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Steve Lutz to speak at the NEPC expo's education session

The New England Produce Council announced that industry veteran Steve Lutz, senior vice president of insights and innovation for Category Partners, will be the featured speaker at the council's education session scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 18, just one part of the 20th annual NEPC Produce, Floral & Food Service Expo, set to take place Sept. 18-19 at the Hynes Convention Center in downtown Boston.Steve-Lutz

"How New Products Are Permanently Changing Consumer: What Retailers and Producers Need to Know" is the topic of Lutz's presentation. He will look at the expansion of competitive products entering the produce department (as well as the total store) and review how new items will shape consumer purchases and category performance for years to come.

"Steve is a veteran in the produce industry, and we are very excited and honored to have him present at our 20th expo," said NEPC Executive Director Laura Sullivan.

Lutz's entire career has been built on providing ideas and solutions for organizations in the fresh foods industries to grow their businesses. Over his career, he has had the opportunity to work across the entire supply chain, from the producer level to wholesalers, retailers and ultimately with consumers. His professional experience includes product and brand development, consumer and trade research, strategic communications, retail category management and analysis, packaging development, and promotional analysis.

Before joining Category Partners, Lutz served as vice president of member engagement for the Produce Marketing Association, and as chief strategist and vice president of marketing for CMI Orchards in Wenatchee, WA. Before that, he was an executive vice president for Nielsen Perishables Group and served as president and chief executive officer of the Washington Apple Commission. Lutz also has served on the board of directors of both the PMA and United Fresh Produce Association.

Anyone interested may register online at to hear Lutz's informative presentation. Those with questions regarding this event should please call the NEPC office at 781/273-0444.