Mars Food appoints new R&D lead

Mars Food & Nutrition named Karina Zimerfeld as Vice President of the business’ R&D function, reporting to Shaid Shah, President Mars Food & Nutrition. Zimerfeld will serve as a member of the Global Food & Nutrition Leadership Team, and the Mars, Incorporated, Global R&D Leadership Team.

The Mars Food & Nutrition business is headquartered in London and has 2000 Associates across 30 countries working to bring to life the segment’s Purpose: Better Food Today. A Better World Tomorrow. The business is building a vibrant, fast-growing portfolio of nutritious, flavorful, convenient products that delight consumers.

Today, it includes best-loved brands such as Ben’s Original, Masterfoods, Seeds Of Change, Tasty Bite, and Dolmio. Its recent innovations include Ben’s Original One Pan Creations and Ben’s Original Plant Powered range, which won the 2023 UK Product of the Year award in the vegetarian category.

In her role Karina will lead R&D for Mars Food & Nutrition, including overseeing R&D Innovation, Quality and Food Safety, Science & Technology, and Scientific & Regulatory Affairs.

Shaid said, “Food has a unique role in the fabric of humanity. It not only fuels us, but brings people together, is central to our health and wellness, and connects us with our planet. I’m thrilled to have Karina join us as we continue our journey as an innovative, purpose driven food business of tomorrow.

'With 25-years of deep experience in innovation, science and technology Karina will play an integral role in helping us pursue further growth and innovation, drive value for consumers and make a positive impact on society.”

Karina joins Mars after an outstanding 25-year career with Unilever, where she was most recently Global Vice President R&D for Unilever’s foodservice business unit leading it through a significant business transformation with numerous initiatives focused on digital, customer-centric, healthy and sustainable innovations.

Prior, she held several senior R&D leadership roles based in Latin America, Europe and globally for multiple food and nutrition categories, both in business-to-consumer and business-to-business.

Karina said, “As a food lover myself, I’m excited to join the Mars Food & Nutrition team and look forward to leading the charge to use science, technology and innovation to capture opportunities for consumers, while in parallel creating a better, more sustainable world of food. And with evolving consumer needs, a pressing climate change, and advances in technology, this is an incredibly exciting time to be in Food!”

Karina has a degree in food engineering and an MBA, underpinning a strong track record of leveraging science, technology and external partnerships to create value for brands and growth opportunities for businesses.