, retailers, suppliers, and YOU for two days to create what's NEXT. Connect with the larger community for best practice advice, expert insights, inspiration, and fun.

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It’s been less than two years since we’ve all been able to get together in person, have a few drinks, and talk shop. But it feels like a lifetime.

We all miss that human connection, so we’ve revamped this year’s conference to highlight just that. After speaking with more than 2,000 industry pros like you, we decided to focus our efforts this year on reconnecting as we all try to figure out what’s next.

This year, we’re highlighting stories from leading brands on what works and what doesn’t, with opportunities for questions at the end of every session. In addition, every day will feature interactive community conversations. And to help us all make that human connection, we’ve made it easier to network than ever, with chatrooms and live video rooms available throughout the event.

The first day of NEXT features a Community Cooking Show with celebrity chef Tiffani Faison. The Boston native, who finished second in the first season of Bravo’s reality hit, Top Chef, will offer a step-by-step walkthrough of a personally curated meal and dessert. Attendees can follow along and learn how to elevate their own cooking at home. Faison’s live presentation will also include a Q&A session, where she’ll answer any questions about cooking, life inside reality television, and what it’s meant for her career.

Other Day One highlights include:

  • Keynote: The Hartman Group's SVP of Business Development, Shelley Balanko is helping us kick off NEXT 2021 with an exciting look at how macro trends will influence the food and beverage, retail, and supply chain over the next five years. Get a jump on your competition by tackling tomorrow's trends now.
  • The Future of Innovation: TraceGains CEO Gary Nowacki gets this year’s event started with a detailed look at how networked product development can accelerate innovation.
  • Redefining the Protein Aisle: Cell-based seafood pioneer and TraceGains customer BluNalu has been getting a lot of press lately. And with good reason. The company’s at the forefront of the alternative protein market, and CEO Lou Cooperhouse will be joining us to share how attendees can redefine product strategy and participation to capitalize on the growing alt-protein movement.
  • Dietary Supplements Industry Sales Outlook: The dietary supplement market’s been on a tear over the last 18 months and shows no signs of slowing down. Nutrition Business Journal Senior Analyst Claire Morton Reynolds is uniquely positioned to share her insight about this exploding market, as well as other pandemic-driven developments that helped drive this extraordinary growth. Reynolds will also share her thoughts on what’s next for the market.
  • Managing Food Safety and Quality with Co-manufacturers: This past year has revealed the value of strong co-man relationships. Lassonde FSQA Manager Kenny Strine shares actionable insight on working with co-mans that attendees can put into practice immediately to improve those relationships. 

What’s Next for TraceGains?

Attendees love TraceGains CTO A.J. Dolan’s sessions. And you won’t want to miss this year's. The always popular session includes a sneak peek at the TraceGains product roadmap as well as a review of recent product release upgrades that users can implement immediately.

In addition, Dolan will also offer a preview of our Formulator Connector and the revolutionary Smart Network, which will help users leverage the power of the world’s largest network of industry professionals. 

The rest of Day Two includes a focus on regulatory issues and new product development challenges, including:

  • FDA’s Smarter Era of Food Safety Blueprint: FDA Senior Advisor of Policy Sharon Lindan Mayl will spell out how the FDA’s push toward digital will ensure a safer, more transparent food supply chain. But she’s quick to point out that it’s about more than simply adopting the latest technology. Companies must embrace straightforward, practical approaches and processes, along with leadership, creativity, and a culture committed to driving transformation. Mayl will share critical insight into valuable steps teams can take to remake their operations to better support changing regulatory requirements.
  • Disclosure Compliance Law - The Good, the Bad, the Ugly: Allergens are back in the spotlight thanks to the passage of the FASTER Act, which added sesame to the list of federally recognized allergens. Attendees can learn more about the new FASTER Act and FALCPA regulations from Liz Salvo, Director of Regulatory at ESHA Research. In addition, Salvo will reveal how companies can develop best practices for compliance and illustrate the most common labeling errors so attendees can prevent them.
  • Why Companies Fail Audits and How to Avoid Them: Audits aren’t what they used to be. Whether it’s for GFSI, the FDA, or at a customer’s request, failing an audit can be expensive. When companies pass an audit, they celebrate the entire team, but failure falls at the feet of the FSQA team. AIB International’s Jess Neal will show attendees how to stave off failure by studying the most common audit mistakes and what companies can do to sidestep them.
  • Achieving Sustainable New Product Development: Sustainability’s days as a value add are over. Consumers demand sustainability, which presents a rare opportunity for manufacturers. Join industry veteran and consultant Linda Eatherton for a guided dialogue as she spells out realistic industry thresholds for sustainability and inside information on how leading brands are staying ahead of the competition.

What’s NEXT for you?

This is just a sample of what we have in store for NEXT. We’re getting the entire CPG band back together again. TraceGains has invited regulators, industry experts, leading brands, retailers, and suppliers for two days of online education and collaboration. Connect with the rest of the community to make sure your team stays on top of it. Pre-register for NEXT today.