Food Trifecta Summit Features Nexus of Taste, Health, and Sustainability

Hosted by UC Davis MBA Food & Wine Leadership Club

The Food Trifecta Summit brought three industry leaders to the UC Davis Graduate School of Management (GSM) to discuss companies that combine the "trifecta" of food—health, taste and sustainability—to create innovative solutions to global programs of nutrition, health, wellness and the environment.

Lucas Haskins and myself, co-presidents of the GSM Food & Wine Leadership Club, aimed to share the story of Vine to Bar as a first-in-class example of bringing together academia and industry to yield an impactful new product.

Speakers and attendees from seven different campus departments engaged in the discussion, making new and lasting connections that will further strengthen the food innovation ecosystem at UC Davis.

Speakers gathered at the Food Trifecta Summit
Sharing their insights at the Food Trifecta Summit, (from right to left) MBA student Lucas Haskins, Sonomaceuticals Research Program Manager Fanny Lee, GSM Senior Scholar Harold Schmitz and MBA student Nathaniel Morrison. Speaker Ed Klein of Vine to Bar joined via Zoom.

Speakers included:

  • Fanny Lee, a registered dietician and research program manager at Sonomaceuticals, and UC Davis Ph.D. in nutritional biology.
  • Harold Schmitz, The March Group and UC Davis GSM senior scholar
  • Ed Klein, managing director of Vine to Bar

The trio focused on the story behind the UC Davis research and industry development of WellVineTM and its use as an innovative supplement in Vine to Bar chocolate, addressing these topics:

  • What the unique taste of different kinds of chocolate?
  • The key health benefits of WellvineTM, Vine to Bar’s novel Chardonnay Marc ingredient.
  • The greatest sustainability challenges and opportunities around upcycling food ingredients.
  • The process of bringing Vine to Bar to market.
  • Advice for how the attendees can best contribute to a more sustainable future.
Jang Ong speaks to the crowd
Jane Ong, a UC Davis Ph.D. student in Sensory Science with the Food Science and Technology department, leads a sensory tasting with the audience at the Food Trifecta Summit.

Many attendees took the opportunity to seek advice from the speakers, and the event also piqued the interest in our MBA programs as several people asked about the Food & Wine Leadership Club.

We hope this event sets the stage for the future leadership of the club, as well as the GSM's Food & Ag Industry Immersion, to bring together different departments that are working on food-related issues around UC Davis.