A TWO-DAY CONFERENCE FOR THE NATURAL FOOD INDUSTRY
20+ natural food industry leaders will speak at NOSH Live this June in NYC. More to be announced soon.
Former co-CEO, Whole Foods Market; Principal, Stonewall Robb Advisors
An investor, mentor and advisor to the next generation of American food companies, former co- CEO of Whole Foods Market Walter Robb has a long and varied entrepreneurial history, ranging from natural food retailer to farmer to consultant. Robb joined Whole Foods Market in 1991 and in 2010 was named co-CEO along with John Mackey, at which time he joined the Whole Foods Market Board of Directors. In 2017, Robb transitioned his leadership focus to his role as a passionate advocate for greater food access in underserved communities, serving as Chairman of the Board for Whole Kids Foundation and Whole Cities Foundation. Robb also serves on the Board of Directors for Union Square Hospitality Group, The Container Store, FoodMaven, HeatGenie and Apeel Sciences.
Vice President, Divisional Merchandise Manager, Frozen Foods, Walmart
Laura Rush currently serves as Vice President, Divisional Merchandise Manager of Frozen Foods for Walmart Stores, Inc. Laura has been with Walmart since 2010. She began her career as the Sr. Director of TV, Home Audio Video & iPod/iPad business. In 2013 she moved to the Fresh Services Bakery Department as the Sr. Director on that team. She stayed there four years, and was most recently promoted to VP/DMM of Frozen Foods in Feb. 2017. Prior coming to Walmart, Laura worked for Sears Holdings (2008-2010), CompUSA (1996 – 2008) and Game Stop. She was always in electronics merchandising for those companies.
President & CEO, The Tofurky Company
Jaime Athos is a visionary and passionate leader in the plant-based foods industry. With more than 14 years of experience building and supporting its growth, Athos is energized by the ever-increasing opportunity and adoption of plant-based foods worldwide. Prior to his current role as President and CEO at The Tofurky Company, Athos held a variety of other positions within the brand that is also his family’s business, from a college summer job making tempeh to roles in quality assurance, research and development, and operations. As a category leader Tofurky serves a purpose beyond the plate, acting as an engine for global change. Athos exemplifies and manifests this change by way of plant-based political activism, eco-friendly manufacturing, and pursuit of food innovation that helps people to make better choices for farm animals, the environment and health. Athos holds a Doctoral degree in neurobiology and behavior from the University of Washington and a Bachelor of Science degree in fish biology from the same. He is a founding member of the Plant Based Foods Association, where he currently serves as president of the Board. The association aims to ensure a fair and competitive market place for all businesses selling plant-based foods, promoting policies and practices that improve opportunities for the industry, and educating consumers.
Founder & CEO, CAULIPOWER and Vegolutionary Foods
Gail Becker is the Founder and CEO of CAULIPOWER and Vegolutionary Foods. Already well known in professional circles, Gail’s career reached the highest levels of media, politics and business - including executive roles at Warner Bros., The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and Edelman. But as a mom of two boys with celiac disease, Gail was not happy with the gluten-free options available to her family. Who wants pizza that’s full of sugar and chemicals, or doesn’t taste anything like pizza, or takes 90 minutes to make? Seeing that the food industry offered no nutritious solutions for busy, foodie families to enjoy together, Gail took matters into her own hands and launched CAULIPOWER in early 2017. CAULIPOWER disrupted one of grocery’s most stagnant categories and is now the #1 gluten-free pizza and #1 fastest growing pizza brand in the U.S., with availability in over 17,500 stores. In 2018, Gail launched a new mother brand, Vegolutionary Foods, as a platform for innovative, approachable and convenient meal-hacking products, including the world’s first superfood toast, Sweet PotaTOASTS. Gail is a passionate advocate for new entrepreneurs, women in business and making vegetable nutrition accessible and delicious to all - especially kids.
Head of CPG Strategy, Pinterest
Arthur Sevilla (@arthursevilla) is Pinterest's CPG vertical strategy lead. Committed to inspiring brands to think beyond media metrics and value the context of consumer engagement, Arthur is a passionate brand builder. Before joining Pinterest, Sevilla spent a decade at Kraft Foods and Mondelez International, in global equity and innovation roles within the grocery and confectionary categories. Most recently he was a Director of Global eCommerce where he set the strategic roadmap for the 2020 ambition of $1B in revenue and executed Oreo Colorfilled, the first DTC activation for the iconic brand. He lives in NYC with his wife and currently is saving ideas about dinner party recipes and a Southeast Asia trip.
