The 2nd evolution of plant-based products and high-quality ingredients

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As plant-based products penetrate markets all around the globe, consumer demands increase: healthy, clean, local are the new trends.

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With a growing consumer base, the demand for high-quality products is also increasing. It is no longer sufficient for a meal to be free of animal products – food is increasingly perceived as a holistic means to increase health and wellbeing without compromising on sensory experiences. Consumers are asking for clean-food items that meet their need for nutrition, convenience, and taste while fitting into their busy lifestyles. In this webinar, we will be exploring how functional ingredients are a key element in creating plant-based products that live up to such expectations.

Our experts:

Sandra Vennemann-Toppka, Senior Business Development Manager Food at Avebe

Sandra Vennemann-Toppka is Senior Business Development Manager at Avebe with a focus on good food ingredients. For the last 20 years, she has been a passionate food technologist, 10 of which she has been working for Avebe. The heart of Avebe's business is the potato and Vennemann-Toppka is enthusiastic about the possibilities potatoes have to offer for plant-based food. It is the perfect raw material with which to create innovative solutions for plant-based alternatives with great taste and versatile textures.

Dr Alexander Smerz, Head of Business Unit Nutrition at Döhler

After finishing his PhD in Chemistry 1996, Alexander Smerz joined the R&D department of the Döhler Group in Germany, with responsibility for basic research raw materials and technology, focusing on the development of new functional ingredients and the identification of market opportunities. Three years later, he moved into the business development of FTNF flavours, which paved the way for more commercially-oriented roles. Thereafter, he headed various functions, from concept management to B2C product management and global responsibility of product management of flavours, before moving to Celanese and heading Innovation Management, with a focus on natural sweetening and preservation. In 2013, he joined ICL as Global Market Segment Lead Beverages, helping to extend the phosphate business into a solution-oriented protein unit. In late 2017, he moved back to Döhler, where he is now globally responsible for the Business Units Health and Texture.

Leonardo Rubio Anselmi, Strategic Marketing Manager Beverages and Nutritional Bars at DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences

Leonardo Rubio Anselmi joined DuPont in 2017 and has more than 15 years of experience in market-research consulting, commercial development, and product and marketing management on a regional (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and global level. For the last 10 years, Anselmi has been focusing on the food industry in areas such as foodservice and ingredients – across a wide range of segments such as beverages, dairy alternatives, bakery, savory, and nutrition.

Anselmi has a Colombian-Italian background and holds a degree in business administration from Universidad del Rosario in Bogota (Colombia), a Masters’ in International Business from Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft in Berlin (Germany), and a Strategic Management Diploma from the Business School Lausanne in Switzerland. Anselmi is currently based in Copenhagen (Denmark) and is fluent in six languages.

The webinar will be facilitated by Sam Gray, Project Coordinator at ProVeg International.

Our experts will also be speaking at the New Food Conference, Europe's biggest conference on alternative protein solutions that is bringing together leading food industry stakeholders to transform our food system. Get your tickets now!

You will be able to ask questions via the Q&A in Zoom. If you already have questions that you would like answered during the webinar, please reach out via email to

To stay informed on updates about the New Food Conference and the latest developments in the alternative protein sector, sign up to the ProVeg B2B newsletter.

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