New York, NY—Plant Based World Conference & Expo announced in a press release that plant-based buyers from Kroger and Whole Foods Market have joined the PBW Buyer’s Council for the 2020 expo, scheduled for June 5-6 at the Javits Center in New York City.

Matt Thomas, Buyer’s Council Chair, Co-Owner of Rhizome Marketing, said in the release: "We are thrilled to be working with the Plant Based World Conference & Expo, and collectively working to raise awareness of plant-based foods and products, offer education, and provide expertise to discuss accessibility and affordability through this terrific event and throughout the year. The Buyer's Council was formed prior to the first annual event in 2019 and we are excited to welcome back many of our members and announce the addition of Marcellus Harris, Asst. Commodity Manager, Poultry, The Kroger Co and Parker Brody, Global Category Manager, Whole Foods Market to help us bring plant-based products to the mainstream market."
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Other members of the council include:
  • Jorge Perez Avilla, Sr. Sourcing, Sprouts
  • Regan Figueroa, Category Director Specialty & Cheese, KeHe Distributors, LLC
  • Erica Gibson, Vendor Relations Manager, DPI Specialty Foods
  • Kevin Murphy,  Category Manager, Di Bruno Bros
  • Jared Orme, Senior Manager, Natural, Organic and Specialty, AWG
  • Stephanie Seper, Senior Vice President Brand Management & Social Responsibility, Hanson Faso Sales & Marketing, Inc.
  • Tabitha Sewell, Dairy Category Manager, Dairy & Refrigerated Beverages, KeHe Distributors, LLC
  • Steven Spencer, Category Manager, UNFI
  • Jason Stein, Category Management Director, National Co-Op Grocers
  • Matt Thomas, Buyers Council Chair, Co-Owner, Rhizome Marketing
  • Rodd Willis, Director - Natural and Specialty, Dot Foods
  • Scott Zoeller, Director, Many Minds Consulting, LLC
Erica Gibson added: “It is so exciting to live in a world where consumers are asking questions about what their food can do, not just for their bodies but for their planet. Food is not just about the instant gratification but also the long-term effects and plant-based diets are helping lead the way in this march forward. Plant Based World offers a platform for the manufacturers to gather and share the amazing work they are doing. It also gives buyers an opportunity to see the innovation that is changing the market and making plant-based a very approachable lifestyle.”

Registration for the conference is open,here.