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Farai Machina, MSc.

Food Industry professional with expertise in product innovation; product & process development; & concept to launch commercialization with startup and fortune 500 business companies.




A Bit About Me

A performance-driven and innovative professional in business and product commercialization, with more than 15 years of industry experience who is deeply passionate about agile speed-to-market strategies, fostering collaborative work environments, and spearheading revenue growth within startup and Fortune 500 business environments.

  • Over 15 years of CPG experience leading agile food new product development, new ingredient development and product line extensions for the following food industry segments: Bakery, Extruded Cereals & Snacks, Functional Food & Beverage, Confectionery, Dry-blend products, (and Ready to Eat (RTE)). 

  • Thrive in robust and agile speed-to-market development environments from concept to full commercialization in both Branded and Private Brand product environments.

  • Experienced in implementing CPG business development fundamentals needed to tailor business growth opportunities for target markets in collaboration with key stakeholders (internal & external)

  • Proficient in new manufacturing line start-up commissioning to include new equipment vetting and post- installation qualification to meet business objectives in collaboration with key cross functional partners.

  • Successful in providing innovative/creative solutions to complex projects, conducting risk assessments, managing multiple ongoing projects, developing products to an assigned price point, driving incremental profit leveraging existing capabilities and lead cost reduction initiatives while support production continuous improvement initiatives.

  • Product technical lead for cross functional teams that includes Regulatory, Quality, Manufacturing, Procurement, Marketing and Sales in establishing client product design attributes and producing results that meet business Key Performance Indicators.

  • Experienced in quantitative and qualitative product evaluations and associated consumer sensory tests.

  • Competent in the following business software applications: Genesis, Product Vision, QAD, Trace gains, Microsoft office suite, Oracle, Outlook, TEAMS, and Asana. Familiar with Accolade, ZOHO, Lotus Notes, and SAP.        



  • University of Wisconsin-Stout

       Master of Science.      Operations and Supply Management.               2023


  • Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan

      Graduate Certificate    Food Safety                                                      2013


  • Institute of Food Laws and Regulations, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan

      Graduate Certificate    International Food Laws and Regulations        2010


·The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania

       BSc Food Science   Department of Agricultural Science                   2007

Recent highlights Farai held the role of Senior Research and Development Manager for nutrition bars at John B. Sanfillipo and Son Inc. in Elgin, IL, where she achieved the following milestones:

  • Acknowledged as the recipient of the 2022 JBSS Vision Award for skillfully spearheading the development and commercialization of a novel product category of private label energy bars. This accomplishment involved formulating (utilizing design of experiments), conducting pilot scale-up tests, commissioning new production line equipment, and overseeing the product launch alongside a comprehensive operational handover process.

  • Successfully brought to market 5 stock-keeping units (SKUs) of private label energy bars that rival national brand counterparts, distributing them to various prominent retailers within a year. Projections indicate that these private label energy bars are poised to generate over $32 million in sales for the fiscal year 2023, covering a return on invested capital of $19 million.

  • Oversaw the swift development, scale-up, and production processes for 2 additional SKUs of private label kids' energy bars from conceptualization to finalized formulas, facilitating full commercialization in retail settings within a three-month period in 2022, with particular attention given to shelf-life considerations.

  • Formulated a comprehensive product handover packet for the energy bars, serving as a procedural manual encompassing product formulas in batch sheet format, an ingredient functionality table for troubleshooting, production process parameters from ingredient preparation to packaging, in-process and finished product specifications, identification of attribute defects with corresponding corrective actions, and standard operating procedures for use by the Research and Development, Operations, and Quality teams.

  • Managed the procurement of ingredients for all energy bar SKUs within the bar category, including the identification of necessary functional ingredients, facilitation of new vendor onboarding, ingredient screening to meet product attribute expectations, oversight of ingredient inventory utilization throughout development and mass production scale-up, and qualification of ingredients for specific product claims like non-GMO verification and organic certification compliance.

  • Provided technical support to the sales and marketing departments to equip them with the necessary tools for client conversion, thereby driving new revenue streams and enhancing the value of the existing product portfolio.

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