By Vicki Matranga
Design Programs Coordinator
Jerry Bowman brings more than 25 years of experience to his current position as vice president of communications with the Chicago-based Institute of Food Technologists, a scientific society with more than 17,000 food scientists and technologists as members. He oversees all aspects of marketing communications, media relations, corporate communications and publishing at IFT. Prior to his work with IFT, Jerry was senior director of corporate communications for NSF International, a nonprofit certification and standards organization focusing on protecting food, water and dietary supplement products. He led and promoted a variety of efforts involving B2B communications and consumer awareness, including the “Live Safer” brand marketing campaign, the Scrub Club campaign targeted to children and schools, and other campaigns.
Jerry also has held several positions in the medical and educational fields. He was Director of the Office of Public Relations at the American Academy of Pediatrics, a 60,000-member pediatric member association focusing on children’s health. At AAP, Jerry managed science news and several national promotional campaigns children’s issues. As director of public relations for the High/Scope Educational Research Foundation, he focused on promoting research and educational initiatives designed for early childhood education. He served as vice president of marketing communications at the Goldman Philanthropic Partnerships in Northbrook, Illinois, where he helped launch a foundation designed to develop funding partnerships with research institutions to advance groundbreaking research on cancer and other diseases.
Jerry holds a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia College in Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in telecommunications from Michigan State University.
Jerry, what is the most exciting or rewarding part of your work at IFT?
Food and nutrition news is hot, and every day there’s a new story or headline involving the science of food. In my role at the Institute of Food Technologists, I get chance to be part of the public discussion on how we will feed people today and in the future. IFT has an impact because food scientists and technologists have a great story to share with the public, and the profession is constantly innovating to generate new ways to meet the demands of a fast-paced, booming global population.
In the past few years, what has changed most in your business?
Consumer demand for “good-for-you” food is on the rise around the world, and there are a few trends driving this demand. Here in the United States, consumers are becoming far more health-conscious about the food they eat and they want foods that are healthy, low-fat, high in fiber, probiotic and more. Whether it’s due to aging baby boomers focused on health or simply a greater awareness due to the internet, consumers are rapidly becoming more educated on foods with health benefits. In addition, there is a growing global middle class that is becoming more affluent with a taste for a variety of foods. As a result, generating new ways to meet these demands falls on food scientists and technologists to ensure that food is available for our on-the-go consumer.
Why did you choose to speak at the International Home + Housewares Show?
In the home, food draws people together and in many ways creates a social experience. Today, there is a renewed interest in home cooking and consumers are more interested in experimenting with different foods prepared in traditional ways with their friends and family. Consumers may not realize it, but in many ways they are practicing the basic principles of food science and technology when they are preparing, cooking and preserving their food, not unlike their parents and grandparents did decades ago. As we look to the future of food, science and technology innovations in the home will change how consumers relate with food and their family. I see this event as an opportunity give consumers a glimpse into the future.
Tell us what you will be speaking about and how and this topic is important for Show audiences.
We hear a lot of predictions of a booming population, rising temperatures, decreasing farm land, and limitations on food and water and it can perpetuate perceptions of a bleak future. Thanks to science and technology, there is actually reason for optimism due to science and innovative new technologies that are essential for both producing more food and ensuring it is safe, nutritious and affordable for consumers worldwide. I will highlight how science provides new solutions focusing on alternative proteins, reduction of food waste, innovative agricultural initiatives, nutrition innovations, trimming global obesity, the kitchen of the future, and more. These efforts will help focus public attention on the food system and how we can work together to guarantee a safe, sustainable and healthful food supply based on the science of food.
Future Food 2050: How Scientific Solutions Will Impact Everyday Decisions for the Home
Institute of Food Technologists
Innovation Theater, Lakeside Center, Room E350
Sunday, March 6
9:30 -10:20 a.m.
This is your first time presenting at our Theater. What are you looking forward to most from speaking at the Innovation Theater?
I’m looking forward to sharing insights and answering questions from the audience so that they can better understand technology, rather than fear it.
Thank you Jerry, for introducing us to IFT’s work and concerns. Certainly, questions related to food safety, food production and nutrition are on our minds daily and always in the news. And at this Show, of course, we see thousands of products that help people prepare and enjoy food at home. Your information will be relevant to everyone who eats! Looking forward to learning more on Sunday March 6th at 9:30 a.m. in the Innovation Theater at the International Home + Housewares Show.
Innovation fuels the housewares industry. Learn from experts about how to develop and launch new products and services to better reach your customers. Critical topics such as global design trends, the emerging Internet of Things (IoT) category, omni-channel retailing, branding, the needs of distinct consumer age groups, the future of food and more– all impact the home goods market.
Be sure to attend the free executive-level educational sessions at the Innovation Theater. These programs will give you a fresh perspective as you walk the Show and will inspire, inform and improve your business.