Technomic's 2019 Adult Beverage Planning Program conference takes place in Chicago. Technomic will provide an industry update, present findings from one of the research studies that was voted on by members and share insights on issues facing the adult beverage industry.

Please note that you must be a member of the Adult Beverage Planning Program to attend this event. Contact us for more information on becoming a member.

3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Registration and Information Desk
5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
First-Time Attendee Welcome Reception
Lauren Fredericks, Senior Director, Account Management, Technomic
Technomic welcomes first-time members with a special introductory reception. During this time, we’ll provide tools and guidance to not only maximize your first meeting but also get the most out of the Adult Beverage Planning Program as a whole. Meet and mingle with other new members and event speakers before heading into the main reception.
5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Welcome Reception
7:15 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Registration and Information Desk
7:15 a.m.
8:15 a.m.
Welcome & Introduction
8:35 a.m.
State of the Economy
Arjun Chakravarti, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Analytic Solutions & Insights, GES
Discussion on key business indicators, the state of the economy and the future.
9:35 a.m.
Networking Break
9:55 a.m.
Adult Beverage Industry Update
David Henkes, Senior Principal, Technomic
An up-to-date look at the economy in relation to adult beverage industry trends, health and performance.
10:55 a.m.
New Drink Menu Dynamics: Placements & Preferred Formats
Donna Hood Crecca, Principal, Technomic
The availability of drink menus and the information they provide play a key role in patrons’ decision to order a drink and which cocktail, mixed drink, wine or beer is ultimately selected. This is especially true for younger consumers – legal-age Gen Z and Millennials – who also indicate menus can entice them to try a new beverage. But today’s consumers are faced with myriad sources of information about an establishment’s drink offering, such as social media and promotional materials. Understanding the role of the drink menu today and which formats and elements are of most importance to consumers is key to insuring menus are effective in prompting that all-important first drink order, as well as encouraging trial and enhancing the on-premise experience. Technomic will examine consumer priorities and preferences relative to drink menus at restaurants and bars and how to help key accounts best leverage this all-important tool.
12:05 p.m.
12:20 p.m.
Optional Lunch Session: Utilizing Predictive Technology to Enhance Your Planning and Strategy
Bappaditya Ray, Senior Director, Data Analytics, Technomic & Lizzy Freier, Managing Editor, Menu Analysis, Technomic
Artificial intelligence, machine learning and natural language processing: These are buzzwords you may have heard of, but what you may not know is that Technomic is now using these tools to create quantitative predictions about the food industry. In this session, we’ll take you through the methodology of our new Predictive platform’s four key areas—menu, consumer, pricing and industry performance—as well as case studies for how to put these tools to use. The case studies will enlighten the audience as to actionable short- and long-term recommendations that will benefit the future of your business.
1:20 p.m.
Applebee’s Beverage Strategy
Nate Grover, Director of Bar & Beverage, Applebee's Neighborhood Grill + Bar
In this session, Nate Grover, director of bar and beverage for Applebee’s, which he joined in 2017, will discuss highlights from the process of the chain’s beverage strategy development for all U.S. locations. In 2018, Applebee’s posted a 5% same-store sales growth—its best annual performance in over 25 years—in part due to the accomplishments Nate and the beverage team achieved to make the bar more relevant. Previously, Nate spent seven years at Buffalo Wild Wings where he helped develop and grow its beverage program for all of its U.S. and Canada locations.
2:10 p.m.
Beverage & Flavor Trends
Lizzy Freier, Managing Editor, Technomic & Aimee Harvey, Managing Editor, Technomic
Back by popular demand, this presentation will take an in-depth look at on-trend flavors and categories heating up in beer, wine and spirits. We’ll delve into current applications and Technomic’s consumer and menu data, including spotlighting our new predictive data platform. Is orange wine the next rose? Will butterfly pea blossom go mainstream? How will cannabis affect the adult beverage industry? Visit us at Beverage & Flavor Trends to get answers to these questions and more.
2:55 p.m.
Networking Break
3:15 p.m.
Bartender Panel
Moderator: Donna Hood Crecca, Principal, Technomic
Panelists: Lauren Parton, Bar Operations Manager, Raised Urban Rooftop Bar, Adam Peabody, Head of Mixology, LondonHouse Chicago
Technomic will host a panel of bartenders who will speak to their utilization of current industry beverage and flavor trends as well as what adult beverage suppliers can do to support their efforts.
4:05 p.m.
Key Takeaways from Adult Beverage Planning Program
Donna Hood Crecca, Principal, Technomic
As the conference ends, we will review key takeaways for attendees to take back and present to their offices.
5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Cocktail Reception


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