Dublin, Calif./July 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire -- The National Food Laboratory Inc. (NFL), an independent affiliate of the GMA/FPA, has launched the Innovation Group, a 30-member in-house organization devoted to assisting companies in creating, developing and commercializing new food and beverage products. The Innovation Group brings together experts in new product strategy, ideation, market intelligence, consumer design and execution strategies to help NFL clients translate culinary concepts into successful commercial products.

"The Innovation Group extends the value we are able to bring to our food, beverage and consumer packaged goods clients," said NFL president & CEO Kevin Buck. "The group's strategic new product expertise, combined with The NFL's range of culinary and technical services, gives us a competitive edge in meeting the full spectrum of our clients' product development and commercialization needs."

The Innovation Group at The NFL is comprised of individuals with years of brand marketing, product development and consumer insights experience. Heading up the effort is newly named Vice President of Innovation Lucinda Wisniewski, most recently an NFL sales director who began her career as a product developer for The Clorox Company, and subsequently spent 10 years in sales and marketing for Givaudan Flavors. Mario DiFalco joins The NFL's Innovation Group as division manager-strategic marketing, following senior management roles with Jelly Belly Candy Company, PowerBar, Specialty Brands, Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company and Nabisco.

Christie Hoyer, vice president of Consumer Insights & Sensory; Debbie Lohmeyer, division manager-product innovation & commercialization; and Teresa Landis, culinary innovator and chef, are a few of the key Innovation Group team members.

"The NFL enjoys a long and successful track record in consumer research, product and process development, food safety, quality assurance and analytical testing," commented Wisniewski. "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 most recent products developed using The NFL's turnkey innovation approach: Bumble Bee Foods' Prime Fillet Chicken Breast entrees, Rice-a-Roni Express, La Yoghi probiotic smoothie, Sunny Delight Beverage Company's Fruit Simple 100% Fruit Smoothie, and Boz Spirits' 267 Infusions. Among The NFL's complete roster of clients are name consumer brands including Subway, PepsiCo, Bush Brothers, Tyson, Tree Top, Clorox, POM Wonderful and many others.

From the July 30, 2007, Prepared Foods e-Flash