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  • Online Event: Vegan Trends, Challenges and Opportunities

Online Event: Vegan Trends, Challenges and Opportunities

  • 5 Nov 2020
  • 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
  • Via Zoom


  • Please email and confirm your current student status to receive the registration code

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Vegan Trends, Challenges and Opportunities

Date: Thursday 5th Nov

Time: 2.00 – 4.00pm NSW, VIC, TAS, (AESDT)

1.00pm - 3.00pm QLD

11.00am - 1.00pm WA

1.30pm - 3.30pm SA

AIFST CPD Points: 2.0

Veganism was once dismissed as just another fad diet trend, but with plant-based diets surging in popularity over the past few years, vegan food has hit the mainstream. We have lined up a range of experienced speakers to bring their specialist perspective to this topic.

Each speaker will share their thoughts and experience and then we will open up for a panel session with plenty of time to ask your burning questions.This exciting online event is one not to be missed!


Veronica Fil, Grounded Foods

Veronica is a behavioural economist by trade—combining the principles of psychology and advertising to the consumer market. After spending 7 years as political advisor, Veronica decided her ideas were too good to waste in the bowels of Government. So she ditched the safety-net of a consistent salary, and decided to rockstar it as an entrepreneur. It was the correct decision.  Veronica is now the CEO of plant based cheese startup, Grounded Foods Co. -- the first company in the world to use fermented cauliflower and hemp seed to recreate your favourite cheese styles, without dairy or allergens. 

Sharon Natoli, Food & Nutrition Australia

Based in Sydney, Australia, Sharon Natoli is a visionary thinker, accredited diietitian and author of the book Food for a Better Future – a new direction for the global business of food. She is passionate about the role food and eating together play to nourish and connect people, cultures and the planet to a better future.

Sharon speaks at conferences and events to inspire, inform and influence leaders and organisations across the food sector to align strategy, innovation and communication in a way that meets the rising expectations of today’s more health conscious consumer.

She draws on her highly developed communication skills and 30 years of professional experience in food, nutrition and business to highlight how organisations across the food sector can remain at the forefront of an evolution in the health related drivers of consumers food purchasing decisions.

Sharon is the Founding Director of Food & Nutrition Australia (est. 1997), and host of The Virtual Lunch Room, a weekly forum sharing stories of change across the food sector.


Heath Kilgour, Vegan Australia

After starting a career as a management consultant, Heath took an entrepreneur path and has been involved in and exited various digital media/advertising businesses.  About ten years ago, Heath pursued a vegan path and is a passionate advocate for a vegan lifestyle. Heath is a director of Vegan Australia and is focused on driving the Vegan Certification program at Vegan Australia which is has a fast-growing collection of iconic brands as partners.

Troy Kohut, Play MR

As a researcher and CEO of PLAY, Troy is always looking to better understand what motivates people to do what they do. 

You name it, there’s a good chance he’s done it. With over 20 years of research and insights experience, Troy has created product and service innovation programs in Australia for clients like Qantas, Arnott's, Ingham's, Uber and the Insurance Council of Australia. Internationally, he has led product innovation programs for leading banks, insurance companies, telecoms, retailers and FMCG clients. 

Troy and the PLAY team’s goal is to ensure their clients launch products and services that excite and delight their customers.

Ryan Schultz, Yumi's Quality Foods

Experienced Research and Development Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the food & beverages industry. He has over 16 years’ experience in FMCG Business including dairy product, powdered beverages, confectionary, plant-based meals, dips and sauces. All of which has been spent in the product development and research areas. Showing proven technical, project management and innovation skills. This experience is coupled with 8 years’ experience as a Chef throughout Melbourne’s renowned Restaurants and cafes. Throughout Ryan’s career he has had an extensive opportunity to create innovative products that are the bench mark for plant-based sport nutritional sector, opening the market to alternatives to dairy based sport nutritional product delivering on both taste and nutrition benefits. His experiences have involved innovative food product launches into the plant-based sectors of retail.

Wendy Pasco, Ingredion

Wendy Pasco is a passionate foodie and currently the Marketing Manager for Ingredion ANZ a global food ingredients company with headquarters in the US. Wendy focuses on the marketing of specialty food ingredients including plant-based proteins, clean label starches and flours, sweeteners, hydrocolloids and food systems. Wendy’s goal is to enable food manufacturers to create great products through partnering on ingredient solutions.  With over two decades of commercial experience in the food industry from Rhone-Poulenc (now Solvay), Bonlac Foods (now Fonterra), Langdon Ingredients through to Ingredion, Wendy has also worked for corporates such as Ericsson and BP. Having run her own food business, Wendy loves exploring new food concepts. Wendy’s own family includes vegans and flexitarians, which means they are constantly trying new vegan products on the supermarket shelves.

Melissa Miller, Senior Associate, King & Wood Mallesons

Melissa Miller is a Senior Associate in the Tech/IP team, advising clients on commercial dealings involving intellectual property and technology.  Melissa has extensive experience advising clients on IP, technology, consumer law, food law, privacy and data.

Melissa has advised on, drafted and negotiated a range commercial agreements including research and development collaborations, licensing, IP commercialisation, procurement, distribution, manufacturing and supply agreements.  Melissa has a particular interest working with clients in the Consumer, Food & Agribusiness and Health sectors. 

Cost: $20 AIFST members, $40 Non-members

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