2017 Educational Micro Sessions

Wednesday: 10:15 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Jacob Javits Center Hall 1C
Educational Micro-session Stage


10:15 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Where Consumers Shop And What Consumers Value: A Comparison Between Ethnic Groups

Ben Campbell

Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural and Applied
Economics, University of Georgia

The presentation will focus on understanding how purchase behavior and perceptions about labeling differ between different ethnic groups. Notably on the purchase behavior side, we look at where different ethnic groups purchase their produce, how far they travel to purchase produce and how much they spend on produce at different retail establishments. With respect to perceptions, we compare how ethnic groups perceive GMOs, local produce and organic production practices. Finally, we evaluate the frequency of purchasing of various produce items by different ethnic groups. The purpose of the research is to highlight differences that exist among ethnic groups in order to offer recommendations for producers and retailers to understand behaviors of different types of consumers.


11 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

Controlled Environment Agriculture (Cea): An Emerging System To Grow Fresh Produce In The Northeastern U.s.

Miguel Gómez

Associate Professor,
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

The Northeastern U.S. has a short growing season which, according to mainstream views, limits the ability of the regions to meet consumer demand for year-round locally grown food. However, the rapid emergence of Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) enterprises is challenging this view. This presentation will discuss emerging trends in CEA businesses in the Northeast, the opportunities and challenges for the CEA. The primary opportunities are strong demand for local produce and stricter production control to ensure high quality produce. Intensive capital requirements, availability of skilled and unskilled labor and processing and marketing infrastructures are the main challenges of this growing industry.


11:45 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Understanding Asian Consumers And Their Produce Preferences And Shopping Behavior

Tom Reardon

Professor International Development and Agribusiness/Food Industry Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics,
Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

Tom has been studying Asian produce supply chains and consumption patterns and trends for 15 years using a detailed primary field survey approach. He will discuss Asian produce consumption trends and preferences, as well as transformation of the retail sector that presents consumers their produce options.


12:30 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.

Disruptions in the Food Retail Landscape: Implications for Fresh Produce

Ed McLaughlin

Director of the Food Industry Management Program, Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management,
Cornell SC Johnson College of Business at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

The food industry continues to be one of the most dynamic sectors within the economies of industrialized countries, reflecting ever-changing consumer behavior and preferences for food.However, today, the food retail sector is arguably experiencing more radical change and disruption to its structure and conduct than at any time in its history.

Ed’s presentation will summarize three main and recent disruptions: (1) the rise of the discounters; (2) the Amazon-Whole Foods deal; and (3) Wal-Mart’s dominance and strategic reaction to (1) and (2).

All three disruptions will reverberate through the food industry for years to come, with game-changing implications for both produce suppliers and retailers.
Ed’s presentation will explore this fascinating new landscape and speculate about likely future scenarios.


1:15 pm – 2 pm

Food Waste, Date Labels, And Consumption Of Fruits And Vegetables

Brad Rickard

Associate Professor,
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

In a recent op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal, Prof. Marc Bellemare highlights that as food becomes an increasingly small fraction of a household’s budget, wasting food becomes cheaper relative to other expenditures, and that the optimal amount of food waste is not zero. In addition, our research suggests that different policies designed to reduce food waste may affect food consumption differently across food groups. Comparing results from a series of lab experiments and surveys on food waste to average rates of food waste in the United States, we find evidence that adoption of some date-labeling approaches have the capacity to lead to increased intake of fruits and vegetables and better overall nutritional outcomes.


2 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

Food Marketing Institute Presents: The Power Of Foodservice At Retail, An In-depth Look At The Role Produce Plays In Consumer’s Hunt For Convenient Meals.

Rick Stein

Vice President Fresh Foods, Food Marketing Institute
Rockville, MD

Once again, FMI advances the dialogue and understanding of the Power of Produce. This session will take the discussion further and will show how produce is used to lift sales in one of the supermarket’s most important perishables departments – Retail/Foodservice.


2:45 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Understanding Consumers Of Organics

Jenny S. Carleo

County Agent II / Associate Professor, Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources,
Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, New Brunswick, NJ

This presentation will discuss the results of a new marketing survey of 1,100 primary shoppers. This study documents the demographic profile of typical organic produce consumers in the mid-Atlantic region and their willingness to pay for organic produce. The results also specify which organic products they purchase the most frequently and which items they are willing to purchase at a premium.


3:30 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.

GMO and Non-GMO Food Labels: Implications of the New Federal Law for Growers, Marketers, and Consumers

John Bovay

Assistant professor and extension economist, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics,
University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT

In July 2016, the U.S. Congress passed Senate Bill 764, which requires the U.S. Department of Agriculture to establish a national disclosure standard for genetically engineered (GE) foods, as a compromise between forces pressing for a much stricter labeling law versus forces that opposed mandatory labeling laws altogether. The legislation, now known as Public Law 114-216, also preempts states from setting their own standards for mandatory GE labels. This presentation will discuss the implementation of the new law and its potential economic consequences. The presentation also will discuss non-GMO labels and possible strategies that growers and retailers may take in response to the new federal law.


4:15 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Processing of produce in Food establishments — Implications on microbial safety

Karl Matthews

Ph.D., Professor of Food Microbiology and Chair, Department of Food Science,
Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

Matthews, who is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Food Safety, has been conducting research associated with the processing of fresh and fresh-cut fruits and vegetables in food establishments. Specifically, the focus has been on washing and crisping of commodities (i.e., head lettuce, cantaloupe, etc.) in supermarkets and the impact of using an antimicrobial in the water to control cross-contamination. Many establishments do not use an added antimicrobial in the water. Presently, the FDA food code indicates that a chemical treatment may be used when washing/soaking a commodity. The processes used in food establishments are very different from commercial produce processors and must be addressed as such. It is not a one-shoe-fits-all or one-process scenario.