In the Spotlight: Trends

top trends at the food marketing conference

Erika Hejl standing at podium

Erika Hejl at the 53rd annual Food Marketing Conference.

The 2018 WMU Food Marketing Conference drew more than 750 people, and among those attendees were students, ready to learn more about the industry. Senior food and consumer package goods marketing student Erika Hejl shares the top trends she gleaned from the conference. 

Generation Z

“This generation is beginning to enter the shopping world, and even if the majority are not significant shoppers yet themselves, we can see their habits through the shopping patterns of their parents. This generation will be the most diverse, tech-oriented that we have seen, and retailers and manufacturers are beginning to focus on how they will shop.”

Amazon—the biggest online disrupter

“The conversation about Amazon is ongoing. Amazon is listening to the convenience that consumers want. By 2022, 70 percent of consumers will do some grocery shopping online. Amazon will continue to keep the industry guessing about where they are going next.”


“Consumers want a shopping experience where they feel that the retailer knows them as individuals, not just  transactions. They also want to be able to shop how they want and when they want, whether its online or in-store.”

Technology and Innovation

“From Amazon’s Alexa to autonomous vehicles, technology continues to change the way we live our lives. The potential that exists for technological innovation in the food industry is greater than I ever imagined. It will present many new opportunities for companies but will also be a substantial threat.”


“When retailers and manufacturers are transparent with their products and intentions, they can create trusting relationships with their customers. As Generation Z enters the marketplace, this will be even more important.”