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The Sweet Spot: Reducing Sugar Without Reducing Flavor

A FoodNavigator-USA editorial webinar

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Start Date:April 30, 2019

Start Time:12:30pm ET (New York)

Duration:60 minutes


In recent years, sugar has become public enemy #1 in the food & beverage industry with consumers blaming the ingredient for a litany of health problems. But is this a fair assessment? And even if it isn’t, how is industry responding to meet evolving consumer demands?

In this live, free one-hour webinar, FoodNavigator-USA’s Deputy Editor Elizabeth Crawford will lead an expert panel of speakers through a 45-minute discussion on how consumers’ views on sugar are changing the way they shop, and as a result the way food and beverage manufacturers are making products. The last 15 minutes of the webinar will be dedicated to answering attendees’ questions. Specifically, the panel will look at:

  • How consumers think about sugar and other sweeteners ranging from coconut sugar and date syrup to allulose, monk fruit and new stevia blends.
  • How do consumer perceptions of sugar and sweeteners stack up to the science?
  • Real life case studies analyzing the pros and cons of formulating with sugar and other sweeteners.
  • How are labeling and regulatory changes related to sugar and sweeteners affecting the market?
  • To what extent is the ‘GMO factor’ impacting purchasing decisions for sweeteners?


Brad Charron


Brad has been the CEO of ALOHA, a plant-based protein pioneer, since August 2017. Brad has dedicated a large portion of his career to the broader health & wellness category, leading marketing and commercial growth efforts, as well as advising some of the most iconic brands in the space. A classically-trained marketer, Brad’s primary expertise has been in building the next generation of beloved brands that speaks to today’s consumer passion points while, at the same time, delivering a compelling holistic value proposition that attracts trial and retains loyalty beyond price. Witnessing revolution first-hand, Brad has worked closely with some of the most forward-thinking entrepreneurs and visionaries at Chobani, Under Armour, and KIND Snacks.

Brad is a former Division 1 hockey player, a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and Harvard Business School, and a devoted husband and father to three young daughters. The Charron family resides in Darien, CT.

Cynthia Tice

Lily's Sweets

Cynthia Tice got her start in the natural foods industry before green juice was cool. She opened a natural foods grocery store, Center Foods, in Philadelphia in 1978, and owned and operated that store for 20 years. As supermarkets realized the staying power of natural and organic foods, Tice began consulting retailers on how to launch or build out their natural and organic offerings. She also began advising brands looking to launch natural and organic products. While working with a client who wanted to launch a natural soda, Tice became aware of the opportunity for naturally sweetened, no added sugar foods. This trend was emerging as a result of growing consumer sentiments to limit sugar, along with all time high levels of distrust of non-nutritive artificial sweeteners. As a long-time user of stevia, when the ingredient was granted GRAS status in 2008, Tice began experimenting with making chocolate with stevia to satisfy her own need for a no added sugar chocolate (her favorite food) that she could eat daily. In 2011, the recipe was perfected using not only stevia, but also the finest Fair Trade, additive-free, and Non-GMO other ingredients in order to benefit both people and planet. By 2012, Lily's Sweets was on shelves in Whole Foods stores nationwide. Today, Lily's Sweets remains a leader in the no added sugar movement through continued innovation, and the company's chocolates and confections can be found in more than 10,000 stores nationwide. Lily's Sweets was recently recognized by Forbes as a, 'mission-driven company reinventing the packaged food industry.'

Jake Sablosky

NuNaturals, Inc.

Jake Sablosky is the president and second-generation operator of NuNaturals, a family-owned natural foods company founded by his father that has been providing delicious, sugar-free products for almost 30 years.

Jake was always involved in the family business growing up, from packing boxes as boy to cold-calling stores in high school. He believes their success was built on a core purpose of Helping to Keep You Well and a standout cast of loyal team members who believe in their purpose.

Jake received his undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado – Boulder in Economics and Psychology in 2012 and is currently pursuing an MBA part-time from the University of Oregon while running operations at NuNaturals. He moved into the role of president in December 2017 after 5 years with the company.

Growing up in the natural products industry undoubtedly influenced Jake’s obsession with learning about health, and how the foods, beverages, and supplements we consume play a foundational role. He believes reducing sugar is the first step towards a healthier life and is passionate about creating innovative natural food products that not only help people reduce sugar in their diets but also bring joy and happiness to their lives. After all, eating is one of the many joys of life and eating healthier should not be done at the expense of happiness.

Julie Miller Jones, PhD, CNS, LN

Professor emerita of Nutrition in the Department of Family, Consumer and Nutritional Sciences
St. Catherine University

Adjunct Professor in the Department of Food and Science and Nutrition
University of Minnesota

Julie Miller Jones, PhD, CNS, LN, professor emerita of Nutrition in the Department of Family, Consumer and Nutritional Sciences at St. Catherine University and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Food and Science and Nutrition at the University of Minnesota. She is an internationally recognized expert, speaker and author in nutritional science with a focus on the global intake and health impact of carbohydrates, fiber and whole grains. She’s also the go-to resource for food safety and has authored the book, Food Safety (Eagan Press). As a leader among her peers, Dr. Jones led the Whole Grains Task Force and the Glycemic Carbohydrate Definition Committee and is Past President of the American Association of Cereal Chemists International.

Kris Sollid

Senior Director, Nutrition Communications
International Food Information Council (IFIC)

Kris Sollid is a registered dietitian with a passion for improving nutrition science communications. As the Senior Director of Nutrition Communications at the International Food Information Council (IFIC), Kris leads their nutrition team in monitoring nutrition research making media headlines to analyze how nutrition science is conveyed and its impact on consumer attitudes, beliefs and trust in information related to food and health. Since joining IFIC in 2009, his role has included leading consumer research projects, health professional outreach, educational resource development, social and traditional media engagement, and timely written contributions to IFIC Foundation’s website, as well external consumer and peer-reviewed publications.

Kris has earned degrees from the University of Colorado, Boulder and the University of Maryland, College Park. He is an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and currently serves as President of DCMAND, the Academy's District of Columbia Metro affiliate. You can follow Kris on Twitter @SCRDinDC and IFIC Foundation @FoodInsight.

Elizabeth Crawford

Deputy Editor

Elizabeth has more than 10 years of experience as a regulatory and business reporter for trade press. She covers the food and beverage industries, including innovation, start-ups, health, wellness, nutrition, FDA and dietary supplements.


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