Deli Star Corporation, an industry leader in protein manufacturing, announced it has hired Michelle Claravall as its director of research and development. In this role, Claravall will lead operational aspects of the company’s Culinary Innovation Team, working alongside Deli Star’s chefs, culinologists and food scientists.  She will help to drive Deli Star’s product development process and innovative culture of food science and culinary collaboration. She will split her time between the company’s current St. Louis Innovation Center location and its Fayetteville, Illinois, plant until the opening of Deli Star’s Food Discovery Center in City Foundry St. Louis in early 2021.

Claravall is a 20-plus-year food industry veteran with experience in product development, culinary collaboration, team-member development and supplier management for a variety of foodservice companies including McDonald’s, Kraft Heinz, Yum! Restaurants International, Vlasic Foods International and Campbell Soup Company. She comes to Deli Star from Panera Bread, where she served as new-product-introductions director, operation services. In that role she led food field-testing commercialization efforts to optimize execution of product preparation and speed of service, collaborating with culinary, marketing and supply-chain peer leaders to revive and relaunch that company’s product-innovation model. 

“Michelle has an impressive track record, having worked with some of the largest and most-innovative companies in the food industry,” said Chef Charles Hayes, vice president of culinary innovation at Deli Star. “Amid the challenges facing our industry this year, we have remained focused on taking bold steps forward in culinary innovation and product development to meet our customers’ needs, and Michelle will play a significant role in helping us achieve those goals.”

Claravall will touch upon all aspects of the company, from creating and implementing of sourcing strategies, identifying opportunities for menu-development and health-and-wellness initiatives, lending support to sales and marketing efforts and working alongside Deli Star’s VP of Culinary Innovation Charles Hayes and his team to drive product and process development.

Source: Deli Star Inc.