Divisional Merchandise Manager, Chilled Packaged Goods, Walmart
Sarah has spent the last 10 years in the food business at Walmart. During this time she has held roles in private brands, sustainability as well as various buying roles in merchandising. She’s currently leading the refrigerated buying teams to cultivate a new shopping experience. She is passionate about growing American entrepreneurs and creating new models for growth.
Founder and Managing Partner, Harbinger Ventures
Megan Bent is the Founder and Managing Partner at Harbinger Ventures. A lifelong investor and entrepreneur with deep expertise in consumer brands, Megan has spent the past decade working to identify and scale high-growth, early-stage companies in the consumer sector serving as a lead director, problem solver, operator, strategic thinker and confidant to emerging entrepreneurs. In launching Harbinger in 2016, Megan began also leveraging a model that emphasizes female leadership and fosters close collaboration among entrepreneurs and investors to accelerate value creation. Prior to founding Harbinger in 2016, Megan served as Managing Director of Revelry Brands, where she demonstrated the viability of the unique investment model that now serves as the basis for Harbinger Ventures.
CEO, Lily's Sweets
Jane Miller has 30-years of executive experience in the food industry. She has worked with both start-ups and Fortune 500 companies. She is also the founder of Janeknows.com, a career advice website geared towards young leaders starting their careers. Jane is the author of Sleep your Way to the Top (and other myths about business success), a sassy business book targeted at Millennials. Jane is currently the CEO of Lily’s Sweets and has held several other CEO roles in the natural and organic industry, including Rudi’s Bakery, ProYo High Protein Ice Cream, and HannahMax Cookie Chips. Over the course of her career Jane was part of an executive team that brought Hostess out of bankruptcy, worked for HJ Heinz as the Chief Growth Officer and then the President of the UK & Ireland Division. She also ran the Western division of Bestfoods Baking. Jane spent the first fourteen years of her career at PepsiCo, where she rose to be the President of the Central division of Frito-Lay. Jane currently serves as a board member at the University of Colorado Leeds Business School and Eldorado Springs Artesian Water. In 2013 the Denver Business Journal named Jane the Lifetime Achievement Award Winner for her work mentoring young professionals and start-ups. Her other honors include the Boulder Chamber of Commerce’s Women Who Light the Community Award in 2015 and the Naturally Boulder Industry Leader Award in 2016. In 2015, Jane established the Jane Knows Scholarship Fund at Leeds supporting students who are the first in their family to go to college. In 2018, Leeds recognized Jane with a non-alumni service award. Jane has a degree in Russian Studies from Knox College in Galesburg, IL, where she received a 2017 Alumni Achievement Award. She earned her MBA degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX.
IMMERSE YOUR BRAND IN TWO DAYS OFNAVIGATION, AWARENESS, NETWORKING AND PARTNERSHIP
The natural products space is booming at close to $150 billion dollars annually. Investment is extraordinary with million dollar raises becoming common-place.
The playbook for brands is ever-changing. Big shifts in retail and new players entering the traditional, club and direct-to-consumer channels are causing brands to ask big questions. Come to NOSH Live and immerse your brand in two days of industry navigation and networking to find partners that can help you execute your vision.
INDUSTRY STARS SPEAK ON LESSONS LEARNED & THE FUTURE OF THE INDUSTRYSpeakers from established and up-and-coming brands inspire action through topics your business can apply now, like: lessons in growth, branding and marketing, how to raise and use capital, navigating the ever-changing state of retail, harvesting and harnessing customer insights and using data to make decisions. Industry experts share knowledge on innovation, the investment climate and the future of the industry.
You’re running a business. Our on-stage content is curated for co-founders, CEOs, CMOs, COOS, revenue leaders and decision makers from across your organization.
ALL-STAR SPEAKERS FROM PAST NOSH LIVE EVENTS
CEO & Co-Founder, Coolhaus
Natasha Case founded Coolhaus in 2009 with Freya Estreller after she was working in architecture at Walt Disney Imagineering. They launched their architecturally-inspired, unique ice cream sandwich company from their barely driveable postal van at the Coachella Music Festival to an audience of 100,000. They built a loyal following over the festival weekend and returned to LA to an abundance of viral press, a rapidly building social media following, and an eager foodie audience. Since then, Natasha has been named a Forbes 30 under 30 Food & Beverage, Zagat 30 Under 30, Linked in 10 under 35 for Food & Leisure, as well as being featured in many national publications and radio like Cosmo, Dwell, and NPR, and TV shows including Food Network’s Chopped, Barefoot Contessa, Unique Sweets, Good Morning America, King of Cones, Andy Cohen Live and many more. The company has become one of the leading innovative small dessert businesses, growing significantly to include 4 trucks and 2 storefronts in LA, 2 trucks and one cart in NYC, and 4 trucks in Dallas, Texas. Moreover, consumers can now find Coolhaus’ pre-packaged ice cream sandwiches, hand-dipped bars, and hand-packed pints in 6,000+ gourmet grocery stores nationally, including Whole Foods and Gelson's, and larger retailers like Meijer and Safeway, and now internationally in Asia and the Middle East.
