Meet the speakers from day one of the 2023 C&I Industry Symposium

With the C&I Expo and Symposium taking place on 19-20 October, we take a look at the lineup of expert speakers delivering presentations.

Held at the ICC Sydney each morning before the Expo, the Industry Symposium will be MC’d by Matt Dodson, General Manager of OOH at Patties Foods, who is looking forward to the collective industry getting together to discuss our short-term and longer-term objectives.

“It’s vital for the industry to work together, especially at the moment, as we’re going to go through some challenging times in the short term and there are some even bigger challenges on the horizon.

“I see that as a collective, we the industry, need to communicate better to the consumer and remind them of the importance of convenience channel. We’re so much more than just fuel.”

Theo Foukkare, CEO of the Australian Association of Convenience Stores (AACS), will review the recent AACS International Study Tour and share the latest trends and developments in European convenience.

Foukkare will then be joined in a panel discussion with Lou Jardin, Managing Director of SPAR Australia, Joanna Graham, Senior Manager of Convenience Trading ANZ at bp, and Michael Brick, Partner and Managing Director of Meris Food Equipment.

The panel will discuss future-proofing convenience retail, discussing the pain points facing storeowners in the face of relentless evolution.

Following the panel discussion, Jardin will take the stage to present insights and learnings from SPAR in Europe – a leading example of how convenience stores are successfully adapting to changing consumer preferences.

“We’ll dive deep into SPAR’s experience in expanding food-to-go offerings and how this strategic move has not only countered challenges like declining foot traffic due to EVs and illegal tobacco sales but has also propelled their growth. Join me to uncover key takeaways and actionable strategies that convenience stores worldwide can leverage to thrive in an evolving retail landscape. This presentation is your gateway to unlocking the secrets of success inspired by SPAR’s journey in Europe.”

Over the symposium, Jardin is looking forward to learning about innovations and solutions related to enhancing convenience and promoting independence in various aspects of business operations, as well as networking with like-minded individuals and organisations.

“Collaboration within the P&C industry is vital on several fronts. It ensures supply chain stability, bolstering fuel and product availability during crises. Healthy competition is nurtured, enhancing consumer choices and experiences.

“Collaborative efforts help maintain safety standards, navigate regulations, and drive innovation, keeping pace with changing trends. In emergencies, businesses working together ensure the availability of essential services, enhancing public safety. Sustainability initiatives gain strength collectively, appealing to environmentally conscious consumers. Lastly, shared insights and best practices elevate customer experiences, strengthening the industry’s reputation.”

Finally, the keynote presentation will be from Tushar Menon, Co-Founder and CEO of My Muscle Chef, who will share the 10 key lessons he’s learned in 10 years of growing his business from a Potts Point kitchen to today’s $200 million per year healthy food empire.

This concludes day one of the symposium, where guests will then make their way to Exhibition Hall for the start of the Expo, in which one lucky retailer will have the chance to win $50,000 worth of stock.

The giveaway is open to independent convenience, petrol, and grocery retailers, who simply need to attend the expo and be there for the draw for the chance to win big.

Register for the C&I Expo here.

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