WASHINGTON — Todd Hale, senior vice-president for consumer and shopper insights at the Nielsen Co., will kick off the April 16 business session of the American Bakers Association’s 2012 Annual Convention in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Mr. Hale will offer broad-based insights into consumer behavior and outline a path of sustainability and growth for baking businesses. Following the release of the data, Mr. Hale will join a panel of retail experts to discuss and explore what the findings mean for the baking industry.

“A.B.A. is very excited to offer this incredibly timely analysis for our convention attendees,” said Robb MacKie, president and chief executive officer of the A.B.A. “Many bakers, like their counterparts in the larger food industry, have struggled to anticipate unpredictable consumer behavior. The research offered by Nielsen will give attendees clear and direct guidance to stay in-touch with consumers and on top of trends.”

The business session will identify areas for innovation in the bakery aisle, review three years of sales trends in the category across different retail platforms, and share suggestions of how bakers and retailers can work together to take advantage of evolving demographics and trends.

“This presentation will set the stage for our retailer panel,” Mr. MacKie said. “Our panel is shaping up to feature some very dynamic executives from leading-edge companies in a different format — A.B.A. is looking forward to officially announcing them in the weeks to come.”

Mr. Hale, who advises companies to facilitate brand, category and retail sales growth, has more than 33 years of experience in the consumer research industry, including 27 years with The Nielsen Co.

The 2012 A.B.A. Annual Convention will be held April 14-18 at the Scottsdale Fairmont Princess. The theme of this year’s event is “Baking Industry United,” which celebrates each individual’s integral role in the industry. More information may be found at www.americanbakers.org.