Director, Retail Brand Partnerships, Starbucks
Deb joined Starbucks 5 years ago, and for the past year has led the Retail Brand Partnerships team. She and her team run the snack category across North America and have the enviable task of finding new food brands for Starbucks stores that customers can feel good about—ones made with simple, pure ingredients and crafted with love and care. Prior to working with food entrepreneurs to build a snack business for Starbucks stores, Deb spent 12 years in traditional consumer packaged goods. At Starbucks she created the shopper marketing and shopper insights function from the ground up, and managed various coffee brands for the FDMC channel including Starbucks packaged coffee, Seattle’s Best, and VIA Instant coffee. At Kimberly-Clark she worked in various brand management and innovation roles. There she managed the creation of multi-brand marketing programs and the brand and shopper marketing efforts for the U by Kotex® launch, which won numerous awards including an IRI product Pacesetter, a Silver Effie for Shopper Marketing, and a Gold Hub Prize. Prior to Kimberly-Clark, Deb worked as a consultant with several leading retailers for Kurt Salmon. Deb has an undergraduate degree from Texas A&M and an MBA from Goizueta Business School at Emory University.
Co-Founder & CEO, Siete Family Foods
Co-Founder & CEO, Once Upon A Farm
John is the Co-founder and CEO of Once Upon A Farm, a company on a mission to build a purpose driven brand focused on reinventing a number of kid-food categories in the US toward better health & nutrition, while driving significant positive social and environmental impact. Company information can be found at www.onceuponafarmorganics.com. Prior to his new start-up, John spent more than 30 years in the natural and organic food industry running businesses with a sharp focus on sustainability and social responsibility. John was the longtime leader of Annie’s, Inc., a leading natural & organic food brand, in the US from 1999 to 2017. As CEO of Annie’s, he took the company public in 2012 under the symbol BNNY before General Mills acquired the business in 2014 for $820 million. For the following three years John ran the Annie’s operating unit and also advised General Mills’ small business incubator 301, Inc. He was recognized as an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year® 2015 in Northern California. In August 2017, he transitioned into a new role as Chairman of the Bunny, where he continues to work with General Mills to drive leadership in company culture, organic and regenerative agriculture, and strategy support. Foraker received a B.S. in agricultural economics from UC Davis and an MBA from UC Berkeley.
Co-Founder & Chief Organic Optimist, Stonyfield Farm
Gary Hirshberg is Co-Founder and Chief Organic Optimist of Stonyfield Farm, the world’s leading organic yogurt producer, and the author of Stirring It Up: How to Make Money and Save the World (Hyperion, 2008). Gary frequently speaks on topics including sustainability, organic agriculture and the profitability of green business. Gary serves on several corporate and non-profit boards, including Blue Apron, Forager, Orgain, Peak Organic Brewing, and UNreal chocolates as well as Advisory Board member for Applegate. He has received 12 honorary doctorates and numerous awards for corporate and environmental leadership including a 2015 Champion for Children Award from Mount Sinai Hospital’s Children’s Environmental Health Center and a Lifetime Achievement Award by the US EPA.
Co-founder, Angie's BOOMCHICKAPOP
Angie Bastian, entrepreneur, co-founder and namesake of Angie’s BOOMCHICKAPOP, took a kernel of an idea and popped it into one of the fastest growing brands of natural popcorn. She and husband Dan founded their snack company in their Mankato, MN garage in 2001 as a means of creating a college fund for their children. Their gluten free, non-GMO, whole grain popcorn is proudly sold in natural food, grocery, club and mass retail outlets nationwide with a product presence in Canada, South Korea, Peru, Japan, Taiwan, the Caribbean and Mexico. The company is constantly innovating and is one of the fastest growing and most successful popcorn brands in the market today. Angie’s BOOMCHICKAPOP is loved by fans as an empowered, spirited brand that represents authentic, real food that delivers on the attributes of clean, transparent labeling and great taste experience. The company has twice won Star Tribune’s Top workplace honors. Angie herself is a recipient of the 2015 ACG BOLD Award for corporate growth and Connect Business Magazine’s 2012 Person of the Year. Girl Scouts honored her as a Pioneering Trailblazer and she is a 2015 Inductee to the Minnesota Women’s Business Owner’s Hall of Fame. She has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Forbes Magazine and appeared on the Martha Stewart Show. Her products have been recognized and awarded by numerous national publications and media. To learn more about Angie’s BOOMCHICKAPOP, visit boomchickapop.com or visit the Angie’s BOOMCHICKAPOP Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.
