Two highly informative panel discussions will take center stage during the Monday morning business session of the American Bakers Association (ABA) annual convention next month. The conference, which will take place Sunday, April 21, through Wednesday, April 24, at the Turnberry Isle Resort, Aventura, FL, will help bakers navigate the difficult road ahead.

The first group of experts at the Monday meeting will examine crucial trends with each panelist providing a “Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats” (SWOT) analysis of the baking industry. Following this presentation will be a retail consumer panel that will observe the SWOT analysis and offer ideas and strategies on how the industry can partner for growth.

The influencer panel will feature Todd Hale, senior vice-president, consumer and shopper insights, Nielsen; Steve French, managing partner, Natural Marketing Institute (NMI); Lynn Dornblaser, director of Consulting, Mintel Custom Solutions, Mintel International; and Frances Largeman-Roth, RD, best-selling author and nationally recognized health expert.

Participants on the retail panel are John Elstrott, PhD, chairman of the board, Whole Foods, Inc.; Richard Junge, menu innovation, McDonald’s Corp.; and Mark Batenic, president and CEO, Independent Grocers Association (IGA).

The panel discussions will be moderated by David Orgel, editor-in-chief of Supermarket News.

This year’s theme of “Staying Ahead of the Curve When You Don’t Know What’s Around the Bend” is a nod to the constantly changing trends, shifting consumer tastes, new technology, government regulations, and the almost impossible task of staying current and competitive in today’s marketplace.

For more details or to register visit theABA website.