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Dave Donnan, speaker

Dave Donnan

    • Sr. Partner A.T. Kearney
    • Global Food & Agriculture advocate
Full Bio
In Person-Fee 🛈

$5,000 - $10,000

Virtual Fee:

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Travels From


Academy of Science

Academy of Science

David Donnan SFA News Live interview.

David Donnan SFA News Live interview.

Dave Donnan Speaker Biography

David Donnan is an accomplished business leader and consultant with significant global experience in the agriculture, food and retail industries. With a passion for pressing global issues like hunger relief and the expertise to match, he brings first-rate knowledge to every client and speaking opportunity.

During his career, Donnan has managed operating companies, run food plants and consulted with leading global retail and consumer product companies in technology and supply chain strategies, brand growth and market positioning. He is a senior partner with A.T. Kearney, a global management-consulting firm, and leads the global food and beverage team. A champion of innovation in the food sector, he also works as a mentor with food startups.

Widely recognized as an industry leader with a diverse background, Donnan actively speaks and writes on topics vital to the global agriculture, food and beverage, retail, and restaurant industries. He brings an informed, yet lively perspective to any number of topics including The New Definition of Convenience — From Grab ‘n Go to Uber Eats, Affluence to Influence — Changing Consumer Culture, and Can We Feed the World? —The Collision of Demographics, Economics, and Resources. He has presented at a variety of industry conferences for the Food and Nutrition Board, USDA, Grocery Manufacturers Association, Food Marketing Institute, Consumer Goods Forum, National Restaurant Association, Specialty Foods Association, U.S. Soybean Export Council, Farm Foundation, and Retail Council of Canada. He has also appeared on Bloomberg TV and is quoted in various business journals, including Business Week, The Wall Street Journal and Forbes.

Throughout his career, Donnan has given his time and expertise to organizations like Feeding America, the leading domestic hunger-relief organization and the AARP Foundation (AARP Hunger Summit) for its work in addressing nutrition and health concerns for underserved seniors in urban areas. He also joined forces with Top Box Foods, Chris and Sheila Kennedy’s not-for-profit to supply food to inner-city Chicago. In 2015 he received the Consulting Magazine Community and Social Impact Award for his work with Feeding America.

Always committed to helping others with his perspective and leadership, Donnan is an advisory board member of the Global Midwest Alliance, Here Foods, and Good Food Accelerator. He also serves on the boards of Rubicon Organics, Family Farmed, a non-profit organization committed to expanding the production, marketing and distribution of locally grown and responsibly produced food, and The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.


Our geographic cultures once defined what we ate — from French Quarter beignets to Asian-inspired dumplings to Indian tandoori chicken. Today our food choices define our culture as people, especially Gen Z and millennials, are choosing food lifestyles like keto, pescatarian, gluten-free and vegan. What’s causing this major shift? Our eating and dieting patterns are influenced by mobile technology and artificial intelligence, rising health care costs, peer pressure and social media. Dave Donnan shows how wellness products like performance nutrition and shelf-stable bars are growing significantly while technology tools like wearable fitness trackers and smartphones are the go-to devices for tracking diet, exercise, ingredients, even mood. The days of buying food on price alone are gone as people seek positive health outcomes with every bite.

Dave presents a research-based look at trends and explores the role mobile technology plays in our health and well-being. He explains how food manufacturers are responding to advances in technology and the ever-increasing emphasis on good health. Attendees with learn how to maximize this here-to-stay shift in how people choose the food they consume.

This program is ideal for:

  • Technology innovators 
  • Nutritionists, medical researchers, wellness experts 
  • Food and beverage manufacturers



What are the forces reshaping mass markets? Now more than ever, consumers are passionate about the food they eat, and their appetites are creating shifts in the marketplace. Viewpoints and products that were once outliers are now mainstream. Food, particularly food with benefits, is seen as key to good health. Free-from segments, fresher food and greater transparency from food brands and retailers are important to today's consumer, especially millennials. The days of affluence, advertising and scale are giving way to core principles of trust, influence, and personalization. Dave Donnan digs into this phenomenon that's here to stay. Using data from an A.T. Kearney global study of more than 7000 consumers across seven countries, he explains the shift from affluence to influence arising from unstoppable forces of demographics, changing values and hyperconnectivity.

