The Food Group was founded in 2002 with the purpose of creating a consulting firm specializing in the food and food ingredients industries. The company's founders came from Arthur D.Little, a large, global consulting firm of 2,000 employees, where they saw an opportunity to deliver a level of focus and specialization to the industry that most global consulting firms could not provide.
The Food Group has brought together industry experts to solve complex technology and strategic challenges within the industry. Unlike larger consulting firms, The Food Group's partners take an active role in all aspects of a project's work and believes this is the best way to provide clients with the most extensive expertise in the industry at the best economic value.
- Renee Flesch, Co-Founder & Partner
- Ms. Flesch worked as a food industry consultant for over twenty years. She spent 12 years at Arthur D. Little in Cambridge, MA as a unit manager for its Technology Consulting business within the Consumer Products Practice. Renee assists clients with analysis of new opportunities as well as strategy support for new products and acquisitions. Her main areas of focus are business strategy and technology within the food and food ingredients industries. Ms. Flesch specializes in the identification and analysis of new opportunities, developing growth strategies, and identifying and evaluating corporate acquisitions and new technology.
- Ms. Flesch holds a B.S. in Food Science from Rutgers and is a member of the Institute of Food Technologists.
Nancy Smith, Co-Founder & Partner
- Ms. Smith has over 25 years experience consulting in the food and beverage industries, and their supplying industries including ingredients, packaging, and additives. Ms. Smith is a former Vice President and Managing Director of Arthur D. Little, Inc. in Cambridge, MA. While at Arthur D. Little she managed the company's worldwide Food Industry Practice, which included laboratory based product and process development as well as technology and management consulting. Ms. Smith's consulting activities focus on helping clients understand the critical interfaces between technology investment, business strategy, and market opportunities. She is a former member of the Advisory Board of Directors of The Nutrasweet Kelco Company and is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Bay State Milling Company, Living Technologies, Inc., Chex Fine Foods and Lexington Marketing International.
- Nancy has authored numerous articles and studies on the outlook of the food industry. She holds an M.B.A. from Babson Collge and a B.A. in Chemistry from Regis College.
- Kristina Rychlik, Partner
- Ms. Rychlik brings over twenty years experience working in the food industry and brings a unique industry perspective to clients based on her past experience as a consultant and her work in the dairy and food ingredients industries. Ms. Rychlik began her career in nutrition education and public relations for the dairy industry. She then worked as a consultant with Arthur D. Little in Cambridge, MA, where she worked for packaged food, food ingredient, and pharmaceutical companies with a focus on technology, healthy ingredients, and nutraceuticals. She later worked for Opta Food Ingredients in Bedford, MA as Director of Corporate Information.
- Ms. Rychlik holds an MBA from Babson and a B.S. in Nutritional Sciences from Cornell. She is a registered dietitian and member of The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly known as the American Dietetic Association.)
- Kathie Wrick, Ph.D., Partner
- Dr. Wrick has over 25 years of experience working in the food industry and consulting to food, beverage, and nutritional products companies and their ingredient suppliers. She was formerly Director of Nutrition with McNeil Nutritionals, a division of Johnson & Johnson; Group Manager of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs for North and South America for M&M Mars; Technical Manager for Stop & Shop Manufacturing; Senior Technologist for HJ Heinz; and Nutrition R&D at Quaker Oats. For 10 years, Dr. Wrick served in Arthur D. Little’s Food Industry Practice and either participated in or managed client assignments that forecast the outlook for various specialty ingredients, medical nutritionals, and other nutritional products; evaluated the commercialization potential of new ingredient technologies and provided support in acquisition due diligence and technology and R&D management and planning. She has also designed and taught college level courses in nutrition and food science.
- Dr. Wrick is the author of numerous publications on nutraceuticals and functional foods and food ingredient functionalities, outlook and trends. She is a speaker in these areas as well as the emerging field of nutrigenomics. She holds a B.S. and Ph.D. in Nutrition and Food from Cornell University and an M.S. in Food Science from the University of Massachusetts. Dr. Wrick is a Registered Dietitian and maintains professional standing with the Institute of Food Technologists and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly known as the American Dietetic Association.)