Leadership Forum

Elevating the industry by strengthening those who lead it.


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2021 Update

As Consumer Brands moves into the next phase of the pandemic, we have carefully considered implications for the Leadership Forum we traditionally hold each summer.

With the uncertainty around business travel and large gatherings, we have canceled the 2021 Leadership Forum.

In 2022, we plan to hold a reimagined Leadership Forum, happening the week of September 26-30. Please mark your calendars to join us then in Colorado Springs.


Leadership Forum

An event authentic to CPG — our challenges, our opportunities, our future.

Speakers who challenge the way we think and inspire the way we work. Peer-to-peer discussions on issues that matter to the industry. Time to dedicate to the big ideas that will disrupt the status quo and redefine what’s next.

In two packed days, we elevate the industry by strengthening those who lead it.

2019 Highlights

For the Future of Packaging, Impatience is a Virtue

“The big elephant in the room is that all of your packaging is already recyclable.” Tom Szaky, founder of TerraCycle and believer that all things – even cigarette butts – are recyclable, said the real question was not if their packaging could be recycled, but when it would be practically recycled. “When” was a constant question throughout the packaging sustainability sessions. The impatience in the room was palpable. Because time is running out.

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Maintaining Consumer Trust in a Meme-Driven World

As children, we were told not to talk to strangers. Today, thanks to Uber and Airbnb, we get into their cars and stay in their homes. Trust has dramatically changed, with mistrust shifting to politicians, reporters or others in power. Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb managed to buck that trend at FDA, taking a consumer-focused approach that earned him respect and a reputation for being the consumer’s regulator. “The best approach that I’ve found when you have major challenges, was to own them right up front,” said Gottlieb.

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Can the CPG Industry Guard Itself Against a Looming Recession?

Wall Street whiplash has been in the news even more so than usual, as threats of a recession loom large. But in conversations with economists and analysts, there’s a silver lining for CPG companies – if they are innovating. “What I love about this business is that it’s so stable,” said Caroline Levy, senior equity research analyst at Macquaire Group. “I do think we’re going to outperform most industries in a recession. I still think there’s room for products to dramatically outperform the competition with good innovation.”

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Brands That Create Relationships with the Consumer Find True Authenticity

Brand authenticity is essential for relating to the consumer and the consumer is becoming more and more sophisticated. “The consumer is much smarter now and they know the delineation between spokesperson and co-founder,” Sarah Michelle Gellar said, comparing her experience as a Foodstirs executive versus her time as a celebrity spokesperson. “If I were going to step back into that world it had to be for something that I felt passionate about, that I had a hand in creating what the voice was, because I do have a voice and I wanted to be able to use it.”

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More Content


Doing Business Under the Wall Street Microscope


How Gottlieb Won Over Hearts and Minds by Being Human


Welcome to the New Era of Celebrity-Backed Brands