Unpack New Knowledge

In the snack industry, where tastes evolve and new flavors emerge, even the ordinary can become extraordinary. What begins with an all-natural ingredient can become a permissible indulgence. What starts as a grain of insight can build into business-boosting information. And what starts as simple inspiration can become the next great innovation. Experience the extraordinary at SNAXPO, the premier educational event for snack professionals looking to source the recipe for success.

Through its enhanced conference program, which includes more education sessions than ever before, SNAXPO offers forward-thinking snack industry insiders a sneak peek into all that’s emerging in the snack industry. Specialized education tracks tailored toward the business needs and interests of a wide spectrum of professionals allow you to dive deep into a snack-filled world of discovery and explore packaging and sustainability, regulatory affairs, market trends and insights into the Latin American snack market.

Keynote Sessions


“SNAC Tank” featuring Barbara

Tuesday, April 02, 2019 • 12:00 pm–1:30 pm • Osceola Ballroom

See emerging snack brands present their uniquely innovative product in front of a panel of industry expert judges. The winner will take home a cash prize. Also hear from Barbara Corcoran on her self-made success story and the strategies she employs to attain greatness.

“If You Can See It, You Can Be It” by Chef Jeff

Monday, April 01, 2019 • 8:00 am–9:45 am • Osceola Ballroom

From humble beginnings in South Central Los Angeles as an imprisoned drug dealer to an award-winning celebrity chef, Chef Jeff Henderson has completely turned his life around, and today serves as a popular and powerful voice for self-transformation. The New York Times bestselling author inspires and motivates with his session that unveils lessons to succeed—both in your personal and professional life—in changing times in today’s society and the overall food industry.


Speakers by Track


Packaging and Sustainability


Andrew Aulisi

Packaging for a Sustainable Future: A View from PepsiCo

Monday, April 1, 10 a.m.-10:45 a.m.

Senior Director, Global Environmental Policy
Public Policy & Government Affairs

Andrew Aulisi is Senior Director for Global Environmental Policy in PepsiCo’s Public Policy & Government Affairs group. He leads the development of PepsiCo’s global corporate policies on key environmental issues.

Andrew has over 20 years of experience working in the intersection between business and sustainability. Most recently he served as Director of Sustainability at Credit Suisse, focusing on the integration of environmental and social issues into investment banking and asset management. Andrew spent a decade in the non-profit sector and led the markets research program at the World Resources Institute in Washington, DC. He started his professional work as an underwriter in the environmental liability division of AIG, where he provided clients with environmental risk management products.

Andrew has a Master of Science degree in Environmental Science and a bachelor’s degree in Biology.


Regulatory Affairs


Beth Johnson

Sodium Reduction, Nutrition Issues, and Definition of “Healthy”

Monday, April 1, 10 a.m.-10:45 a.m.

MS, RD, Principal & CEO
Food Directions

Elizabeth (Beth) Johnson, MS, RD, founded Food Directions LLC in February 2010. Johnson’s unique experience and skill set helps clients gain valuable insight into the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Capitol Hill. Johnson also has strong relationships with thought leaders at NGOs, food associations, and consumer groups, which help Food Directions gain a diverse perspective on food issues.

Prior to starting Food Directions LLC, Johnson served as Executive Vice President for Public Affairs for the National Restaurant Association where she oversaw government affairs, public policy and communications for the organization. In 2008, Johnson was named Acting Under Secretary for Food Safety at USDA where she lead and oversaw the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). In addition to her service as Acting Under Secretary for Food Safety, Johnson was deputy chief of staff and senior advisor for the Secretary of Agriculture at USDA, where she focused on agricultural trade, animal health, food safety and nutrition.


Mark Nelson

Proposition 65 and Overview of SNAC Activities/Member Opportunities

Monday, April 1, 11:00 a.m.-11:45 a.m.

MFN FoodReg

Mark Nelson has extensive experience in international food and ingredient standards, product development and safety, and addressing regulatory issues both domestically and internationally. He was Director of Regulatory Affairs for Nestlé USA and Canada until his retirement in 2016. Prior to Nestlé he managed the scientific and regulatory portfolio at the Grocery Manufacturers Association, covering food safety, security of the food supply, health and nutrition, regulatory standards, and food packaging.

In a variety of regulatory, quality and/or nutrition positions at Givaudan Flavors, Dairy Farmers of America, Pepsi-Cola and the Kellogg Company, he positively influenced food and packaging regulations in the US, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Additionally, Nelson’s work was key in the on-time launch of several products that faced regulatory hurdles and advertising restrictions.

Nelson has served as the Chair of the IFT Food Laws and Regulation Division (2005-2006), and was an industry representative on FDA’s Food Advisory Committee (2003-2007). Mark holds a B.S. degree in mathematics form the University of Michigan, earned his Ph.D. in nutritional biochemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was a post-doctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.



Market Trends and Insights



Jared Koerten

Global Snack Industry Trends 

Monday, April 1, 10 a.m.-10:45 a.m.

