The head of one of America’s fastest-growing produce companies thinks there is a way to incorporate healthy into convenient, flavorful, and indulgent meals.

Tony Sarsam, chief executive of Ready Pac Foods, will talk about the company’s fresh products as well as the role packaging has played in moving this $600mn company forward at the Best of Food and Beverage Packaging conference Oct. 28.

The event, hosted by the Packaging Strategies Group, is the second annual meeting focused on food and beverage packaging. It is the largest conference of its kind produced by a North American packaging publication.

There is still time to register for the event which continues through Oct. 29. It is being held at the Hyatt Lodge at the McDonald’s Campus in Oak Brook, IL, outside Chicago. More information is available at

Sarsam will deliver the keynote kicking off the event, which includes 14 sessions over 1 ½ days. A table-top exhibition the evening of the first day will feature suppliers to the industry.\

The California-based CEO, who joined the company in 2013 from Nestlé USA, has boosted revenue under his watch; it reportedly grew 10% in 2014. Among the new products introduced over the past year have been new varieties of the flagship brand Bistro Bowl line of packaged salads. These products feature chopped lettuces with add-ins such as black beans, diced chicken, carrots, and even hemp seeds.

According to research firm The Freedonia Group, demand for healthy foods which are fresh-cut or ready-to-eat will help sustain drive growth in produce packaging. Demand for rigid plastic containers for produce, like the ones Ready Pac uses, is expected to grow in dollar terms by almost 4% a year through 2019 to a $1.5bn.

Also on the agenda is a session about packaging automation, presented by two experts from the machinery and food manufacturing sides. Bryan Griffen, group engineering manager for Nestle USA, and Mark Ruberg, VP of business process for Pro Mach Inc., will talk about a new standard for organizing, implementing, and integrating control on packaging machines. Called PackML, the standard was developed by the Organization for Machine Automation and Control, of which both speakers are board members. The benefits of PackML include consistent data and control between machines, better diagnostics, improved intellectual property protection and reduced total cost of ownership.

There is much more at Best of Food and Beverage Packaging, including sessions on smart packaging, design, foodservice, consumer perceptions, beverages, and world trends.