As the Marcum Food & Beverage Summit draws near, we find ourselves with rising COVID cases and the looming reality of a potential mask mandate in NYC, which seems untenable at a food and beverage networking event.

To protect the well-being of attendees, we are cancelling the in-person networking event.  We are making plans to reschedule in 2022.

However, we hope you will pivot with us as we invite you to participate virtually, for a webinar with our original speakers:

F&B Innovation: How Food & Beverage Companies are Adapting in a Post-Pandemic World

Flexibility is the norm in the ebb and flow of the pandemic. Those in the food & beverage industry adept at flexibility are more apt to thrive.

The pandemic has had a huge impact on consumer behavior, but it’s also made the need for innovation within food companies even more urgent as consumers seek out products that fit their post-pandemic lifestyle.

Innovation has come in different forms across the food & beverage sector. Food retailers have leveraged omnichannel strategies, integrating various methods of engaging and interacting with customers, to create a consistent brand experience and build loyalty. Manufacturers have gone direct to consumer (DTC) and are leveraging data like never before, to track consumer behavior trends. Foodservice companies have implemented automation and a redesigned restaurant format (including ghost and dark kitchens) to accommodate the consumer’s desire for convenience, drive-thru and digital experience.

Leading into 2022, food & beverage companies need renewed thinking to not only survive, but thrive. The most successful businesses consistently monitor consumer behavior, shopping, and consumption patterns to ensure they are meeting customers’ food and beverage needs.

So how can you adapt? Hear from industry leaders, and find out the techniques and technology tools to succeed in a post-pandemic environment.


Brian Choi

Managing Partner / CEO - The Food Institute

Brian Choi is an experienced financial executive in the Food & Agricultural industry. He was recently named Managing Partner / CEO of The Food Institute, a New Jersey-based food news and market research company founded in 1928. His vision is to build the company into the “go-to” source for news, research, advisory and analytics for the food industry.

Earlier in his career, Brian served as Vice President of Finance & Business Development at Woerner Holdings, LP, a single-family investment office focused on private equity investments in the food, beverage, and agricultural industries. In his role, Brian primarily focused on mining for acquisition opportunities and performing financial due diligence. He was also involved in developing business strategy for companies held within the family office’s investment portfolio.

Previous to joining Woerner Holdings, Brian worked at Ernst & Young as Manager in their Transaction Advisory Services group, performing valuation analyses on companies and complex securities. In addition, he worked at Lehman Brothers and Goldman Sachs as part of their Investment Banking and Fixed Income divisions. Brian currently resides in New York City. He is a member of Times Square Church located in Manhattan, NYC. He is a CFA Charterholder and holds a Finance degree from the University of British Columbia in Canada

Michele Scotto

Vice President of Corporate Development, Villa Restaurant Group

Michele Scotto is the Vice President of Corporate Development at Villa Restaurant Group and serves as a member of VRG’s Leadership Team. During his five years with VRG, Michele has been responsible for helping to reposition several departments. Starting with the creation of an Analytics & Pricing team, to enhancing the strategic collaboration between IT, Outside Sales and Digital Marketing teams, his current direct responsibilities include the Culinary R&D, and Marketing departments. Michele’s role has helped VRG leverage data in a meaningful way, allowing the organization to operate more efficiently, while also exploring innovative ideas to maximize technology at every level and within each sales channel.

Michele’s role on VRG’s Leadership Team allows the opportunity to guide the company’s strategic path and ensure that tactical plans are in place to achieve these goals.

Prior to joining VRG, Michele spent ten years working in the hedge fund industry where his career evolved from accounting, to the trading desk, to launching new funds.

Jeff Swearingen

Global Senior Vice President - Demand Accelerator, Venturing and Global Business Services, PepsiCo

 Jeff Swearingen is currently the Global Senior Vice President of PepsiCo’s Demand Accelerator, Venturing and Global Business Services. His teams are responsible for accelerating granular demand across PepsiCo’s portfolio through the creation or acquisition of transformational services and capabilities in commercial insights, analytics, sales and marketing.

Jeff has a broad range of marketing, sales and commercial analytics & insights experience, including Senior Vice President, Marketing, Group Vice President, National Sales, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Frito-Lay Canada, Vice President of Marketing, Quaker Snacks, and Sr. Marketing Director for iconic PepsiCo brands like Doritos. He is a 27-year veteran of PepsiCo, having joined the Company in 1994.

Prior to Frito-Lay and business school, Jeff spent four years in corporate banking, with Hibernia National Bank in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Jeff is a frequent speaker at industry and academic events, including TED-X. He also frequently contributes to industry publications. Jeff has a Finance degree from the University of Oklahoma, and an MBA from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Jeff, his wife Lynn, and their two sons, Connor (18) and Tyler (16) live in McKinney, Texas. Jeff enjoys travel, running and spending time with family.


Louis Biscotti

Food & Beverage Services Leader, Marcum LLP

Louis J. Biscotti is the national leader of Marcum’s Food and Beverage Services group. He has been an entrepreneurial leader in accounting for over 40 years. Lou has focused his efforts on improving his clients’ growth and profitability and has guided many companies in their development from small emerging entities into organizations worth hundreds of millions of dollars.  He has also earned national recognition as an accounting and business management specialist, frequent lecturer, and published author on various financial and business topics. He contributes a monthly column to Forbes, on the food and beverage industry.


Please join us in thanking the sponsors who make the event possible.