Consumer Insights

Current and future trends in nutrition and the changing consumer - how to understand consumer needs and harness these insights to deliver products to excite.

Gut health is an important area affecting overall health and wellness – hear about the latest research and findings to support consumer health and wellbeing.

 

 

 

Session 1.1 - Catering to the Changing Consumer

Overview: A range of speakers talk about the changing consumer, their needs & how to deliver products to meet these needs.

Sarah Hyland, Shyland

Sarah started her working life at a North Melbourne flour mill at the tender age of 18. Following university, she worked for 10 years in R&D and new product development with a range of food companies. Sarah then spent 15 years in consumer market research where she worked across every grocery aisle, including the bottle shop. Sarah now has her own company, SHYLAND, where she is energised by establishing connections with all kinds of business, people and culture. She works with trends, insights and innovation on everything from lipstick to livestock. Sarah will be speaking on Catering to the aging consumer  in session 1.1 on Tuesday 11 September. 

Bold and Gold: NPD for the 60+ Consumer

What do you know about catering to this growing and valuable market?

  • 60+ consumers can look forward to 15-20 years of healthy retirement compared with a few decades ago when post retirement was a 3-5 year prospect. The commercial world has little experience from which to draw to adequately target and  engage this new market.
  • Most marketers and innovators  are 30-50 years younger than their target audience in this space. Do they have the insights and skills to develop effective products and communication strategies?
  • Consumers aged 60-90 are not a stand-alone segment. There are appreciable and varied need states within this group and products, services and messaging must reflect this.

In this session, Sarah draws on information and examples from food and other categories to demonstrate the considerations required when  targeting  at the 60+ market.

 

Sharon Natoli, Food and Nutrition Australia

Sharon Natoli is a dietitian, speaker and author who works with leading food businesses to connect emerging consumer values in health and nutrition with corporate and brand strategy. She is Founding Director of Food & Nutrition Australia, and a sought after advisor to food producers, research and development corporations and food service providers. She has qualifications in nutrition and business marketing, a strong understanding of the food regulatory environment, and for the past 25 years has worked with global and local food brands to inspire the development and marketing of healthier foods. Sharon will be talking in session 1.1 on Tuesday 11 September. 

Consumers Evolving Definition of ‘Healthy’

Consumer interest in health as a driver of food purchasing decisions has never been higher.  However, the way consumers define ‘healthy’ is changing and to position for future growth, food brands will need to address multiple points across the food system, and not just the end product itself.  This presentation will provide a strategy for food businesses to be future ready by addressing each of the key areas that are current and emerging influencers of consumer’s perceptions about ‘healthy’ food.

 

Shelly McMillan, Mintel

Shelley joined Mintel in 2017. Previously she has worked at Nestle, General Mills and Associated British Foods in marketing, managing brand strategy and new product launches across multiple markets. She is also a qualified Food Technologist. At Mintel, she is responsible for creating local insight reports delving into product category trends and customised consulting projects around client’s strategic innovation objectives. Over her career she has worked across multiple markets including Australia, New Zealand and EMEA. Shelly will be talking in session 1.1 on Tuesday 11 September.

Monique Cashion, Woolworths

Monique has 19 years experience advising food, health and retail companies on nutrition and most recently sustainability. She has worked in nutrition research, product development, marketing and communications. Monique’s ambition in her current role at Woolworths is to understand our customers needs and motivations to make it easier for Australians to choose healthier and sustainable choices. She is a mum of 2 active boys who drive her passion for a better future. Monique will be talking in session 1.1 on Tuesday 11 September.

Understanding the health and sustainability needs of Australians - a retailer perspective

Each year Woolworths track and monitor Australians perceptions on food, health and sustainability to understand their needs and motivations to help them shop in a healthy and sustainable way. We asked 2000 Australians what health means to them, steps they have taken to eat healthier as well as the main barriers to being healthy. For sustainability, our consumers told us they are becoming more interested and engaged in sustainability issues and the momentum is growing, with recent research showing a 15% increase in Australians now saying that taking care of the planet is important to them.  

 

 

 

Session 1.2 - Trends in Nutrition & Harnessing for the Consumer

Presented by: AIFST Nutrition Community of Interest

Overview: hear from a range of speakers about the current and future trends in nutrition and how to harness these to deliver products to meet these needs.

Nicole Senior, Professional Nutrition Services 

Nicole Senior is an Accredited Practising Dietitian and Nutritionist, freelance consultant, writer, speaker, foodie and sustainability advocate. Her business Professional Nutrition Services provides nutrition expertise to the food industry, NGOs and governments. She keeps her finger on the pulse and adds her two cents worth in traditional and social media. Nicole will be speaking in session 1.2 on Tuesday 11 September. 

