Dogwood IFT Food Industry Expo
October 29, 2019• Cabarrus Arena & Event Center• Concord, NC
Seminar Sessions



Register today!


"North Carolina Food Innovation Lab- A New Resource for Success"


William R. Aimutis, Ph.D.
Executive Director , NC Food Innovation Lab

The plant-based food industry continues to demonstrate double-digit growth.  One challenge many entrepreneurs and larger companies face is not being able to find a pilot plant that focuses on plant-based foods, and operates under cGMP.  The North Carolina Food Innovation Lab which goes into operation this autumn will provide such a facility.  What does this mean to North Carolinian entrepreneurs?  They will now be able to contract with a facility that has many advanced processes focused on plant materials, and can assist in product development or small scale manufacture to make an entrepreneur more attractive to investors.  Most major companies have very elaborate pilot plants, but they are not equipped to work with plant-based materials.  NCFIL can assist those companies also

Bill Aimutis is the Executive Director for the North Carolina Food Innovation Lab.  Bill’s team works with entrepreneurial and multi-national companies in fruit, vegetable, and plant-based product development and scale-up in a pilot plant operating under cGMP standards opening in late 2019.  Bill retired from Cargill, Inc. in 2018. Bill received a Bachelor of Science degree in Food Science at Purdue University and graduate degrees from Virginia Tech in the Food Science Department.  Bill is a Fellow of the American Dairy Science Association, and a Distinguished Alumnus from both Purdue University and Virginia Tech.  Aimutis serves on several industry advisory committees.

Special Offer to Seminar could win a full day of ideation from the Food Innovation Lab expert staff! Be sure to get your entry ticket when you arrive.

"Cracking the Speciality Food Market"
Janis Grover
President, Grover Global Food Marketing

The specialty food market is challenging and exciting, with barriers to entry that keep moving as the internet changes the dynamics of the market place. Buyers are continually looking for new and innovative products that can bring new consumers to their stores and understanding how to approach the specialty buyer is key to building a partnership that will lead to continuing sales and distribution. Learn how an experienced industry buyer makes decisions which open opportunities. Explore how to build your brand, sell to supermarkets and specialty retailers, understand the role of brokers and distributors, explore pricing, promotions, trade shows and other activities.

Janis is a marketing, new product development and sales professional recognized for successfully transitioning international ethnic products into the US specialty food market. She has special expertise in delivering manageable business plans for retail and food service with branded and private-label products. Janis has organized and executed launch strategies for specialty food products working with brands in over 30 countries. She is a frequent keynote speaker at international and US conferences.

12:00- 12:45                                                                   Lunch


“What's Next! Trends, Issues and Opportunities:
Foods/Drinks 2019+


Elizabeth Sloan
President, Sloan Trends Inc.

Contributing Editor,
Food Technology magazine
Marketing Editor,
Nutraceuticals World magazine

This fast-paced data driven presentation will outline the new megatrends impacting the food and beverage industry for the next few years, from the new Millennial baby boom, to outsourcing meals and eating alone. Dr. Sloan will update the latest on clean label, natural, organic and GMO foods and identify the next generation of food avoids.  Stay tuned for the latest heath/wellness trends and demands including what benefits and ingredients consumers are most interested in getting from foods/drinks.

Dr. Sloan has been a contributing editor to Food Technology magazine for nearly 20 years. She initiated Food Technology’s State-of-the-Industry reports including the Top 10 Food Trends and Functional Food Trends, What America Eats, Great Ideas from Abroad and more.

  Sloan Trends, Inc., a 22-year old San Diego-based consultancy helps identify new market opportunities for U.S./global food, beverage, foodservice, ingredient and commodity board marketers.

  She was formerly Editor-in-Chief of McCall's magazine; Director of the Good Housekeeping Institute/Seal & Asst. Editor-in-Chief, Good Housekeeping magazine – each with > 35 million readers/month; SVP/International Director, Food & Nutrition, Hill & Knowlton Public Relations; the 1st Scientific Director, Am. Assoc. of Cereal Chemists & Director of Nutrition Communications & Technical Services, General Mills.   Of note: the first director of the Good Housekeeping Institute was Dr. Harvey Wiley, who started the U.S. Food & Drug Admin.

  She has authored more than 470 articles on food, nutrition, health marketing and co-authored two college text books on nutrition. She has appeared on many radio and television programs, including the Today Show, Good Morning America, etc.

  She is the 2012 recipient of the Calvert L. Wiley Award from the Institute of Food Technologist’s for “outstanding service to the food industry” and has served as national President of IFT’s Nutrition/Student Divisions and of the Minnesota section.

  She has received two John J. Hill Awards for Excellence in Public Relations for the Kraft Fat-Free introduction and Wendy’s Int’l.


She has a B.S. in Food Science, Rutgers University; Ph. D. in Food Science/nutrition and Television/journalism from the University of Minnesota.

She lives in Escondido near the Wild Animal Park, where the endangered species are allowed to roam free for the San Diego Zoo. Liz is married to Retired Marine Colonel, James Barton Murtland and is the Mom to 3 cats Winston, Churchill and Blondie. She is the Commodore of the Santa Margarita Yacht Club on Camp Pendleton