Highlights from Day 2 of The Global Summit

‘You have a responsibility to take care of my health, to look after it, to look after the health of future generations’

exhorted 17-year-old food activist Molly Lewis, the youngest speaker at The Global Summit in Chicago, during a plenary session today. Her presentation drew genuine applause from the audience — composed of over 1,000 consumer goods industry leaders poised to make a difference.

‘Today what we’re asking for is your leadership. Start by using your power and influence for good’

added her fellow activist Dev Sharma, an 18-year-old youth MP and chair of Bite Back 2030, a movement working to put child health first in the food system. Their stirring call to action reverberated through Day 2 of the conference, which gave a platform to a diverse range of stakeholders invested in ‘Empowering Business for a Better Tomorrow’.

Chief executives continued to show a strong presence on the second day of the Summit, beginning with the morning’s opening conversation between DoorDash CEO Tony Xu and CGF Managing Director Wai-Chan Chan. CEOs Nathalie Roos of LIPTON Teas and Infusions, Carlos Abrams-Rivera of The Kraft Heinz Company, Seth Teply of Tetra Pak U.S. and Canada, and Gonzalve Bich of BiC also joined in later sessions to share insights on ethical leadership.

Gen Z on the Rise

Molly and Dev of Bite Back 2030 were not the only Gen Zers with a voice at the Global Summit. Generation Z, the cohort born roughly between 1997 and 2012, are maturing into adulthood, and several of today’s sessions either included speakers in this age group or discussed ways to adapt to their evolving desires. With the generation poised to become the leading demographic in every region by the end of the decade, it’s clear that companies must meet them where they are to remain relevant in the future.

‘Gen Z are more than just a statistic. There are forerunners of change and the champions of progress. Gen Z will soon become the defining generation of humanity.’ 
Nathalie Roos, Chief Executive Officer, LIPTON Teas and Infusions

‘The idea that the way you consume a product is exactly the same as somebody else — that’s anathema to the younger consumer; they don’t understand it. So personalisation is going to be really important.’
Richard Taylor, Managing Director, Consumer and Consumer Health, Jefferies

ESG at the Forefront

Sustainability in all its forms threaded throughout the day’s programme, both on the plenary stage and in the concurrent Dive-Ins and Special Sessions. Sessions with CGF’s Coalitions of Action, including Forest Positive, Food Waste and Human Rights, offered concrete opportunities to be part of the change.

‘I feel incredibly impassioned that there is a roadmap and a way to achieve Forest Positive. We each have to determine our own work together on solutions, but just keep going — get started or keep going.’
Lauren Richardson, Chief Procurement Officer, Colgate-Palmolive.

‘40% of food is never eaten. From that, there are financial and social costs. 10% of global emissions come from food loss and waste, and there are 2.4 billion people in the world who are food insecure. … So (food waste) has an environmental perspective, it has a financial perspective, and it has a social perspective.’
Janelle Meyers, Chief Sustainability Officer, Kellanova

‘If I don’t know what my supply chain is, if I haven’t looked because I’m afraid of what I’m going to find — well, that is abdication of leadership, and that’s not what CGF is about, and that’s not what any of these global CEOs want. But if I do look, now I’ve got the responsibility to act. … And what better organisation than CGF to help make this happen?’
John Ross, President & CEO, IGA, Inc.

Unlocking A.I

Over the course of today’s solutions-based discussions, it became clear that AI and other digital tools are key to achieving sustainability goals while continuing to drive growth. Leading CPG companies presented case studies from their own forays into the field of generative AI, leveraging it as a tool to power human creativity rather than replace it.

‘What’s going to really game-change the future of AI or generative AI is the quality of your data, not the amount of compute. … The data that you have, the ability to understand consumers, the judgement, in other words, will not be commoditised. That will be the special sauce for all of us.’
Tony Xu, CEO, DoorDash

‘Look at the whole process for developing and deploying marketing content right now that’s constrained right by the number of people that can create the content, let alone tailor it to a broad range of audiences. … Generative AI creates that opportunity.’
Todd James, Chief Data & Technology Officer, 84.51° (Kroger)

The evening closed with a cocktail hour set against a meaningful backdrop: the Blue Paradox at the Griffin Museum of Science and Industry. The immersive experience illustrated the pervasiveness of ocean plastic pollution. Walking beneath virtual waves and simulated plastic production lines, delegates traded key takeaways and ways to put them to work in reality.

The Summit reaches its grand finale tomorrow — a day centred around the global state of retail. We look forward to seeing you there!