Stuffed is the outcome of years involved with the food industry, first as an executive with some of the world’s best known food and beverage corporations like General Mills, Anheuser-Busch and Coca-Cola, then as an advisor and business development arm for several of those concerns, subsequently as a CEO of some early stage healthy ingredient firms, and finally as a chair of an annual Global Obesity Business Forum. Each of those experiences provide a unique perspective into how decisions are made in the food industry and, perhaps most importantly, what can (really) be done to solve problems and improve people’s lives.
Beside my own experiences, several industry executives were kind enough to give their time and offer their perspectives on how they go about their business and the problems they are confronted with when trying to effect change within their organizations. Among those who contributed were Jack Greenberg, former Chairman & CEO of McDonald’s, Rick Lenny, past CEO of The Hershey Company, Chris Lowe, President of Coca-Cola FoodService, Chris Policinski, CEO of Land O’ Lakes, Bob Goodale, former President of the Harris Teeter grocery chain, Tom Ryan, former Chief Concept Officer extraordinaire for McDonald’s, Hala Moddelmog, former President of Church’s Chicken, now CEO of the Susan B. Komen Foundation, Irwin Kruger, longtime McDonald’s franchisee in New York City, John Kimber, an executive having served with Burger King and Hardees, Glenn Armstrong, an early role model for healthier eating and formerly with Quaker Oats and Wrigley’s, Steve Allen, a Vice President for Nestle, and Steve Carley, the CEO for El Pollo Loco (“Crazy Chicken”) restaurant chain.
Several in the nutrition field also weighed in on the obesity controversy and offered a whole different set of perspectives. My partner in the annual Global Obesity Business Forum, Barry Popkin of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is an internationally recognized authority on obesity and offered insights from his vast study of the problem. Other notables who have shared their thinking are Walter Willett, head of nutrition at the Harvard University School for Public Health, Dr. George Bray, founding director of the Pennington Biomedical Research Lab, Kathleen Zelman, director of nutrition for WebMD Health and the WebMD Weight Loss Clinic, Marion Nestle, Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University and author of Food Politics and What to Eat, and Brian Wansink, author of Mindless Eating.
And perhaps most important of all, Rachel Warner Bussel: the queen of everything good about cupcakes. (Check out her blog).