On the heels of a global pandemic, much has changed over the past two years in the world of grocery retailing, and with it, the various dynamics of what may lie ahead for the fresh produce industry. To discuss the future of grocery retail and its impact on fresh produce, a pair of leaders from one of the nation’s most progressive grocery chains and the former co-CEO of the organization have been confirmed as panelists for a keynote presentation at Organic Produce Summit 2022 this July.
The Future of Grocery Retailing, will be moderated by Walter Robb, principal of Stonewall Robb Advisors, senior executive partner at S2G Ventures, and former co-CEO of Whole Foods. Joining the conversation will be Karen Christensen, senior vice president of merchandising for perishables for Whole Foods and Madhavi Reese, vice president of marketing for Whole Foods. The trio of respected industry leaders will discuss how Whole Foods is addressing supply chain issues, the role of technology and e-commerce, consumer shopping behavior, new formats and innovations in grocery retailing.
Left to right: Walter Robb, Karen Christensen, Madhavi Reese
Robb has a long entrepreneurial history, ranging from natural food retailer to farmer to consultant. He joined Whole Foods Market in 1991 and in 2010 was named co-CEO, at which time he joined the Whole Foods Market Board of Directors. Christensen is a food visionary who served as regional vice president of the Whole Foods Northern California region. Reese spent 18 years working on the agency side before joining Whole Foods as VP of brand strategy in 2017.
“To have leadership from Whole Foods share their thoughts on the future of our industry is something OPS attendees will not want to miss,” said Susan Canales, president of Organic Produce Summit.
OPS 2022 is a two-day event bringing together organic fresh produce growers, shippers and processors with retail and buying organizations. The sixth annual event will be held July 13-14 at the Monterey Conference Center in Monterey, CA.
The Future of Grocery Retailing is the third keynote for OPS 2022. In the first keynote, John Ruane, senior vice president and chief omnichannel merchandising officer for The GIANT Company, will discuss The Growth of Omnichannel Merchandising That’s Driving Retail Sales. In the second keynote, Empowering the World to Stop Ocean Plastic, David Katz, founder of Plastic Bank, will share how the world’s most progressive companies are stewarding the collection of plastic waste.
Included in the OPS program are educational sessions devoted to CEA, an exploration of regenerative agriculture, branded vs. private label organic offerings, sustainability across the supply chain, organic sales data (from the first half of 2022) and the impact of inflation on consumer purchasing behavior.
More information will be available as the program becomes finalized. Registration to attend is available here.