The National Food Laboratory (NFL) has launched an in-house organisation devoted to assisting companies in creating food and beverage products. 

The 30-member "Innovation Group" will be focussed on helping clients translate culinary concepts into successful commercial products, a statement said.

"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."

Heading up the effort is newly named vice president of innovation Lucinda Wisniewski, most recently an NFL sales director. Mario DiFalco joins the NFL's Innovation Group as division manager-strategic marketing. 

Christie Hoyer, vice president of consumer insights & sensory; Debbie Lohmeyer, division manager-product innovation & commercialisation; and Teresa Landis, culinary innovator and chef, are some of the other key appointments.

"The NFL enjoys a long and successful track record in consumer research, product and process development, food safety, quality assurance and analytical testing," said 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."