Director, Encore Consumer Capital
Bill joined Encore Consumer Capital in 2008. He is a director of Ancient Harvest, Brownie Brittle, California Splendor, Navitas Organics and Thanasi Foods. Bill is responsible for deal origination and execution as well as portfolio company oversight. Prior to Encore, he led corporate development for Nest Collective, a natural and organic consumer products company. Bill began his career at Swander Pace & Company (later acquired by Kurt Salmon, now Accenture), a strategy consulting firm servicing food, beverage, apparel, and retail clients, where he was a member of the firm’s Private Equity Practice and worked on multiple consumer transactions. After Kurt Salmon, Bill led the food and beverage practice of a boutique investment bank. Bill graduated with a BA in Public Policy from Stanford University. Bill lives in Marin County, CA with his wife and twin daughters, and enjoys training for triathlons. He previously served as the Chair of the Stanford Associates Board of Governors, Board Member of the Stanford Alumni Association, Board President for Wu Yee Children’s Services (a non-profit social services agency), and member of the Board of Trustees of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in San Francisco.
Vice President of Foods, Unilever North America
Matthew McCarthy heads up Unilever’s Food business in North America. In his 20 years with the company Matthew has cultivated a diverse path in marketing and general management working across Foods and Personal Care. He has led a wide range of iconic consumer brands and has a passion for building teams and creating transformative growth. Matthew has received a number of industry recognitions including Cannes Gold Lion, One Show Gold Pencil, IAB MIXX and Adweek’s Brand Genius award. As Vice President Foods NA Matthew is a member of Unilever’s US country board and global Foods Leadership team. Matthew’s wife Lisa is a director at the Bronx Zoo/Wildlife Conservation Society and together they are actively involved in their personal passions of animal welfare and social justice.
Nicole Bernard Dawes
Founder, Late July Snacks
Nicole Bernard Dawes is a pioneering business owner whose lifelong dedication to transforming the food system resulted in her founding Late July Snacks, one of the country’s most successful organic snack brands. Nicole has been named Food & Wine and Fortune Magazine’s ‘Most Innovative Women in Food and Drink’ and Forbes Magazine’s ‘Top Five Women Breaking Barriers in Food and Beverage.’ Furthering her dedication to the industry, Nicole is excited to announce the launch of Nixie Sparkling Water, hitting shelves in 2019.
CEO & Co-Founder, RXBAR
Kara Cissell Roell
Co-Founder & Managing Director, VMG Partners
Kara co-founded VMG Partners in 2005 and focuses on all aspects of the Fund’s investment strategy, sourcing, execution, portfolio company oversight and exit management. Since its inception, VMG has partnered with entrepreneurs and management teams to provide a breadth of value-add resources in the areas of sales, marketing, branding, finance, operations and legal support which enable its partner companies to rapidly increase brand awareness, accelerate growth and build equity value. Kara serves, or has served, on the boards of babyganics, Bare Snacks, Drunk Elephant, Health Warrior, Humm Kombucha, KIND Snacks, Pirate Brands, Pretzel Crisps, Quest Nutrition, Solid Gold Pet, Sun Bum, Waggin’ Train and Vermont Smoke & Cure, among others. Kara has been an investor in emerging, lower-middle-market branded consumer companies for the last 18 years. Prior to her private equity career, Kara was an Analyst at the investment bank of Schroders plc and received her Bachelor of Arts in Economics and German from Colgate University.
