Communication and Food Messaging: The Consumer Disconnect "From Scientific Findings to Useful Consumer Information"

Workshop Program 2013

1:00 – 1:10 p.m.
Welcome and Introductions

Dr. Leah Gramlich, Founding President and Past President CNS
Provincial Medical Advisor Nutrition Services, Alberta Health Services
Professor of Medicine, University of Alberta

Explanation of day’s discussion, goals and purpose of the CNS Food for Health Workshop series.

1:10 – 1:40 p.m.
Keynote speaker: "Consumer Perspective from the Trenches on Communication and Food Messaging"

Richard P. Ellis, Senior Vice President
Communications, Public Affairs & Corporate Social Responsibility, McDonald's Restaurants of Canada Limited
Chairman, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Canada

The communications disconnect with consumers is a serious barrier to the use of food to maintain health and mitigate the progress of chronic illness. The retailer provides an important intersect with consumers and is a key source of nutritious food and nutritional information.

Retailers with their years of experience branding and marketing health food messages can offer a unique window on this critical communications challenge. They can provide a unique perspective on how to take nutritional messaging retail and present it so that consumers not only see it, but adopt it -- what seems to work and what does not and the challenges involved in reaching out to consumers.

Questions will be fielded.

1:40 - 2:10 p.m. 
Plenary Discussion
“Dialogue on the Communications Disconnect – Go Forward Action”

Dr. David Ma,  PhD, Associate Professor, Dept. of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences, College of Biological Sciences, University of Guelph

Dr. Leah Gramlich, MD, FRCPSC, Founding President and Past President CNS; 
Provincial Medical Advisor Nutrition Services, Alberta Health Services; Professor of Medicine, University of Alberta

Drs. Ma and Gramlich will lead a plenary discussion on some of the core issues related to go forward action on how to address the consumer communication disconnect. This discussion will be based on the results of the informal survey CNS conducted prior to the workshop.

What is the disconnect?  How can it be fixed? What needs to happen to move forward with concrete action? What needs to change? And who needs to take the lead?

2:10 – 3:10 p.m. 
Panel: Communication and Food Messaging: The Consumer Disconnect on Food and Nutrition

The Processor/Manufacturer, and Retailer Perspective on Success in Making Consumer Breakthrough/Achieving Consumer Adoption.

This panel will look at communicating food messages from a marketing perspective including pitfalls and opportunities. Aligning approaches to enhance consumer uptake of relevant nutrition messaging:  Panelists will profile their experience marketing various products with nutrition/health claims to consumers.

After providing a general perspective, they will provide a case study of a product. They might explore not just the success in marketing a “nutritious” product, but why it was successful – key learning, what kinds of consumer research they undertook, etc.

Each panelist will provide a 10-12 minute “take” on the issue answering key questions posed by CNS, and where possible, provide case study experience or examples and identify the top priority to address the disconnect.

Dairy Farmers of Canada
Nathalie Savoie, MBA, Dt.P, Directrice adjointe, Nutrition/Assistant Director, Nutrition Programmes nationaux/National Programs Les Producteurs laitiers du Canada
“Consuming enough milk products – the challenge of inertia.”

Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA) 
Brad Fournier, M.Sc., EMBA, Executive Director, ALMA 
Countering negative health claims”

Glycemic Index Laboratories (GI Labs) 
Dr. Thomas M.S. Wolever, MD, PhD, DM (Oxford), President Glycemic Index Laboratories (GI Labs); Professor, Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto  

Dr. Wolever’s presentation will reflect on taking the concept of the glycemic index from theory to practice and commercialization.

A 15 minute Q&A will follow.

3:10 – 3:20 p.m. BIO BREAK/SHORT STRETCH
An opportunity to fill out the CNS Food for Health Survey.

3:20 – 4:20 p.m. Panel: From Scientific Findings to Useful Consumer Information 
The Researcher/Funder/Government Perspective on Communicating with Canadians on Nutrition/Making Consumer Breakthrough/Achieving Consumer Adoption

The troubling trends in food for health research: Has the pendulum swung too far?

Is the role of the researcher evolving? Should researchers who are not trained in communications be on the frontline communicating directly to consumers?
The evolving nature of food/nutrition research may be a contributing factor to consumer confusion about health claims.

The research community will also talk about the renewed focus on knowledge translation, its impact on food for health research and linking evidence-based research messaging with a consumer based approach. Is current research retail enough to connect with consumers? Should it be? Health Canada will also provide their unique perspective on how to align approaches to enhance consumer uptake of relevant nutrition messaging.

Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
Kiera Keown, M.Sc., Senior Advisor, Knowledge Translation, CIHR 
“Knowledge Translation at CIHR – Bridging the Gap”

Institute of Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods, Laval University
Dr. Sophie Desroches, RD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Food and Nutrition Sciences at Laval University; Institute of Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods; and CIHR New Investigator 
“Has knowledge translation gone wrong?”

Health Canada
Dr. Hasan Hutchinson 
Director General of the Office of Nutrition Policy and Promotion, Health Products 
and Food Branch of Health Canada 
“Update on Communications Outreach”

A 15 minute Q&A will follow.

4:20 – 4:30 p.m. Wrap of the session. Hand in of surveys.


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