Chicago’s Food Innovators Weigh in on the Industry’s Growth Trajectory

Former Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chef Rick Bayless at an event to showcase Chicago’s strong community of food.

The event was held at the Hatchery in Chicago’s East Garfield Park community, where leaders from Chicago’s diverse food industry came together to celebrate the future of Chicago’s thriving food sectors and discuss shared challenges.

Andrea Zopp moderated a panel of industry experts, which included Wendy Davidson, President of U.S. Specialty Channels at Kellogg Co., Michelle Lorge, Vice President of Marketing at Simple Mills, Alan Reed, Executive Director of Chicagoland Food and Beverage Network and Angela McCoy, Vice President in the Private Investments Group, PSP Capital.

The discussion centered on the importance of professional connections in the food industry, and especially in Chicago as well as current trends in the food sector and the implications of these trends for investors. It also focused on ways Chicago can continue to maintain its growth trajectory in the food industry.

“Chicago’s central location, connectivity, and unparalleled talent base make it a global hub for business and the U.S. leader in food and beverage manufacturing GRP and employment,” said Andrea Zopp, president and CEO of World Business Chicago. “Chicago’s Community of Food event, presented the opportunity to hear from a variety of food industry leaders on why the food and beverage sector in Chicago is thriving and the exciting trends they are seeing as the sector continues to grow.”

At the event, former Mayor Emanuel also announced Chicago will be home to Starbucks’ 2019 Leadership Conference in September 2019, building on the City’s position as a thriving food and beverage hub for businesses, conferences and tourists, restaurants, entrepreneurs and investors. This is the first time Chicago will host this event, which is estimated to bring over 13,000 attendees to the City.

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