Senior VP of Merchandising & Product Development, Thrive Market
A twenty-five year veteran of the Natural Products industry, Jeremiah has been on all sides of the business and supply chain, literally from seed to shelf. Thrive Market’s Senior Vice President of Merchandising + Product Development, Jeremiah also served for 7 years as the Executive Global Coordinator for the Beauty, Apparel & Wellness categories at Whole Foods Market, a $1.5 billion annual division of the business during his tenure. During his time at WFM, he pioneered multiple, industry changing, quality standard initiatives including natural beauty standards (AKA WFM’s Premium Body Care standard), organic labeling requirements for personal care, and the largest ever sustainable packaging guidelines for a major retailer later adopted by WalMart. Jeremiah is also a passionate advocate for and creator of Fair Trade standards that changed the natural products landscape. In addition to developing hundreds of branded products that line natural food store shelves and managing the Whole Foods & 365 private label brands, he also helped Dr. Andrew Weil develop his branded product platform. Thrive Market launched in November 2014 and has skyrocketed to become the largest national Non-GMO food retailer in the US while democratizing access to natural + organic foods for all Americans. Jeremiah was part of the startup team and built the initial product launch catalog and also is responsible for Thrive Market’s premium quality, yet value priced, private label program. Since December 2015, Thrive has launched over 370 private label items with over 500 more products in the pipeline scheduled for launch in 2018 & beyond! 98% of the items launched to date are Certified Organic with a focus on regenerative agriculture practices as well. Jeremiah and his team spend countless hours sourcing the highest quality, organic + non-GMO products so that Thrive Market Members can feel confident they are getting the absolute best for themselves and their families everyday. When not working as an eco-superhero, he can be found in the Texas Hill Country practicing hot vinyasa yoga, spending time with his daughters, or checking the surf report and planning his next escape to the coast.
A DISTINCT FOCUS ON BRAND AWARENESS AND INDUSTRY EXPOSURE
The NOSH Live experience is about the community getting acquainted, learning about what’s next and accelerating. Some brands are just starting and looking for capital and awareness while others are established and have something to teach. Some companies are in discovery mode, looking for brands to add to an incubator or to spot their next product opportunity. Others want to gain an advantage with their production or marketing. Enter Pitch Slam and the Sampling Experience + Expo.
NOSH LIVE SAMPLING EXPERIENCE & EXPO
NOSH Live is a show about natural foods and we take the experience of trying natural foods seriously. Our Sampling Experience + Expo gives brands a chance to be the sampler in a structured networking setting where everyone can try new, hot and trendy single-serve and prepared foods with opportunities to get down to business at our expert roundtables and interact with suppliers and service providers who can help you with growth at scale.
PITCH SLAM VOLUME 6: YOUR BRAND CENTER STAGE
We put the hottest new brands in the spotlight in our annual Pitch Slam contest.
Up-and-coming startup brands prepare their best presentation for the NOSH Live mainstage. Founders receive instant feedback from a group of expert judges of top retailers, brands, investors, designers, the NOSH community and the world via our livestream. The winner achieves the distinction of being champion along with a digital industry awareness package on NOSH that will give them more valuable exposure to the broader community.
COLLABORATE, OPEN DOORS, PLUG-IN
The vibe of NOSH Live is highly collaborative. The event attracts a group of decision makers, including founders and CEOS from established and new brands who are ready to learn, innovate and grow, along with top experts from investment, retail, supply, distribution and services.
If you want to walk up to your favorite investor to have a conversation, you will have time. If you want to sit with thought leaders to discuss opportunities that have been puzzling you or that you are ready to kick off, the opportunity is there to seize.
The NOSH and BevNET edit teams and staff will be there to help you make connections and talk about coverage.
BOOTCAMP IS VITAL FOR INDUSTRY NAVIGATIONExperts making an industry change and fresh faces alike find that an industry primer ahead of the main event is a great gut check for newbies to the massive natural products space. Learn how to choose the right investor and capitalize your business. Get tips on designing your package. Learn the ins and outs of legal and accounting. Hear story-telling and buzz creation advice from experts in marketing and public relations. Sit down with the pros after the presentations to ask your own specific questions in an environment paced for learning and discussion.
A DEEP DIVE INTO A HOT EMERGING CATEGORY
The massive interest in -- and approaches to -- the incorporation of Marijuana, Hemp, THC and CBD as functional ingredients in food and beverage brands is shared by new companies and existing brands alike. Nevertheless, there is still much to understand. Food and beverage professionals are invited to navigate an ambiguous cannabis market and explore how it could impact their businesses at the one-day forum.
Hosted on June 14th, the Friday after NOSH Live and BevNET Live, attendees of both conferences will receive special rates to the forum.
RECENT EVENT ANNOUNCEMENTS
GET CONFERENCE UPDATES
Sign up to receive NOSH Live speaker and program announcements straight to your inbox.