HOOD RIVER, ORE. — Gilad Kaufman, PhD, has been named vice president of research and development at plant-based foods producer Tofurky. In his new role, Dr. Kaufman joins the company’s senior leadership team and will accelerate innovation, expand the product development team and improve core products in the portfolio.

Previously, Dr. Kaufman was senior soft matter scientist at Beyond Meat, where he focused on improving the texture and appearance of plant-based meat substitutes.

“Gilad Kaufman is an exceptionally talented rising star and will without a doubt elevate Tofurky’s contemporary offering to flexitarian consumers,” said Jaime Athos, president and chief executive officer at Tofurky. “He brings a deep passion for improving planetary welfare that aligns with Tofurky’s vision for food system that values respect and well-being of all species. I’m confident he will attract and grow an R&D team poised for disruptive innovation, that will excite our clients and consumers.”

Dr. Kaufman said Tofurky’s “consumer-first mindset” and commitment to continuous product innovation were factors in his decision to join the company.

“I am honored to lead the development of the next generation of Tofurky’s products and to expand R&D capabilities by harnessing in-house talent and engaging our B2B partners,” he added. “I look forward to being a part of this new paradigm for such an iconic brand.”