Uncovering Effective Ingredients that Meet Your Needs

What food challenge is keeping your innovation team up at night?

From effective ingredients that boost immunity to plant-based proteins, novel health and wellness ingredients or food labeling requirements, we can help you solve your challenge.  

Our clients’ needs vary. Yet they share a primary concern. They want to know if a particular ingredient meets their needs, and which are effective ingredients.  And that’s where we come in. 

We help clients uncover scientific evidence that highlights an ingredient’s efficacy. And we clarify how ingredients work. Or, we find alternatives to existing ingredients. 

Are you looking for ingredients that 

  • are consumer friendly?
  • have proven benefits based on scientific studies?
  • provide a safe alternative to sugar, salt, or animal based?
  • have a robust supply chain to ensure a steady, reasonably priced supply?

We uncover insights that help you create the products consumers want.

Impact Stories

image of ingredients that can be used to innovate

Uncovering Natural Sources of Ingredients

Many of our food manufacturing clients are overhauling their formulations to create flavors, colors, and textures with ingredients that represent the inherent simplicity and ingenuity of the natural world. From preservatives to flavors, texturants, emulsifiers, and more, our clients are reconsidering their ingredient choices. We help them identify natural sources of ingredients to replace traditional, often synthetic, ones.

Accelerating New Product Development

 How can ingredient suppliers and food manufacturers accelerate the development and delivery of plant-based foods to meet the ever-growing consumers’ desires for protein alternatives? 

While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, with intentional strategies that incorporate innovation, technology, and foresight, we work with you to accelerate your new product development.

The Microbiome and Food Innovation

As consumers turn to diet to support their health, increasingly, our food clients want-and need-to understand the scientific relationship among food, the microbiome, and health. We translate scientific findings into meaningful information, and the esoteric language into digestible, actionable insights. Our analysts have studied the research literature and ensure our clients’ thinking accurately reflects that of the scientific community.

Managing Energy and Mood Through Food

What do consumers want from the foods they buy? Increasingly, they want health and wellness benefits that are traditionally associated with supplements and medications. 

We help our food and beverage clients understand ingredient options that address consumers’ interest in energy and mood management. 

image of healthy foods in heart shped bowl to signal foods impact good mood

What’s Feeding Interest in Plant Proteins?

As plant proteins gain market traction and as innovation drives supply chain efficiencies and improves sensory and functional characteristics, we help fast-moving consumer goods companies evaluate strategies and seize opportunities in space. Taking a broad view, we assess technical aspects, including impacts to labeling, consumer perception, regulatory status, supply chain, and product development. We ensure clients align their efforts and allocate their resources to opportunities in the plant protein market.


Nobody knows everything about ingredients, processes, products, packaging, and markets. Figure out what you know and add to your team people who know what you don’t. That’s just one of Susan Mayer and Lawrence Blume, Ph.D.’s tips to position food innovators and food investors for success. What are the other tips? 

image of sugar being poured into a bowl

In this two-part series, Innovation Advisors Susan Mayer and Jamie Pero Parker, Ph.D., review sugar’s role in foods and introduce the Design Thinking framework of desirability, feasibility, and viability (DFV). They take a closer look at how the DFV framework can be used to consider sugar in products and lead to more focused sugar reduction strategies.  

Read Part I and Part II

Our Expert Team

headshot of Susan Mayer, CFS,

Susan Mayer, Food Industry Lead

With great problem-solving, strategic, and communication skills, our clients rely on Susan Mayer's experience in product development, product lifecycle management, and public-private food industry partnerships. Applying that expertise, Susan helps organization understand how technology, research, and the right suppliers can create innovation opportunities. Susan has an M.S. in Food Science and a B.S. in Foods from the University of Maryland, College Park, and is a Certified Food Scientist

Lawrence Blume, Ph.D. Food Industry Co-Lead

Lawrence Blume, Ph.D., is passionate about collaborative partnerships that bring innovative solutions to challenging research and development roadblocks. He helps life science, food & beverage, and consumer goods companies develop technical insights and business models that unlock and yield disruptive innovation in core products and markets. He received a Ph.D. in Physiology & Pharmacology from Wake Forest School of Medicine and a B.S. in Biology with a minor in Biochemistry from Duquesne University

Tawanda Muzhingi, Ph.D.

Food scientist, nutritional biochemist and international development expert Tawanda Muzhingi, Ph.D., has over 20 years’ experience supporting innovation initiatives for food and agriculture companies and foundations. He's worked in international food business, food science, food policy and agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the US. Dr. Muzhingi received his Ph.D. in Biochemical and Molecular Nutrition and M.S. Food Policy and Applied Nutrition from Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts, and his B.S. in Nutrition from the University of Zimbabwe in Harare, Zimbabwe. In 2018, he received the IFT Emerging Leaders Network Award.

Jacob Smith, Ph.D.

Jacob Smith, Ph.D., leads research efforts for technology scouting and landscaping, partner identification and assessment, and technology commercialization assessment. Whether evaluating a next-generation propulsion technology for commercial potential or landscaping high barrier enabling coatings for more sustainable food packaging, Jacob collects, organizes, analyzes, and delivers research and results clearly and enables clients to easily evaluate the big picture and drill down to investigate the details.  Jacob received a Ph.D. in Chemistry from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a B.A. in Chemistry and Spanish from Austin College.

What ingredient challenge can we help you solve?