Pros at Preferabli, Instacart and Kroger Get Personal at GroceryTech

Panelists explore avenues of growth through smart software that delivers end-to-end experiences
Lynn Petrak
Senior Editor
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Thursday, July 13, 9:40 AM - 10:25 AM

This panel discussion will highlight the many ways that tech-driven personalization is reinventing the grocery experience across web, mobile and intelligent chat. Learn how to use these technologies to create truly customer-centric, end-to-end experiences. 

GroceryTech Complete Agenda

Grocery shopping has always been a personal experience, but 1:1 relevance is more important than ever across the omnichannel. A study conducted by Wakefield Research in late 2022 found that 88% of online shoppers are more likely to continue shopping on a retailer website that offers a personalized experience, including a whopping 96% of Gen Z and 97% of Millennial consumers.

At the upcoming GroceryTech event in Cincinnati, co-produced by Progressive Grocer and RIS Newsa trio of panelists will explore the ways in which smart software is enabling personalization for better end-to-end experiences in the digital space.

In a discussion on “Creating Next-Gen Customer Experiences” on Thursday, July 13, Pam Dillon of Preferabli, David McIntosh of Instacart and Jody Kalmbach of The Kroger Co. will share their insights on how personalized product discovery and recommendations are helping customers connect with retailers and improve their experiences in a range of shopping formats.

Pam Dilloin

More About the Speakers


Pam Dillon

CEO and Co-Founder, Preferabli

Dillon has over 25 years of experience in the consumer retail and technology industries. A named inventor on 11 patents, she was honored by Goldman Sachs as one of the 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs and by VentureBeat as an AI Entrepreneur nominee.

She is CEO and co-founder of Preferabli, a leading B2B2C product discovery and recommendation software for the wine and spirits industry, including specialty and grocery retailers, hospitality and travel, and DTC marketplaces and distribution. Preferabli licenses software to help the industry market and sell to individual taste preferences in the way a human expert would – at scale.

Preferabli software uses a novel form of machine learning that was built by PhDs in physiology and applied mathematics, and the largest group of Masters of Wine and Master Sommeliers in the world. The Preferabli database is the most comprehensive in the industry, with hundreds of characteristics for millions of products. Preferabli has users in over 70 countries.

A frequent guest speaker on the nature of sensory experiences in the context of machine learning, Dillon has spoken at the Code Conference, as well as at Stanford, Harvard and MIT. Dillon has lived and worked in Los Angeles, New York, London and Tokyo, and is an expert in wine, beer and spirits.

David McIntosh

David McIntosh

VP and GM of Connected Stores, Instacart 

McIntosh’s team at Instacart delivers solutions that enable retailers to offer seamless retail experiences across online and in-store, benefitting retailers and their customers. Previously, in his role as VP of Product, Retailer, he led the development of Instacart Platform. Prior to joining Instacart in 2021, McIntosh was the CEO and co-founder of Tenor, a leading expression search engine which Google acquired in 2018. At Google, McIntosh grew Tenor to over 1 billion users and more than 1 billion queries per day.

Jody Kalmbach

Jody Kalmbach

Group VP, Product Experience, Kroger

Kalmbach is responsible for defining and driving the seamless experience and capabilities for The Kroger Co., ensuring the right solutions are built and optimized to serve customers, associates and partners. This includes product strategy and planning, product management and design, digital shopping experience and digital analytics. In this role, she partners with leadership across the enterprise ensuring Kroger is solving customer and business needs.

She joined the company in 2014 to lead customer experience for Kalmbach has more than 25 years of experience leading marketing, brand building, product management and customer experience at consumer brands and e-commerce companies such as Amazon, The North Face and AT&T. During her tenure at Amazon, Kalmbach led product management and developed on the Amazon platform. She was named VP of digital site experience for Kroger’s corporate marketing team in 2016 before she was promoted to her most recent role as VP of digital experience in 2017.

In 2020, Kalmbach was named to Progressive Grocer’s Top Women in Grocery, Senior-Level Executive. In 2019, she was inducted into the Path to Purchase Institute’s Hall of Fame and is a member of the Network of Executive Women. She sits on the board of the Kroger Personal Finance business and the Kroger Foundation.

More About GroceryTech

July 12-14 in Cincinnati, Ohio

GroceryTech aims to answer the question “How can grocers replicate the ‘small neighborhood grocery store on the corner’ concept, while still operating profitably at scale?” The event will bring together the combined PG and RIS community of business and technology grocery execs who are on the journey to modernize their technology infrastructure to support innovation.

Learn More About GroceryTech