NEXT by CHFA - Schedule-at-a-Glance
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Schedule-at-a-Glance

11:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. EST

Sponsored by:

The Mid-Day Squares team is revolutionizing what it takes to build an epic brand and business through the art of storytelling. Start the day by getting pumped up through the good vibes of this fearless team as they dig into how you can leverage storytelling in business and life. Making you question how you think about your audience and what it is you want to give them permission to FEEL. This high-energy team will walk you through the strategies and techniques that are working for them as they take thousands of people along on the journey of building Mid-Day Squares.


11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. EST

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. EST

2020 was the tipping point for global change and with this in mind, we must start to embrace a new reality and trends which will shape our collective futures.

With topic themes such as protection, air, survival, preparedness, re-wilding, humanity, kindness, comfort, pause, multi-functionality – Dr Morgaine Gaye will unpack trend ideas for the next five years to map a future of a new human consciousness as we navigate our current destabilised realities.

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About the Speaker

Dr. Morgaine Gaye is a Food Futurologist and director of bellwether: Food Trends, the first food trend research compendium. She has her own health-food product range of functional food blends called Dr Gaye, which are sold globally on-line.

Morgaine looks at food and eating from a social, cultural, economic, trend, branding and geo-political perspective. Her work involves running ideation sessions, consulting to food companies, developing new products and ideas; writing articles/ trend reports for PR and ad agencies; giving public , university and corporate lectures on specific food trends, developing new ideas for food-related TV and radio programmes and doing research on all elements of the eating experience from mouth-feel to olfactory perception. She consults to leading blue chip food companies and manufacturers, delivering bespoke trend briefings and NPD ideation.

Morgaine is a frequent media contributor in print, radio and TV. A number of her academic research papers have been published. She is a guest university lecturer in UK and Sweden and is on the reviewing panel for the International Food Design Conference and yearly academic journal. As part of the EU Commission, Morgaine was the chair at the Brussels Parliament for 2015. As part of TED X 2016, Morgaine’s talk was ‘It Doesn’t Make Any Scents’. She is currently writing a book ‘A Taste of Things to Come’ about food trends and why they matter.


1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. EST

Sponsored by:

Join us to discuss the United Kingdom (UK) cannabinoid industry’s experience preparing to bring cannabidiol (CBD) products to market as novel foods in 2021.

Shomi Malik, External Affairs Director at the Association for the Cannabinoid Industry (ACI), will outline the process for bringing CBD to market as a novel food, and what Canadian companies can learn from the UK industry’s experience as we look to have CBD sold more broadly in Canada in the future. Shomi will identify some of the greatest challenges they have faced while preparing safety data to meet the UK requirements set out by the Food Standards and how they have collaborated to overcome them. If you are interested in the future CBD market, you won’t want to miss this session!

Bio coming soon.

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1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. EST

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Getting your great product idea to market can seem like a daunting task. It can be difficult to know where to even start.

This session breaks down the process into four “chapters” and walks you through the essential elements of each one. From the background work needed to formalize your big idea, through refining the concept, commercialization and finally launch, you’ll learn what the overall process of bringing a product to market looks like and get valuable tips and tricks to help guide you along the way.

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About the Speaker

Elspeth is the founder of Toronto based EC Consulting, specializing in product development. Leveraging over 25 years’ experience bringing products to market, EC Consulting Inc. provides support from concept to shelf for manufacturers, retailers and foodservice distributors across North America and Europe.


2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. EST

2020 was a year unlike any other. For everyone around the world, the ground shifted and while the pandemic continues, many are increasingly turning their attention to “What’s Next?”. What will change, and what won’t? Will eating habits shift over the longer-term, and if so, how? We’ll explore these questions though the eyes of consumers and offer a vision of how things will change over the next few years and look at how retail, foodservice and manufacturers can adapt.

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About the Speaker

Joel Gregoire serves as Associate Director - Food and Drink at Mintel in Canada. Joel has over 19 years of experience working in market research, with 15 focused on food and drink. Before Mintel where he has authored over 60 reports, Joel worked at OMD, Loblaw Companies Ltd and The NPD Group. Despite Joel’s expertise in understanding what Canadians eat, he’s still trying to figure out what to feed his kids for dinner.


3:00 pm. – 4:00 p.m. EST

In this informative session Renata McGuire will review the regulatory landscape for food products in Canada, addressing local, provincial and Federal food safety requirements. In addition to summarizing these regulations, Renata will offer a practical approach, identifying the first steps to compliance. Additionally useful resources will be shared to help companies develop their food safety plans.

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About the Speaker

Renata provides food safety consulting services, develops, and maintains resources used for NSF International consulting projects. Her current role as Associate Manager, Consulting and Technical Services, focuses on food safety culture, global supplier assurance programs and she is an instructor for the FSPCA Preventive Controls for Human Food. Renata has helped numerous companies achieve HACCP and certify to GFSI benchmarked standards. Her background is in Toxicology and she has over 20 years of food safety experience.


3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. EST

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Welcome to our very first Level Up Mentors Forum! This is the place where young brands will present to a panel of mentors to gain advice on everything from positioning to packaging to pricing. The forum will serve to connect people, increase knowledge and build brands. And it’s not just the mentees that will benefit. All show participants, including exhibitors and attendees, are invited to a front row seat to watch this invaluable exchange of knowledge.

We all know that having a mentor can help us adapt more quickly and that is why this forum has been created. The brands that have been selected to present have expressed an interest in having the opportunity to lean in to the experience that our panel can offer. The panel includes a distributor, a retailer and an investor, providing different view-points and a wealth of knowledge that could take months or years to earn on their own. This is an amazing opportunity for both mentees and spectators to learn from our industry pioneers. Join us at 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. for the presentations and then tune in at 5:00 p.m. when we will announce the winner of the Innovation Award which will be presented to the brand that the mentors have identified as Most Innovative New Product.

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4:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. EST

Sponsored by:

Ask us about our commercialization programs, how to attract capital, and how we’ve helped companies like non-alcoholic brewer, Partake, overcome obstacles to reach their business goals.


4:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. EST

Sponsored by:

Interested in learning about UNFI and what we do? Join us at 4:00 pm EST, as we showcase our reach across Canada and highlight some of the trends we are seeing pre and post Covid.


4:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. EST

Sponsored by:

In this interactive presentation, Dale Simmons, Senior Manager of Vendor Relations and New Products at Purity Life Health Products, will overview: preparing your business to fit distribution into your supply chain, requirements when working with a distributor (financial and otherwise), choosing the right distributor for you, and some strategies for effective sales through your distributor. The presentation will conclude with an open Q&A period in which Dale can share with you his responses based on more than 10+ years in natural product distribution and a further 10+ years in independent natural health retail.


5:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. EST

Grab your beverage of choice and settle in for some final thoughts on NEXT by CHFA. Your host, Aaron Skelton, President and CEO of CHFA will provide highlights on the day’s events and predictions for the year ahead. We’ll also be announcing the inaugural winner of Most Innovative Product from the participants in the Level Up Mentorship Forum. It’s a great opportunity to network with your peers and to share your highlights of the day.

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