Online sales, millennials and channel disruption will be among the hot topics discussed in “super sessions” at the New York-based Specialty Food Association’s 43rd Annual Winter Fancy Food Show.

The show, set for Jan. 21-23 in San Francisco, will feature 20 hours of education programming, highlighted by three super sessions:

  • Amazon, Alibaba and the Corner Store: A New Model for Specialty Food Sales. Dave Donnan, A.T Kearney senior partner, will take an in-depth look at how perceptions of value, a desire of meaningful interactions and millennials’ shopping habits are changing how everyone buys food.   
  • Buyer Panel: Selling Specialty. Moderated by Supermarket Guru Phil Lempert, the panel features Jacqueline Ross, Retail Business Services/Ahold; Richard Tarlov, Canyon Market; Lynn Hochberg, Wawa; Harley Butler, Shipt; and Jeremy Gosch, Hy-Vee. The group will delve into the changing specialty food landscape, taking a look at what’s driving sales in the different channels, what consumers are looking for and what it will take to sell specialty foods in the future.
  • Disrupt or Be Disrupted: Inside the Minds of the Innovators. Phil Kafarakis, president of the Specialty Food Association, will lead a conversation with industry visionaries, including Rusty Schwartz, founder of KitchenTown; Pradeep Elankumaran, CEO and co-founder of Farmstead; Ethan Brown, founder and CEO of Beyond Meat; and Shannon Allen, creator of Grown. The panel will discuss the risks and opportunities of launching disruptive paradigms, and share perspectives of those responding to disruption in their channels.

“Our goal is to extend beyond the show floor and bring the best speakers and the most relevant and important topics to our members and attendees,” Kafarakis says. “We want everyone to have opportunities to connect with thought-leaders and decision-makers in the specialty food industry and walk out of the show feeling enlightened, empowered, and confident.”