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Start Date:April 21, 2021

Start Time:10:30am CT (Chicago)

Duration:60 minutes


From protein bars for kids, to high-fat, ultra-low carb keto’ bars, to collagen-infused bars, the nutrition bar category is constantly evolving to reflect new trends. So how can brands punch above their weight, how can retailers merchandise products more effectively, what non-traditional channels hold the most potential, and what ingredients and diet trends are gaining traction?


Cargill AIC


Brad Charron



Brad Charron is the CEO of Aloha, an employee-owned and operated Certified B Corp committed to making the healthiest, best-tasting plant-based protein products on the planet. A classically trained CPG operator, Brad has spent the majority of his career working on some of the most powerful entrepreneurial brands of the past decade, including Chobani, Kind Snacks and Under Armour. As a father of three girls and a former D1 hockey goalie, Brad leads with “calm intensity” and is committed to building a company he’d be proud to pass on to his daughters.

Karen Howland

Managing Director


Karen Howland is a Managing Director and General Partner with CircleUp Growth Partners. She has 15 years of investing experience across both the public and private sectors, and across all different elements of the consumer landscape, including retail, DTC and consumer products. Focused on investing in visionary founders, CircleUp Growth Partners is CircleUp’s venture fund for innovative early-stage consumer brands. The fund leverages CircleUp’s proprietary technology asset, Helio, to identify innovative brands with differentiated products and provides entrepreneurs with a unique set of resources and actionable, data-driven insights to propel their businesses forward.

Vincent Kitirattragarn

Founder & CEO

Dang Foods

Vincent Kitirattragarn is the founder of Dang Foods, the first and only Asian-American snack company. He is a Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree and has won multiple SOFI awards for “Best Snack”. He started the company in 2012 after he told his Thai-Chinese mother about his popup restaurant, and she gave him a recipe for Miang Kum, a Northern Thai dish that requires toasted coconut. Vincent made the dish, tasted the toasted coconut, and then immediately called his family to find more because it tasted so dang good. He then formed a company and named it Dang, after his mother.

Rachel Moore

VP of Marketing

Clio Snacks

Rachel Moore is the VP of Marketing for Clio Snacks. She has been with the brand for three years and oversees every faucet of marketing, from brand strategy to innovation. In her day-to-day role she leads cross-functional and agency teams to drive mass awareness by introducing Clio to brand new consumers and turning them into loyalists. Previously, she held marketing roles at E&J Gallo Winery where she successfully managed over 15 multi-million-dollar brands within the parent company, working on brands like Barefoot Wine & Bubbly and Andre Champagne.

Will Nitze

Founder & CEO


Will Nitze is the Founder & CEO of IQBAR, a Boston-based brain and body nutrition company. After studying psychology as an undergrad at Harvard, Will became fascinated with the human brain and how it functions. Then, in his mid-20’s he experienced chronic failings with his own brain – including daily headaches – that he traced back to his high-carb diet. By eliminating staples like bread and pasta from his regimen, he staged an astounding cognitive recovery! In 2017, after failing to identify ready-to-eat products that matched his new regimen, Will begin tinkering in his apartment kitchen on a protein bar optimized for brain and body nutrition. After countless iterations, he launched a successful crowdfunding campaign and incorporated IQBAR. While the product line has evolved over the years, Will’s mission of empowering “doers” through better nutrition has never wavered. IQBARs are now sold in 7,000 US locations and on all major e-commerce platforms.

Mary Ellen Shoup

Senior Correspondent

Mary Ellen is the senior correspondent for FoodNavigator-USA and NutraIngredients-USA reporting on emerging trends, startups, and the latest innovation in the food, beverage, and nutrition industries. Based in Chicago, Mary Ellen joined the editorial team in 2016 as the US correspondent for BeverageDaily and DairyReporter.

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