Monday, October 19, 2009

FNCE Day 2

There was a time in my life (B.C. - Before Children) when I traveled for business a lot. I mean A LOT. So, I've stayed in a lot of hotels, sometimes for months at a time, and I've been to a lot of multi-day meetings and conventions. But this has been my first time at a convention for Registered Dietitians. I have made 3 key observations:

1. There are a lot of women. I mean A LOT. If there are any bachelors out there wondering where all the women are, just find out where the next ADA convention will be. Hemi Weingarten, the blogger for Fooducate, noticed this too and had a great blogpost yesterday, noting that 97% of dietitians are women.

2. The hotel gym is packed at 5 am. I ended up on a broken elliptical this morning (which was fine - I managed) because these RDs really practice what they preach. They live a healthy lifestyle. It is a refreshing change from some of the other industries I've experienced.

3. RDs are passionate about food. Whether it's been on the convention floor, at a fabulous Denver restaurant, or during a busy reception, I have so enjoyed being in the company of these women (and some men!) who have a true appreciation for all things culinary.

Day 2 at FNCE was even busier than Day 1. In addition to the 4 of us who came from NuVal to work our booth, we were joined by Shari Steinbach, lead dietitian at Meijer, one of NuVal's retailer partners.

Dr. Keith Ayoob, a member of NuVal's Scientific Advisory Board, was also on hand to teach RDs all about the NuVal system.

Dr. Ayoob congratulated Laura Sutherland as we all celebrated our latest retailer partner: United Texas Supermarkets.

We all were really busy spreading the NuVal work to the RDs.

We were surprised and thrilled when another member of NuVal's Scientific Advisory Board stopped by: Dr. Gail Frank.

These visits from our Scientific advisors was a great reminder that NuVal is deeply rooted in science and it is an independent scoring system.

The day culminated with a great presentation and panel discussion called Cleanup in Aisle 4: The Impact of Food Labeling Systems on the Grocery Industry and Consumers. Annette Maggi, our Senior Director of Nutrition, gave a great presentation on NuVal.

SmartChoices was represented by Dr. Susan Crockett of General Mills and Susan Moores played referee!

Dr. Crockett explained that while the SmartChoices program is not for profit, food manufacturers have to pay to participate. So, if they would like the green checkmark on the front of their package they need to meet certain nutritional criteria and pay for it. I feel badly for the smaller manufacturers whose products may meet the criteria for SmartChoices but who may not be able to afford to pay for the checkmark. Annette clearly explained that NuVal scores all products and that we do not charge manufacturers.

The day wrapped up with a wonderful dinner at Restaurant Kevin Taylor. Annette, Laura and I dined there with an incredibly well-rounded dietitian from a very exciting and innovative prospective retailer. More to come on that topic.

Day 3 of FNCE will probably leave me with no time for blogging. While FNCE has been a great time, and I love coming to conferences like this more than ever. Now, as a busy working mom juggling career and household, a conference is more like a vacation than it ever was B.C.

I can't wait to see my husband and kids tomorrow night!


  1. Do you have any information on when NuVal scores are coming to certain stores and locations? I have so many interested patients in Oklahoma, we can hardly wait!

  2. I attended the NuVal presentation and loved it! Annette did a great job representing the company and I can't wait to see this expand to more stores. Nice meeting you at your booth as well!