Trends, big data and the new consumers hot topics at upcoming grocery conference

Key speaker sessions focus on how to respond to the changing marketplace

In less than three weeks, Grocery Innovations Canada will offer opportunities to stay on top of industry trends with insights from experts on changing technologies, customers and trends.

On the opening day of the conference at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, retail turnaround titan Bonnie Brooks, vice chairman of Hudson’s Bay will share how she revitalized the iconic retailer. Some said Hudson's Bay Company couldn’t be saved in 2008, with sales plummeting, and morale low, the brand had lost its lustre. But then Brooks took the helm as the first female CEO and president of The Bay. Find out about the sweeping and transformative changes that resulted in the restoration of the brand.

Next, Marion Chan of TrendSpotter Consulting will give a presentation titled The New Consumers: How they Buy and Why.  The digital age, the availability of goods and services at the click of a button and most importantly, the evolving demands of the consumer have made the act of buying something more complex. Retailers will hear how to effectively serve the modern boomer, the millennial family, the value-seeking millennial and the ethnic consumer to help grow your business.

Tom Barlow, CEO of the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers, will then moderate a  discussion with key leaders in the grocery sector. The panelists include: Darrell Jones, CEO of Overwaitea; Jeff York, CEO at Farm Boy; Alexei Tsvetkov,CEO at Yummy Market; Shelley Martin, CEO of Nestle Canada and Terry Wong, CEO of Tree of Life. The discussion will be focused around meeting the demands of today’s consumers.

On the second day of the conference, the lead speaker will be Jacques Farcy, the chief operating officer of Dunnhumby Canada. Dunnhumby helped establish Tesco's Clubcard. Farcy will take a look into what’s next as the company helps brands like Coca-Cola and retailers like Canadian Tire and Metro create personalised customer experiences in digital, mobile, and retail environments, using data and insights from more than 660 million shoppers across the globe.

The morning conference will then conclude with Bryan Gildenberg, chief knowledge officer of Kantar Retail who’ll speak about the competencies required for sellers to remain connected to shoppers. He’ll talk about the skills that will be essential for businesses that want to win mindshare with these shoppers to remain competitive.

Grocery Innovations Canada is the grocery show for new products to exhibit at to get in front of Canada's top retailers, whether corporate, franchise or independent. GIC has nearly 60,000 square feet of exhibit space, with more than 350 exhibiting companies.

E-mail Elaine Martyn to register for GIC: [email protected]. For exhibitor info, email: Rolster Taylor at [email protected]. Go to for more information.

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