Senior Analyst
Euromonitor International

Jared Koerten is a Senior Analyst at Euromonitor International, the world leader in strategy research for consumer markets. In his current role, Jared provides insight and analysis into consumer trends, market performance and strategic direction across several consumer industries. In addition to his focus on snack foods, Jared has a breadth of experience analyzing consumer packaged goods markets and the broader US retail market landscape. Jared is a key contributor to Passport – Euromonitor’s global syndicated research database. His content is also regularly featured on Euromonitor’s highly-read market research blog.

Jared is a recognized expert in US market trends and has been a featured speaker at major industry conferences and events. He is also quoted frequently in the press by publications like Bloomberg, Businessweek, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune and Dallas Morning News. Jared holds a master’s degree in International Relations from The University of Chicago.


Sam Gagliardi

Ecommerce and the Snack Industry

Monday April 1, 11:00 a.m.-11:45 a.m.

Head of E-Commerce

Sam Gagliardi has more than 19 years of cross-functional sales, marketing and digital leadership experience with top FMCG manufacturers, including Johnson & Johnson, Colgate and RB. He is an expert in e-commerce strategy, digital marketing, search engine optimization, media management, shopper marketing and marketing management.



Darren Seifer

Snacking Evolution in the next Five Years

Tuesday, April 2, 2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.

Executive Director
Industry Analyst
NPD Group

As the food & beverage industry analyst for The NPD Group, a leading market research company, Darren provides insights based on NPD’s food-related research to organizations and companies across the country. Prior to joining NPD in March 2007, he was an analyst with Information Resources, Inc (IRI), and spent over seven years examining consumer packaged goods trends, and worked with a variety of industry leaders covering dozens of food and beverage categories. He has authored NPD topical reports on how the economy affects consumers’ in-home meal strategies, profile of the organics consumer, the impact of Baby Boomers and Millennials on America’s eating patterns, the unique consumption behaviors of Hispanics in the U.S., and has been a contributing writer for trade publications.

Darren is a frequent speaker at industry events such as the Institutes of Medicine and Biome Research, National Frozen and Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA), Obesity Society, Shopper Marketing Expo, United Fresh, and is a faculty member of the Path to Purchase Institute. He holds a bachelor degree from Northwestern University and makes his home in New York City.

WinS (Women in Snacks)

Learn more about the launch of this SNAC International program aimed at fostering leadership development for women snack industry executives. Learn more about the launch of the WinS network here.


Angie Bastian

Sunday, March 31 3:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.

Co Founder 

“Angie Bastian, entrepreneur, co-founder and namesake of Angie’s BOOMCHICKAPOP, took a kernel of an idea and popped it into one of the fastest growing brands of natural popcorn. She and husband Dan founded their snack company in their Mankato, MN garage in 2001 as a means of creating a college fund for their children. Their gluten free, non-GMO, whole grain popcorn is proudly sold in natural food, grocery, club and mass retail outlets nationwide with a product presence in Canada, South Korea, Peru, Japan, the Caribbean and Mexico. The company is constantly innovating and is one of the fastest growing and most successful popcorn brands in the market today. Angie’s BOOMCHICKAPOP is loved by fans as an empowered, spirited brand that represents authentic, real food that delivers on the attributes of clean, transparent labeling and great taste experience.

The company has twice won Star Tribune’s Top workplace honors. Angie’s Boomchickapop is the 2015 ACG BOLD Award for corporate growth. She and Dan share Connect Business Magazine’s 2012 Person of the Year. Girl Scouts honored her as a Pioneering Trailblazer and she is a 2015 Inductee to the Minnesota Women’s Business Owner’s Hall of Fame. She has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, quoted in Forbes Magazine and appeared on the Martha Stewart Show. Her products have been recognized and awarded by numerous national publications and media. The business attracted significant investment as Dan and Angie built the company and was recently purchased by Conagra Brands.


Laura Maxwell

Sunday, March 31 3:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.

Senior Vice President of Supply Chain Optimization
Pepsico – Frito-Lay North America 

Laura is currently Senior Vice President of Supply Chain Optimization for PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay division. In this role, Laura has responsibility for driving strategy and execution across Frito-Lay’s field and contract manufacturing operations, in areas including quality and food safety; manufacturing; service and distribution; fleet; productivity; and sustainability. Additionally, Laura has responsibility for the commercial agenda in Supply Chain including supply management and innovation commercialization.

Laura has held a variety of roles over the course of her 29-year career with PepsiCo. She holds a degree in Industrial Engineering from Iowa State University and joined the company as an operations resource where she spent 17 years in field manufacturing roles prior to coming to Frito-Lay headquarters. Laura’s previous roles include Director of Manufacturing, Vice President of Marketing Services, Vice President of Supply Chain Growth and Commercialization, and Senior Vice President of Business Transformation.  Laura also serves on the Board of Directors of the Dallas Women’s Foundation, and frequently speaks with collegiate and high school-level students, helping them find ways to overcome perceived barriers to reaching their career goals. Laura and her husband, Marty, have two daughters, Maddy (22) and Molly (19).