Pulling out all the stops to address the hottest topics in snacks

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Shark Tank star Daymond John is among the lineup. Pic: SNAC International/GettyImages
Shark Tank star Daymond John is among the lineup. Pic: SNAC International/GettyImages

Related tags Snac International SNX Snac Tank

Industry veteran Martin Otto and founder of FUBU and star of Shark Tank Daymond John are among the SNX 2024 speakers who will focus on industry trends, how to make it in an increasingly crowded space, artificial intelligence, the regulatory landscape and most interestingly, the American consumer and the Ozempic effect.
Martin Otto

Martin Otto will address guests at the opening party on 14 April to initiate three-jam packed days of industry insights, views, reviews, networking and some jolly good fun in Dallas, Texas.

Otto was H-E-B’s COO until the end of 2023, when he began working part-time overseeing the company’s Health & Wellness efforts and as executive chairman of its Favor subsidiary. He is also on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee for the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS), working to shape the pharmacy industry’s policies.

A graduate of the University of Virginia and Harvard Business School, his professional experience also includes real estate investment banking.

Immediately following his presentation on April 16, Shark Tank’s Daymond John will don his hat as a guest judge for SNX’s SNAC Tank Pitch Competition.

Throwing up money in the air Getty Jonathan Kitchen
Pic: GettyImages/Jonathan Kitchen

The competition will see five finalists given two minutes to pitch their standout ideas on a live stage, followed by a three minute Q&A with the panel of judges: Daymond John; Ryland Allen, Merchandising VP of Snacks for Walmart; and lifelong foodie and champion of startups Monica Watrous, managing editor of Nosh.

The judges, along with the audience, will vote for one brand to take home the grand prize of $10,000. The winner will also gain important connections with leading industry mentors to help scale-up, as well as visibility and coverage in industry media.

Five semifinalists will also be selected to participate in the SNAC Tank Product Showcase within the Experience Zone. 

Daymond John

An entrepreneur in every sense of the word, John has come a long way from taking out a $100k mortgage on his mother’s house to start FUBU. Today, his much-celebrated global lifestyle brand brings in $6bn in sales.

His ability to build successful brands has made him a highly influential consultant and motivational speaker. His marketing firm The Shark Group offers advice on how to communicate to consumers and connects brands with the celebrities for everything from endorsements to product extensions.

John has won over 35 awards – from Brand Week Marketer of the Year to Ernst & Young’s New York Entrepreneur of the Year Award; has penned five New York Time’s bestsellers, including The Power of Broke (2016) and Powershift (2020); and is celebrating his 12th​ season on ABC TV’s critically acclaimed business reality show.

Breakout sessions

Business conference presenting GettyImages izusek
Pic: GettyImages/izusek

The Educational Arena will also host a range of breakout sessions to offer deeper insight into a variety of topics.

AI 2030: The future of manufacturing

Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly evolving and is destined to become the go-to tech in the years ahead (if not already so).

Prof Tom Kurfess, chief manufacturing officer and executive director of Georgia Tech, will address AI’s likely functional trajectory over the course of the next decade, preview what this means for companies of all sizes and identify key considerations unique to the food product value chain, snacks in particular.

Surveying the regulatory landscape

The definition of ‘healthy’, sodium reduction, ultra-processed foods (UPFs), Proposition 65 in California … there are more issues than time, but this session will bring the audience up-to-speed on some of snacks industry’s key policy drivers. Presented by Martin Hahn, SNAC’s general counsel and partner of Hogan Lovells LLP, he is able to navigate clients through the countless regulatory and business issues impacting the industry. His formative years on a farm, along with his background in food technology also allow him to better understand the farm to fork challenges his clients face.

What’s new with the American consumer?

Learn about what preoccupies the minds of American shoppers and how companies and brands can position themselves to thrive in the years ahead. Sally Lyons Wyatt, global  Global EVP & Chief Advisor Consumer Goods & Foodservice Insights, Circana is joined by colleague Darren Seifer to pull back the curtain on trends, behaviors and X-factors (like Ozempic and similar weight-loss drugs). Both are frequent speakers at events hosted by organizations like the National Confectioners Association and the Food Institute; are often quoted by media outlets like The Wall Street Journal and New York Times; and provides insight for Fortune 500 companies, including PepsiCo and Campbell’s.

SNX 2024 is organised by SNAC International​ and will be taking place at the Hyatt Regency in Dallas, Texas, on April 14-16.

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