‘Vego’ is the new black: the rise of plant-based eating

Plant-based eating is a global mega-trend that incorporates a growing awareness of health, ethics and environmental sustainability. A plant-based diet offers advantages on all three fronts and Australia is firmly on board with this global movement. The opportunity for development of plant-based foods is huge and innovation is prolific, however care is needed to ensure a healthy outcome for the nation and the planet. Nutrition and planetary health are best addressed together with a firm grasp on scientific evidence and not just marketing opportunism. Food technologists together with dietitians are in a good position to support positive outcomes.

Kathy Usic, Glycemic Index Foundation 

Kathy Usic is an accomplished health professional and commercially minded business leader with over 35 years of extensive experience in education, FMCG and the health promotion / not for profit sectors.  Kathy is currently CEO of the Glycemic Index Foundation (GIF), a not-for-profit organisation owned by the University of Sydney and the Diabetes NSW ACT (Australia).  GIF is committed to promoting and contributing to the prevention and management of overweight/obesity, diabetes and other chronic lifestyle-related conditions, through healthy low-GI diets.  GIF administers the Low GI Symbol, a world first front of pack Low GI certification labelling program. Kathy will be speaking in session 1.1 on Tuesday 11 September.

The Glycemic Index Symbol Program: making healthy choices easy choices

Evidence-based nutrition guidelines recommend that people with diabetes and those at risk choose healthy low Glycemic Index (GI) foods. Food labels in most nations provide a range of nutrient information that can be used to guide healthy food choices. However, few nations regulate the use of GI claims on labels. The GI Symbol is registered as a Certification Trademark. This world-first certification program is managed by the Glycemic Index Foundation (GIF), a not for profit health promotion charity.

The GI Symbol program is a simple labelling tool that helps people identify healthy low GI foods when shopping. Awareness of both the GI and the GI Symbol increased rapidly upon introduction of the tool into the Australian food environment. The Foundation has worked closely with government and regulatory authorities in Australia and New Zealand over the last 15 years to ensure there is regulatory rigor and substantive evidence to support GI labelling and health claims. 

 

Sarah Kneebone, PLAY Market Research

Sarah is the Marketing Manager at PLAY, a Sydney and Melbourne-based consumer market research agency that specialises in FMCG. Sarah moved to Australia from the UK 3 years ago and brings a raft of experience from working with international brands such as General Motors and QBE Insurance. In her current role, Sarah combines her passion for understanding how people tick with her love for all things food, health and wellness in order to uncover compelling insights and turn these into engaging, educational messages and experiences for PLAY’s clients. Sarah will be speakingin session 1.2 on Tuesday 11 September. 

Consumer's perspective on "naturals"

The global health and wellness movement is here to stay and it’s disrupting the consumer packaged goods industry in Australia. Consumers are increasingly seeking out products which they perceive as “natural”, but, in food, demand continues to outstrip supply.
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation predict that between now and 2021, global markets for “naturally healthy” and “food intolerance” will swell by almost a 5% average annual growth rate. The Australian organic industry is estimated to have grown to $2.4 billion this year – that’s an 88% increase from 2012.

PLAY MR explores the rapidly growing “naturals” market, as well as getting to the bottom of exactly what “natural” means to Australian consumers today. Discover key driving factors at the heart of this lifestyle shift and find out how the food industry can adapt to succeed. We’ll leave you with a summary of where we believe consumer trends are headed, as the Australian “naturals” market firmly cements itself in the mainstream.

 

Becky Silverside, PLAY Market Research

Becky is the General Manager at PLAY Market Research. She joined the world of research 14 years ago in the UK, before moving to Sydney 10 years ago. She has a broad depth of customised ad hoc research experience from both local and global agencies across a wide range of brands and markets - from FMCG to services and media. She has worked on both local niche brands and global manufacturers. Becky will be speaking in session 1.2 on Tuesday 11 September. 

Consumer's perspective on "naturals"

The global health and wellness movement is here to stay and it’s disrupting the consumer packaged goods industry in Australia. Consumers are increasingly seeking out products which they perceive as “natural”, but, in food, demand continues to outstrip supply.
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation predict that between now and 2021, global markets for “naturally healthy” and “food intolerance” will swell by almost a 5% average annual growth rate. The Australian organic industry is estimated to have grown to $2.4 billion this year – that’s an 88% increase from 2012.

PLAY MR explores the rapidly growing “naturals” market, as well as getting to the bottom of exactly what “natural” means to Australian consumers today. Discover key driving factors at the heart of this lifestyle shift and find out how the food industry can adapt to succeed. We’ll leave you with a summary of where we believe consumer trends are headed, as the Australian “naturals” market firmly cements itself in the mainstream.