Dave presents a big-picture look at how personalization in a hyper-connected digital world can improve customer engagement and experience. He guides his audience to a better understanding of the value system and buying patterns of six generations of consumers with an emphasis on Gen Z and millennials. Attendees leave with useful data and interpretation to maximize their product development and marketing strategies.

This program is ideal for:

  • Brand and marketing strategists in food and retail companies
  • Food and retail product innovators
  • Internet company leaders selling exclusively via e-commerce



The "age quake" is coming. By 2030, 34 countries, including the U.S., will have at least 20 percent of their population older than age 65. While the world's overall population is increasing to nine billion people in 2050, the birthrate is slowing in every country leaving a shrinking number of young people available to help the ageing population. Add this to the fact that with medical and nutritional advances, people are living longer. The global demand for food, water, and energy is outpacing the increase in population. By 2050, over half the world's population will face water shortages. And today, 75 percent of the world's food is generated from only 12 plants and five animal species making the global food system highly vulnerable.

In this compelling presentation, Dave Donnan presents the factors making us ask—can we feed the world?
The realities of the ageing population, food and water supply and resource geopolitics are no longer deniable. He brings to the fore the role demographics, technology and politics play in this critical issue while providing examples of sustainable business models for hunger relief where corporations collaborate with NGOs and non-profits.

This program is ideal for:

  • Executives in NGOs and non-profits concerned about global hunger
  • Food and packaging company leaders who accept the challenge of working together with others to
    address global hunger
  • Federal, state and local government officials



Typically, when we think convenience foods, we think of a microwaved burrito or single-serving pizza. Today that definition is changing dramatically. Dave Donnan presents a new definition of convenience representing the amalgamation of technology and food preparation. From freshly prepared meals at the grocery store to home delivery via UberEats and GrubHub, the availability of fresh, nutritious meals has never been greater. Donnan shows the shift in consumer diets and the implications on the entire food distribution system from grocery and convenience stores to restaurants.

Buckle up for a fascinating and visual journey of innovations in food delivery around the world. See how advances in technology and our more urban lifestyle impact how we not only prepare our food but receive and consume it.

This program is ideal for:

  • Business leaders in CPG and food manufacturing companies who develop products that address the
    ever-growing need for convenience
  • R&D experts in the bakery, prepared foods, dairy, and snacks
  • Food product innovators


As the world population shifts to greater urbanization over the next several years, what we eat and how we eat will change commensurately. Imagine drones dropping a boxed dinner on your 20th-floor balcony. Or a rooftop garden that can feed families for weeks. Urban trends we know, like food trucks, mobile phone ordering and bicycle meal deliveries, to those that are just gaining traction, like vertical farming, meal preparation kits, and commercial kitchens are here to stay. Or are they? Urbanization brings both opportunities and challenges.

Dave Donnan explores the landscape and presents a fascinating picture of new technologies and innovations in food production, delivery, and consumption. He addresses which innovations and adaptations are working and which ones aren’t in an environment where the demand for convenience and healthy and nutritious food is high. With his vast experience in this topic, he presents ways to think and act creatively to build viable businesses in this time of rapid urbanization.

This program is ideal for:

  • Food and beverage manufacturers
  • Food product entrepreneurs
  • Restaurant managers, owners, chefs or investors
  • Delivery and distribution company executives



It seems like everyone has that one idea that is destined to take the food world by storm. Whether it’s the latest in jerky, organic baby food or another off-the-charts hot sauce, innovation is key. Today small food startups and entrepreneurs are the new faces of innovation in the food industry. And now, more than ever, they have help to thrive in a highly competitive field. Cooperatives and even meet-up groups designed to encourage innovation in food sustainability, product development, and funding sources have sprung up throughout the country. Independent food incubators are giving beverage and food entrepreneurs access to resources, kitchen space and financing to create and launch new products that speak to the consumers’ demand for nutritious and healthy foods. Even well-known brands are launching their own incubators — targeting early-stage food and beverage companies that mirror their corporate mission and philosophy.

Dave Donnan explores these new sources of innovation and the people behind them. He also assembles a panel of leading food entrepreneurs and startups to talk about their experiences, the good and the not so good, as they push forward in a competitive and demanding landscape.

This program is ideal for:

  • Anyone interested in launching a food product
  • Food entrepreneurs and start-ups
  • Early stage investors
  • Business school administrators and educators

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