Past Conferences

Thought for Food (and Drink)


MSI’s first-ever conference focused solely on food and beverage will feature some of the latest and best academic thinking relevant to our members in these key industry sectors.

A line-up of top academic speakers will share new insights on topics such as pricing and promotion schedules, optimal levels of variety and assortment, implications of various packaging forms, and factors affecting consumers’ eating and drinking experiences. Our co-chairs for the conference are famed author and eating behavior expert Brian Wansink (Cornell University) and leading consumer behavior expert Alexander Chernev (Northwestern University).

Who should attend?

Members from MSI companies in the food and beverage industries—including consumer packaged goods, wine and spirits, retailers, and restaurants—are encouraged to attend. We also welcome MSI members from other industries, as the topics addressed will be relevant and applicable to other business sectors.



Please click here for a PDF version of the agenda. 

8:00 – 9:00 a.m. Registration and Breakfast
9:00 – 9:15 Welcome and Overview
Kevin Lane Keller, Dartmouth College, and Executive Director, Marketing Science Institute, and Earl L. Taylor, Chief Marketing Officer, Marketing Science Institute
9:15 – 10:00 Slim by Design: Win-Win Ways to make more money by Selling Fewer Calories
Brian Wansink, Cornell University
Do you want to develop the next 100 calorie pack? Brian Wansink will examine a wide range of win-win discoveries that have helped consumers eat less or eat better while generating increased sales and market share for the companies that developed them. He will focus on who to target, how to more easily innovate “slim by design” ideas, and how to accelerate acceptance and adoptions
10:00 – 10:30 Discussion
Vonnie Gormley, Consumer Insights Manager, General Mills, Inc.
10:30 – 10:45 Break
10:45 – 11:30 Design Factors That Influence the Perceived Variety of an Assortment
Barbara E. Kahn, University of Pennsylvania
Research has shown that assortment variety influences choice and consumption. Barbara Kahn will discuss research demonstrating that even subtle perceptual changes in how an assortment is depicted can affect perceived variety of the assortment and thus consumers’ decision making. She will explore several visual and textual inputs which are easily managed for both physical and online assortments that result in significant differences in likelihood to purchase, amount of variety chosen, and quantity purchased or consumed. She will also demonstrate how subtle design changes in packaging and/or product shape can affect quantity consumed.
11:30 – 12:00 p.m. Discussion
Cathy Seltz, Director – Global Consumer & Business Insights, McDonald’s Corporation
12:00 – 1:15 Lunch
1:15 – 2:00 When Vices and Virtues Collide: How Beliefs, Heuristics, and Biases Influence Food Consumption
Alexander Chernev, Northwestern University
Extensive research in diverse domains—including psychology, marketing, and nutrition—has shown that consumers tend to stereotype foods into “vices” and “virtues” based on their perceived benefits and costs. While foods classified as virtues fit consumers’ long-term goals (e.g., eating healthy), they do not necessarily offer immediate gratification. In contrast, vices offer immediate gratification (e.g., a tasty albeit unhealthy dessert) but are inconsistent with consumers’ longer-term goals. Alex Chernev will discuss research that examines the impact of this vice‒virtue categorization on consumer judgment and choice, identifying scenarios in which consumers’ erroneous beliefs and reliance on heuristics lead to biased decisions.
2:00 – 2:30 Discussion
Shawn Utke, Vice President – Brand Insight & Research, Panera Bread Company
2:30 – 2:45 Break
2:45 – 3:30 The Power of Sensory Marketing in Food Ads: New Findings
Aradhna Krishna, University of Michigan
Based on research from the Sensory Marketing Laboratory, Aradhna Krishna will discuss new findings on how sensory cues in food ads can enhance consumers’ experience and increase purchase. For example, evoking an imagined food smell with a visual cue increases consumer product desire and subsequent consumption; appealing to multiple senses in food ads creates higher taste perceptions; and using visual cues to depict product use leads to more imagined product use and higher purchase intentions. She will discuss how companies might incorporate these findings for more effective food advertising.
3:30 – 4:00 Discussion
Turiya Luzadder, Insights Manager, MillerCoors
4:00 – 4:15 Break
4:15 – 5:00 Pricing Strategies and Tactics in the Food and Beverage Sector
Praveen Kopalle, Dartmouth College
Pricing strategies and tactics offer critical leverage to both manufacturers and retailers in the food and beverage industry. Praveen Kopalle will discuss recent advances on topics such as reference price effects, bundling strategies, loyalty programs, and elasticity-based pricing, and will examine how these new findings can be used to develop more effective pricing strategies.
5:00 – 5:30 Discussion
Denise L. Rasmussen, Director, Knowledge & Insights, The Coca-Cola Company
5:30 – 6:45 Reception


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Unfortunately the MSI group rate has expired for this event. Below is the general hotel information. 

Hilton Orrington/Evanston 
1710 Orrington Avenue   
Evanston, Illinois 60201   
(847) 866-8700   

**Hotel Group Cancellation Policy: Reservations cancelled after Monday, May 4th will be charged for 1 night’s room and tax.

Registration Fees

  • Corporate Member: $495
  • Group Corporate Member: $350
  • Academic: $350
  • Public: $795

Group Corporate Member registration is defined as two or more paying registrants from the same MSI member company. If you wish to register your group, please contact MSI at (617) 491-2060 or MSI Meetings.

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