 

Skye Blackburn, Edible Bug Shop

Skye Blackburn has a unique set of skills, and in 2007 combined her knowledge in Food Science and Entomology to establish Australia’s first edible insect farm. The products she has developed for her company, The Edible Bug Shop, use insect protein products in familiar foods, to help consumers include them in their diets very easily. Skye’s passion for edible insects is contagious and once you meet her, you will also believe that edible insects are sustainable, nutritious and an important part of our food future. Skye will be speaking in session 1.2 on Tuesday 11 September. 

Am I bugging you? .. Insects - an innovative , nutritious food source for the future

Edible insects have been targeted as one of the major food sources that will help secure our food future. The thought of eating insects may be a bit strange to some, but during this presentation, you will learn the different edible insect products and ingredients available on the Australian market, as well as how to experiment with them in your product development. Healthy, sustainable, and so deliciously versatile. 

 

 

 

Session 1.3 - Gut Health for Good Health

Overview: Gut health is an important area affecting overall health and wellness. This session is designed to showcase the latest research and findings to support innovation.

Greg Taylor, Microgenetix

Greg has over 35 years of industry consulting and laboratory experience and in delivering professional consulting, training, auditing and analytical services to the food, water and pharmaceutical industries. Prior to establishing Biotest, organizations that Greg worked for include Castlemaine Tooheys Ltd. (Wynn Winegrowers), Cadbury Schweppes (Confectionary), Petersville AUF (Food & Dairy), The East Melbourne Laboratories (Manager, EML Microbiology 1986-1990), Melbourne Water and the Victorian Health Department (Food Safety Victoria). Greg will be speaking in session 1.3 on Wednesday 12 September. 

Delivery and Application of Meaningful Microbial Diversity Data for Industry

The development of next generation sequencing (NGS) methods have proven to be a valuable tool in the  analysis of  fermented foods and to better determine the suitability of probiotic products and measure their ability to impact the gut microbiome.  The reliable and meaningful application of NGS applied to 16S diversity analysis requires a strict cGMP approach which is necessary to control the many variations in NGS techniques including DNA Extraction protocols, primer selection and bioinformatics pipeline; all of which are shown to significantly impact the value and interpretation of the results obtained. DNA extraction protocols impact results significantly with challenges for different sample matrices and the expected (target) microbiome. 

Dr Jane Muir, Monash University

Jane is a trained dietitian with a PhD in biochemistry and over 20 years’ experience in the area of nutrition research. Her primary focus has been assisting with the development of new diet therapies to treat and control diet-related gastrointestinal dysfunction. With Professor Peter Gibson, she pioneered a new area of carbohydrate research involving poorly absorbed short chain carbohydrates called FODMAPs. Jane has helped to establish the laboratory techniques to quantify the FODMAP sugars in foods in order to assemble comprehensive FODMAP food composition tables. Jane will be speaking in session 1.3 on Wednesday 12 September. 

Gut reactions: Gluten or FODMAPs, which is the real culprit responsible for triggering gut symptoms in non-coeliacs?

It has been estimated that around 10-15% of our community are choosing to avoid gluten- and wheat- containing foods.  One of the major reasons given for this avoidance is related to associated of gastrointestinal symptoms including; abdominal pain and bloating and discomfort associated with wheat-containing foods.   While gluten is often blamed for triggering these symptoms the latest research in this area is suggesting that there is another component of wheat- and wheat-containing foods called FODMAPs that may be responsible.   FODMAPs are short chain carbohydrates that are poorly digested and absorbed by the gut stands for Fermentable Olio- Di- Mono-saccharides And Polyols.

    

Dr Tetyana Rocks Food and Mood Centre, IMPACT SRC, Deakin University

Tetyana Rocks is a post-doctoral Fernwood Foundation Research Fellow at the Food & Mood Centre, Deakin University. Tetyana is an accredited dietitian who competed her PhD at University of the Sunshine Coast in 2017. For her PhD, funded by the Australian Postgraduate Award, Tetyana focused on eating, exercise, and body attitudes and how these factors are influenced by nutrition knowledge. During her PhD, Tetyana also lectured in Nutrition and Dietetics, covering the areas of general nutrition, food, society and culture, and food sciences. Currently, Tetyana is developing her post-doctoral research in the area of nutrition and mental health. Her main role within the centre is to support the translation of the current evidence in the field of Nutritional Psychiatry into policy and clinical practice by facilitating resources for knowledge translation and dissemination. Tetyana will be speaking in session 1.3 on Wednesday 12 September. 

Diet and Mental Health

Everyday diet plays a vital role in our mental and brain health. One of the fascinating biological pathways that mediate relationships between diet, mood and cognition is the gut-brain axis. Human gut microbiome is one of the most exciting new fields of research demonstrating mechanisms of action in the unique bidirectional relationship between the gut and the brain. Interestingly, diet is increasingly recognised as the dominant modifiable factor in the gut-brain axis. In her talk, Tetyana will explain the impact food has on our mental and brain health, and highlight the role of our gut as an important moderator.

