Beverage companies are all about innovation, and so is Beverage Digest. In addition to creating a dynamic speaker lineup for our Dec. 11 Future Smarts conference in Manhattan, we are adding a new-for-us networking opportunity for attendees.
The plan is to host a welcome reception for all registered attendees on the Sunday night before our Monday event. We’ll announce more details soon. This gathering will be a chance to share drinks and bites with old industry friends and forge new relationships. We also recognize that with so much remote work these days, Future Smarts is an ideal opportunity for far-flung team members to connect — and perhaps even meet and socialize for the first time.
As for our program, we’ve announced two more high-level executive speakers: Coca-Cola North America President Jennifer Mann, and PepsiCo Beverages North America Chief Supply Chain Officer Karen Jordan. We’ve also assembled a stellar Wall Street panel. Here’s a sneak peek at the insights I intend to uncover for attendees.
Future Smarts will be Jennifer Mann’s first conference appearance since she took control of Coke’s most important market at the start of this year. During an on-stage interview, I’ll ask Mann about growth priorities, including her work on a new dairy and juice Nutrition unit (pg 10) drawing investment from Coke. We’ll discuss the current state of bottler relations and Mann’s vision for the US distribution system. I’ll ask Mann for a status check on the crucial US fountain channel and her roadmap for maintaining Coke’s leadership. And we’ll delve into the ins and outs of marketing to today’s fragmented consumer base, and why she believes Coke’s “total beverage” strategy is the key to growth. I expect pricing, a focus of today’s newsletter, to come up as well.
PepsiCo’s Karen Jordan will bring 30 years of supply chain and operations experience to the Future Smarts stage. She has spent 20 of those years within the US Pepsi bottling system. In an on-stage interview, I’ll ask Jordan for learnings from the recent global pandemic, which spurred one of the most challenging periods for global supply chains. Also, efficiency is more critical — and more accessible — than ever for modern manufacturing and distribution systems. I’ll ask Jordan how PepsiCo is sorting through the evolving avalanche of available automation and technology to deliver profitable growth.
Meanwhile, we’ve drafted a dream team for our popular Wall Street analyst panel: Bonnie Herzog of Goldman Sachs, Lauren Lieberman of Barclays, and Nik Modi of RBC Capital Markets. Together, we’ll discuss long-term risks and opportunities for major public beverage companies, such as Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Keurig Dr Pepper. And we’ll assess beverage company strategies, consumer trends, and market forces through a Wall Street lens.
So, grab a colleague and join us in New York. Our team can’t wait to see you.
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