National Food Laboratory launches innovation group

by Eric Schroeder
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DUBLIN, CALIF. — The National Food Laboratory, Inc. (The NFL), an independent affiliate of the G.M.A./F.P.A., has launched the Innovation Group, a 30-member in-house organization dedicated to helping companies create, develop and commercialize new food and beverage products.

The Innovation Group will comprise several individuals with strong brand marketing, product development and consumer insights experience, including Lucinda Wisniewski, who has been named vice-president of innovation. Ms. Wisniewski most recently was an NFL sales director, but she began her career as a product developer for The Clorox Co. before moving on to sales and marketing for Givaudan Flavors.

Mario DiFalco has been named division manager-strategic marketing. Mr. DiFalco has held senior management roles with Jelly Belly Candy Co., PowerBar, Specialty Brands, Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co., and Nabisco.

"The NFL enjoys a long and successful track record in consumer research, product and process development, food safety, quality assurance and analytical testing," Ms. Wisniewski said. "Now, with the investment in the Innovation Group, The NFL is truly a ‘one-stop-shop,’ offering clients a comprehensive menu of services to take a product from ideation to store shelves."

Among the recent products The NFL has had a hand in developing are: Bumble Bee Foods’ Prime Fillet Chicken Breast entrees, Rice-a-Roni Express and Sunny Delight Beverage Co.’s Fruit Simple 100% Fruit Smoothie.

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