4 Sessions You Won’t Want to Miss at Our 2020 Conference.

Shopper Insights has been an up-and-coming component of the Category Management and Shopper Insights Conference since 2018. At our 2019 Conference, SIMA’s presence grew significantly and many of you had the opportunity to meet our newly announced SIMA President, Leslie Warshaw for the first time. We were extremely pleased to hear all of your tremendous positive feedback on our Shopper Insights content, and this year we’ve been working to bring you even more great content from experts within the profession.

We have an exciting new lineup of Shopper Insights speakers, and we’re pleased to be bringing back a couple of favorites too, who have new revelations to share in 2020! We’re confident this group will get your wheels turning and will leave you with new ideas you can bring back to your company that will have long-term impact.

So, with that, here are four Shopper Insights sessions you won’t want to miss at the Category Management and Shopper Insights Conference.


Gina Peterson, The Hershey Company

Creating Value in a Shopper’s World

Today’s shopper has many choices. From the physical shops around the corner to 24/7 shopping in their pockets, capturing and retaining their attention is a challenge for any retailer. Fortunately, there is a North Star for retailers to follow: The “Shopper Value Equation.”

Hershey shopper research shows that three key criteria converge to create the value equation shoppers use for determining retailer selection: spend, time and experience. Optimizing all three, and putting the most emphasis on experience, enables retailers to build baskets, drive trips and unlock growth. It requires a holistic approach, blending online and brick-and-mortar in ways that stay a step ahead of consumers’ evolving needs and expectations.

During this session, Gina will offer the audience three keys and underlying strategies to unlocking growth: Findability, Engagement and Personalization. You’ll learn more about the data behind the shopper value framework and how to activate against findability, engagement and personalization to improve shopper experience in “phygital” retail. All data comes from Hershey’s annual snacks retail report and the underlying shopper research that informs its content.

Patti Horstmyer, Beech-Nut

Humanize Data with Shopper Insights

Patti brings 25+ years of experience in the CPG industry with expertise in shopper insights, category management, space management and customer business development. Before joining Beech-Nut, Patti spent over 20 years at Mondelez International serving as Category Account Manager & Category Advisor.

Patti’s breakout session will be focused on how to Humanize Data with Shopper Insights. The Shopper journey is no longer a straight path. It is increasingly important for companies and retailers to know their shoppers through humanizing shopper insights. This session will outline best practices for storytelling with data, utilizing multiple sources to paint a more complete picture of the shopper.

Making sure everyone on your team is aware of the data resources available, and how to leverage them, is a critical key to success. Cross functional team efforts are required to bring the best actionable insights together, ultimately enabling you to achieve your goals to improve the customer shopper experience and increase sales.

Yelena Idelchik, Reckitt Benckiser, LLC

Always Sharpening a Pencil: New Creative Approaches to Collecting and Recognizing Unique Shopper Insights

Yelena empowers cross-functional teams to use Shopper Insights as an integral resource to plan internal strategies and help build the competitive advantage to grow and win in the retail industry. She has delivered an astonishing $20 million in tangible and actionable shopper research across top categories and retailers.

While Shopper Insights Management may not be an entire new subject, ever-changing shopper behavior requires constant innovation in how we ask questions, research and interpret data.  Today, “connecting the dots” between observations to make them actionable and unique is a merger of art and science.

In Yelena’s presentation, she will discuss how Reckitt Benckiser is collaborating with top research partners to create unique methods to understand shopper behavior in-store and online. She’ll give you her tips to ensure that the data collected becomes the “gift that keeps on giving,” while driving value across your categories and customers.


Brian Hoffstedder, The Clorox Company

Using “Human” Context to Create Influence

We are excited to bring back Brian Hoffstedder, who lead a fantastic breakout session in 2019. This year, Brian is coming back with new, critical knowledge in shopper insights.

Brian brings over 20 years of strategic leadership experience in the CPG industry. Over that time, he has increasingly built a body of expertise with regard to using human insights to shape better retail experiences. Brian previously spent 7 years with Procter & Gamble before The Clorox Company, where he has held several leadership roles in his 12 years with the company.

In Brian’s session, he will discuss Using “Human” Context to Create Influence. We live and work in a world driven by data and analytics, but we must never lose sight of the fact that in almost every data set we look at, there is a human being trying to tell us something.  It’s the “human” elements in our data that create powerful and compelling stories with which we can influence decisions.

Of course, this is just a small sample of the great content we have in the Future of Shopper track at the 2020 CMA/SIMA Conference. We also have exciting new sessions just announced from AB InBev’s Marty Siewart (Using Shopper Insights to Execute Better in eCommerce); Clif Bar & Company’s Vivian Polishuk (Strategic Utilization of Shopper Insights to Enhance Customer Collaboration), and Boston Beer Company’s Larry Gray, who will be returning once again to lead a breakout after his hit breakout session in 2019. Keep an eye on our LinkedIn, as we’ll be announcing more details about these sessions in the near future as they come in!

Which sessions have you excited so far? What Shopper Insights topics would you like to learn more about? We want to hear from you. Sound off on social media now and join the conversation.