IFT Fireside Chat

Fireside Chat: Accelerate the Development Process: Innovation & Ideation


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Check out our Recap Interview with our Innovation Manager, Ben Zirbel.


When it comes to the innovation process, where does someone typically start?

I think the innovation process typically starts with an idea! That idea can come from a variety of places. Sometimes it starts with our customers and sometimes it starts with us. Once the idea is decided there are a lot of things to consider, from product restrictions to price points, all of which play a factor in the final product. However, once those are decided then the exciting part comes. We start creating products! We work with our customers to make sure our product matches their expectations.

What benefits does a Working Session have?

Primary Benefits

The main one is the instant feedback while tasting samples. It is a real game changer to be in the same room and have both companies tasting the same sample. It creates an opportunity to our scientists to ask questions on the feedback and really drill down to exactly what the customer is looking for.

Additional Benefits

Quicker speed to market, grows customer partnership, allows time to start discussions about future projects, and allows for quick problem solving.

What does your dream working session look like?

I don’t really have a “dream working session” and the reason for that is simple. They are not about me. Our working sessions are about our customers and helping them reach their dreams for that product. What I can tell you is our goal for a working session is always for the customer to leave happy and with a final formula to take back and show their team that they really believe in.

How does Revela Foods collaborate with customers?

  • We collaborate with our customers in a variety of ways: phone calls, Microsoft Teams calls, and e-mails but our favorite is our working sessions!
  • In our working sessions customers come into our innovation center and work with our scientists to create the best product we can. During this time, we can discuss trends and future products as well, but the most important part is the direct line of communication it creates when tasting products.
  • Everyone tasting the same thing and the same time is extremely valuable and not only gets everyone to the desired outcome, but it gets us there MONTHS faster than sending samples and waiting for feedback. It is a process that creates a great product and the opportunity to grow a great partnership between our company and theirs.


What is the Revela difference?

The Revela difference is our people. I am blessed to work with a team that is not only talented but is in love with food and all its processes. They get excited about their projects and are just as excited to see them succeed as our customers are. They are foodies through and through and are always looking for their next food experience.

How can other companies expedite their product development?

 I think the easiest way for companies to expedite their product development is to use Revela as an extension of their own R&D team.

We are always happy to work on a project regardless of which stage it is in. Also, by having upfront discussions with us we can have a clear understanding of the objectives and goals for that project.

We do everything from blue sky innovation to matching and cost reductions. In addition to our R&D team we have a very strong regulatory team that can help any customer navigate the many restrictions that can be found in the food category today.

What is the most innovative thing that a company can do right now to keep up with this fast-paced industry?

 I think the best thing companies can do is to be flexible and capitalize on trends when they are hot.

At Revela we have a 3rd party trend service that tracks product launches and trends that are going on. By using us our customers also can get this information and can then ideate around those trends to launch a product that consumers are looking for and craving.

Book at Working Session!

Innovation Process

Who do I contact to start a working session at Revela Foods?

Our customers can contact us in a variety of ways. They best way is if you know someone who works here reach out to us and we will get you pointed in the right direction! If you don’t know anyone our website is easy to navigate and will get you directly to the salesperson for you. No middleman needed. Just select the category you are interested in and leave a quick note. It will go directly to the sales individual for you!

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Larry Turner

Larry Turner started working with us in 2020 as Chief Operations Officer at Welcome Dairy Holdings. In his role at Revela Foods, Larry specializes in strategies that harmonize products, people and processes to take the company to the next level in growth and profitability. His 30+ year career in food and dairy extends across Organizational Development, Operations, New Product scale up, IT and Project Management.

Larry leverages his extensive experience and expertise to drive performance improvement at every level of the organization. He uses collaborative and innovative strategies to resolve persistent challenges across the business. He has led the company through key initiatives to accelerate new products and processes that increase efficiency and strengthen people, quality and much more.

Prior to joining the company, Larry worked for the Grande Cheese Company where his responsibilities progressed from Plant Engineer to Vice President. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Development from Viterbo University and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

Larry and his wife Dona live in Monona, Wisconsin. They have two daughters. He is an avid distance runner who likes to experience communities and cultures one step at a time to understand their nuances and think forward to the future.

Alan Morris

Alan Morris started with us as the Chief Financial Officer for Welcome Dairy Holdings in 2019. He specializes in business partnering and working across departments to drive the growth and profitability of the business—skills he has honed during his 20+ years of experience in the food industry.

In his role at Revela Foods, Alan has been instrumental in driving the organic growth of the company by:

Prior to joining the company, Alan spent 17 years in various roles at Glanbia, including M&A, Commercial & Operational Business Partnering and Divisional CFO.

A native of Ireland, he now resides in Waunakee, Wisconsin with his wife Amanda and their two daughters, Aoife and Ali. Outside of work and family time, Alan participates in competitive sports, including hurling and soccer.

Terry Schneider

Terry Schneider started with us as the Executive Vice President/CFO at Gamay Food Ingredients in 1992. He was promoted to President in 2016 and assumed the Chief Executive Officer role of Revela Foods in 2022.

Terry has played a vital role in growing the company, including:

He looks forward to driving the business forward, and what the future will bring
to Revela. Prior to joining the company, Terry began his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers and spent eight years in Public Accounting.

Terry and his wife, Kim, live in Pewaukee, Wisconsin. They have three children and two grandchildren. When not working, Terry likes to golf, travel, spend time outdoors and escape to his condo in Longboat Key, Florida.