R&D Teams of the Year

2019 R&D Teams of the Year: Innovation Beyond the Comfort Zone

Sargento, Lundberg Family Farms and Athens Foods are this year’s winners for our 2019 R&D Teams of the Year award.

Innovation and stretching outside your comfort zone appear to be the common threads among this year’s R&D Teams of the Year.

For Sargento Foods, after 60 years of working solely in cheese, it meant learning about fruits, nuts even chocolate to capture America’s interest in proteins and snacking.

Rice was the foundation of Lundberg Family Farms, but a 2013 growth initiative led to tortilla chips, chocolate-covered snacks and frozen rice & quinoa bowls.

Phyllo dough seemed impossible without gluten, but the dynamic duo at Athens Foods found a way to create the famous Greek dough for those with Celiac and gluten sensitivities.

Those three were top vote-getters in our 11th annual competition between R&D teams. The runners-up – all worthy of their own stories and recognition – were Schwan’s Chef Collective in the large company category, private label bar-maker Nellson in the midsize group and beverage development firm Imbibe in the small category. Our thanks to all of them for participating.

And to you. Your votes picked those winners. All six teams wrote persuasive essays that we posted on a web-based poll during the month of April, which drew 1,440 votes.

You can read about each of our individual team winners on their respective pages listed above (and below). And check out all of our previous years' winners in our R&D Teams section on the Food Processing website