Prof Lynne Cobiac, CSIRO Health and Biosecurity

Professor Lynne Cobiac is the Science Director and Deputy Director of CSIRO Health and Biosecurity and is also developing a Precision Health Future Science Platform. Lynne has 30 years of experience and leadership in research and management in nutrition and preventative health. Lynne is an active diversity and inclusion champion. Lynne will be speaking in session 1.3 on Wednesday 12 September.

How gut health can inform a more precise approach to managing our health

There is increasing interest from consumers and industry in a more personalised approach to what we eat and how we manage our health, as we move away from one-size-fits all strategies. Given the critical role that gut health plays in many aspects of health, understanding what influences gut health at an individual level will be important for the future of our health.

 

 

 

Session 1.4 - Consumer & Sensory Science

Presented by: AIFST Sensory Community of Interest

Annesley Watson

Annesley is a recently retired sensory and consumer research scientist who maintains a strong passion for the growth and development of this area and its application, particularly in food science. In her career, Annesley has worked both in academia and the food industry.  At the University of New South Wales, she developed the first sensory science course. At Tooheys Breweries, Arnott’s Biscuits and finally at Smith’s Snackfoods, she helped guide product development and quality management through application of innovative research methodologies. Annesley has also helped develop others through AIFST and the initiation of the Product Development and Assessment Group (now Sensory Group) and its various courses and meetings (within Australian and New Zealand). Annesley will be speaking in session 1.4 on Wednesday 12 September. 

Review of Pangborn 2017

The 12th Pangbourn Sensory Symposium was held in the delightful location of Providence, Rhode Island, USA in August,  2017 and drew the largest attendance ever with its widely reaching program. An brief overview of the symposium will be given with some focus on trends and innovations presented there.

Dr Soumi Paul Mukhopadhyay, NSW DPI

Dr. Soumi Paul Mukhopadhyay came to Australia in 2012 to pursue her dream of doing higher degree research in Sensory and Consumer science. Soumi is very passionate about everything about "food" and has successfully completed her PhD from School of Agricultural and Wine Sciences, Charles Sturt University (CSU), Australia, in 2015. She specialized in sensory and consumer science and has had several peer reviewed articles published.

Soumi has had over seven years of food industry experience in sensory analysis, technology, research and development, corporate quality assurance with Nestle, Global Calcium and Whirlpool in India and Italy. Immediately, after finishing her PhD in Australia, Soumi has worked with Goodman Fielder in Sydney as "Sensory Technologist" for Australian Grocery business. Recently, Soumi has moved into her new role with Department of Primary Industries, New South Wales as "Sensory and Consumer Research Scientist- NSW Horticulture". Soumi will be speaking in session 1.4 on Wednesday 12 September. 

Dr Heather Smyth, University of Queensland

Dr Heather Smyth is a flavour chemist and sensory scientist who has been working with premium food and beverage products for more than fifteen years. With a background in wine flavour chemistry, her expertise is in understanding consumer enjoyment of foods and beverages in terms of both sensory properties and composition. Dr Smyth has a special interest in describing and articulating food quality, understanding regional flavours of locally grown produce, and modelling food flavour and textural properties using instrumental measurements. Dr Smyth also specialises in researching how human physiology, such as saliva and chewing behaviour, can impact sensory perception and therefore food choice. Heather will be speaking in session 1.4 on Wednesday 12 September. 

Review of 12th ANZ Sensory and Consumer Science Symposium

Every year a symposium is held for the Australian and New Zealand community of sensory and consumer science professionals from both industry and academia.  In Feb 2018, the 12th Australia and New Zealand Sensory and Consumer Science Symposium was held in Brisbane.  The symposium is designed to provide new inspiration and knowledge for specialists in this field, and provide a platform to learn about the newest developments in research methodology, network with experts in the area and exchange ideas.  This review of the 2018 symposium will include key messages presented by guest speaker Prof. Joanne Hort, including: understanding individual variation in sensory perception, a closer look at thermal taster status, and considering the impact of context on consumer response.

Gabriela Borgognone, DAF, QLD

Gabriela Borgognone has 25 years of experience as statistical consultant. For the past three years, she has been providing statistical support to researchers in the food science group of the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, mainly in the areas of consumer and sensory studies, product development, and food chemistry. Gabriela will be speaking in session 1.4 on Wednesday 12 September. 

Faster and more cost effective - does Flash Profiling offer a new avenue for sensory and consumer research?

As times change, the pressure to provide results more quickly, at a fraction of the price, and losing as little accuracy as possible, increases. Flash Profiling can be conducted in less than half the time and at a fraction of the price of their more time-consuming counterparts. This presentation will describe what Flash Profiling involves, provide examples, discuss interpretation and scope of the results, and outline improvements based on our learnings. Our goal is to shed some light on whether or not Flash Profiling might be the cost-effective method that could provide many companies with the research they need.