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Gut Reaction: Digestive Health in Focus

A FoodNavigator-USA editorial webinar

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Start Date:June 19, 2019

Start Time:11:30am CT (Chicago)

Duration:60 minutes


Digestive health used to revolve around roughage, but as understanding of the relationship between our guts and our overall health has grown, consumers are now exploring everything from prebiotic fibers and probiotics to a new wave of fermented foods or simply avoiding foods that make them feel bloated or lethargic.

We explore how consumers are thinking about gut health and how manufacturers can tap into demand for foods that make our microbes happy.



Angela Grist

Marketing Director
Activia US (Danone North America)

Angela Grist is Senior Director of Probiotic Innovation at Danone North America. Previously Angela worked as Director of the Danimals brand in the USA. Angela is originally from the UK where she also worked for Danone, holding marketing roles across the Activia, Actimel and Volvic brands. Angela holds an Honors degree in French and Linguistics from the University of Oxford.

Ben Goodwin


Ben Goodwin is a Californian based product developer and entrepreneur who specializes in digestive/microbiome health and increasing the broad accessibility and scientific rigor of health oriented Consumer Packaged Goods. Now on his third digestive-health beverage venture OLIPOP, Ben has been a product formulator for over a decade with a specific focus on fiber/prebiotics, probiotics and scaled fermentation systems. For more information please see

Ben’s passion for mass microbiome health stems from his own background making healthier dietary decisions as a teenager and the benefits he experienced in both his physical and mental health as a result. His life mission is oriented around increasing the accessibility and desirability of healthy packaged goods, and believes in a future where mass processed foods are as tasty as they are fundamentally healthy for the average person. In addition to health and wellness, Ben also has been DJing for over a decade and runs the electronic music site FWD.DJ.

Kara Landau, APD/AN

Uplift Food

Kara Landau “Travelling Dietitian” is a highly respected Australian Registered Dietitian, Author, and Founder of the prebiotic gut health brand - Uplift Food – Good Mood Food, based in New York City, USA.

A previous spokesperson for the Dietitians Association of Australia, and now the nutrition advisor and media representative for the Global Prebiotic Association, Kara specializes in the connection between diet, gut health and mood, and the vital role of prebiotic fibers and resistant starches.

Regularly requested to provide expert opinion on gut health and psychobiotics in the USA & Australia, Kara can be found quoted throughout titles such as Shape, Elle, Elite Daily, Bustle, Womens Health, Mens Health, Readers Digest, MSN, Yahoo, and more.

Founding Uplift Food – Good Mood Food: The world's first dietitian created functional food brand to focus exclusively on the mood supportive benefits of gut healthy prebiotics, Kara’s mission it to continue to educate, inspire, and make eating a prebiotic rich diet easy and enjoyable to all those that she can encounter.

Mitchell Kruesi

Senior Brand Manager

Mitchell Kruesi has spent the lion’s share of his career building food and beverage brands for WhiteWave Foods and continued his contributions after WhiteWave merged with renowned food leader Danone in 2014. He joined NextFoods, makers of GoodBelly, in March 2019.

While at Danone North America, Mitchell led the turnaround plan for the $160 million retail soymilk business. Among other approaches, he drove growth through both assortment and formula optimization as well as with a new digital creative campaign with public relations, influencer and social media integration. He also rolled out a packaging restage and managed new product launches. He managed the media strategy and execution for Silk’s 2018 Winter Olympics activation, which resulted in high single digit sequential growth in base velocities.

Prior to his work on Silk, Mitchell was the brand manager for Land O Lakes & Club Channel where he managed a $350+ million retail business and grew share and sales despite flat category growth. A respected research and data analyst, he achieved this through insight-led new product innovation, strong sales execution and partnership as well as developing pricing strategy to support profit and share in the volatile commodities environment.

Mitchell also spent time growing the Horizon Organic business while at WhiteWave Foods. He led Horizon’s brand extension into center store categories by managing the cross-functional team through the development and commercialization of Mac & Cheese and Snacks, which grew to become a $10+ million incremental business.

Prior to joining WhiteWave Foods, Mitchell spent several years at as a strategic analyst where he first started pursuing his passion for leveraging consumer insights into building businesses and consumer loyalty.

Mitchell earned his BA from the University of Denver and received his Masters in International Trade, Finance and Economic Integration from the University of Denver Graduate School of International Studies. He currently live in Boulder, CO with his wife and 2 young daughters, and enjoys spending any free time in the outdoors running, biking, and skiing with his family.

Elaine Watson


Elaine has more than 15 years’ experience in multimedia business journalism and events management in the UK and the USA, covering subjects as diverse as industrial espionage, open innovation, and food labeling.

She has also organized and chaired face-to-face and online events from seminars and round table debates to conferences on everything from radio-frequency ID tagging to the gluten-free market.

Elaine began her career in journalism at an online food trading exchange called efdex in the UK and went on to work for a series of publications including The Grocer, Food Manufacture and Food Ingredients, Health & Nutrition. In 2002, she was named Features Writer of the Year by the UK Periodical Publishers Association at its inaugural Food and Drink Journalism Awards.

Elaine moved from the UK to Ohio in spring 2011 to join the editorial team of two leading online publications: NutraIngredients-USA and FoodNavigator-USA. Today, she lives in California and edits FoodNavigator-USA.


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