Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 81

LiDestri
Innovation Center
Part of LiDestri's effort to get out of its comfort zone involved
opening an Innovation Center in 2014. There, the company's
research and development team, along with 20 certified tasters, come up with new, unique, innovative products. Thanks
to this "trial by fire," as Stefani LiDestri describes it, the Innovation Center allowed LiDestri to create strategic partnerships with other innovative companies, such as Newman's
Own and Wegmans Food Markets.
"We've really gotten to a completely different place than we
were six years ago," Stefani LiDestri explains. "The transition
is exciting because of all the trend-setting we're looking to
lead our industry towards - not only in packaging innovation,
but also through efforts in sustainability. We're setting the
pace for the industry in really trying to establish standards
that we can share beyond ourselves and make an impact
across the industry at the manufacturing and retail level."
The company has helped its partner Newman's Own develop a new line of organic pasta sauces called Common
Good. The partners worked side-by-side in the Innovation
Center kitchens to develop the recipes, cooking their way
through a mountain of spices and gallons of extra-virgin olive oil. After a few months of collaboration, they had a product ready for market.
Always focusing on health and sustainability, LiDestri is
excited about another upcoming product: an apple cider vinegar sipping drink. Stefani LiDestri first came across this
concoction shortly after having her daughter. Her herbalist
suggested she try it to clear her lymph nodes since nothing
else was relieving her swollen ankles. "After two days of
drinking this, my ankles were normal again - it was crazy,"
she says. "All of a sudden, everyone started talking about
this product. Good Girl Moonshine is this underground community of gals who are drinking concoctions of apple cider
vinegar. It's really healthy, and I love the flavor."
When developing this product, the company made efforts
to keep the underground Good Girl Moonshine vibe rather
than making it more commercial looking. "My family is from
Cuba and Sicily, and I'm so envious of how healthy everyone seems in Europe," Stefani LiDestri says. "They're eating
fresher products than in the United States. We're heading in
a direction as an industry to put these types of products out in
front of the consumer and allowing them to make good choices where the cost isn't astronomical."

consumers because it's shatterproof, lightweight and in a
safer, greener package than a typical glass jar. The company
brought this jar to market on behalf of its partner Wegmans
Food Markets to provide a package that appeals to environmentally conscious consumers without sacrificing the shelf
life of the product.
The jar has won both the 2016 Diamond Award for packaging innovation and 2016 Ameristar Award for excellence
in food packaging from the Institute of Packaging Professionals. "This package is a category-changer because we
decided to really focus on what consumers are looking for in
pasta sauce containers," Stefani LiDestri adds.
But LiDestri couldn't provide certain kinds of fresh products without the help of HPP. HPP makes it possible to remove chemical preservatives from product formulas and
achieve the same shelf lives for a range of products, including juices, deli meats, wet salads, seafood and hummus.
"This process not only produces tastier products because
we're not cooking the flavor out of things, but they're actually going to be healthier because we're not heating the
nutrients out of it," Stefani LiDestri explains.

Process and Packaging
The Innovation Center also allowed LiDestri to cook up new
ways of packaging and processing its products, such as the
Living Jar and HPP. The Living Jar benefits retailers and
food & drink international * winter 2016 volume 2 * www.fooddrink-magazine.com

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2

Contents
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