Market Intelligence, Strategic Advisory
Hi, I’m Phaedra. Your go-to F&B Expert specializing in Product Innovation.
Phaedra Ruffalo
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How I Work

A food futurist building concepts to scale, Phaedra is an influential, inspirational executive leader in global food innovation marketing with 20+ years of experience driving successful organizational strategies as a creative and insightful problem solver in the food service and retail channels.

She is a brand builder that leverages qualitative and quantitative research and facilitates ideations with cross-functional teams that brings ideas together for a collective win for the organization. Phaedra has built and coached high-performing teams that have created or re-energized over 800 products or menu items via facilitating innovation sessions, managing product life cycles from inception to launch, and consistently driving advancements that generate significant revenue growth for the organization and customers.

Previously, as Senior Director of Market Development at the American Egg Board, she established global strategic plans and developed new markets in the B2B channels. She created the Made with REAL EggTM seal, to help increase purchase intent in retail and menus in which customers on average saw an increase by 35% in sales. At MARS Foodservices, she championed and led a health and nutrition platform for the food service portfolio resulting in $2.5M increase for the core rice business within 2 years.

Food companies she has worked for previously, both domestically and abroad, include Taylor Farms, Trader Joe's, Heinz North America Foodservice, Schwan's Foodservice, Grupo Bimbo Frozen Retail, and Newly Weds Foods Ingredients.

Case Studies
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Blog Posts
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Surge Innovators (Consultancy)

Food strategy in motion that delivers strategic design thinking rooted in insights that translate to marketable results. SURGE Innovators is a comprehensive food strategy and marketing innovation consulting/coaching firm for the global food and beverage industry, specializing in foodservice (national accounts and non-commercial), CPG, food manufacturing, agriculture, and convenience store channels.

CEO/Founder (Marketing Innovation and Strategy Consultant)・ USA MAR 2022 - Present

  • Understanding and developing the consumer experience/interface to drive business impact.
  • Sought out by colleagues and former clients to support them in their initiatives

American Egg Board (Commodity Board)

is the U.S. egg industry’s national commodity marketing organization

Director of Food Chain Outreach and International Development ・ USA JAN 2021 – DEC 2021

  • Tasked to redesign the Incredible Breakfast Trends newletter and created a CX web based platform.
  • Facilitated and led innovation sessions and properity research programs that established relationships with Top 10 National Accounts/QSR contributing to increased egg servings on menus in all QSR’s by 3% (6 billion egg servings YE SEP’19).
  • Established the AEB 5-year strategy and plan for increasing egg products globally for implementation in 2022.
  • 30%-35% knowledge base increased for learners upon EggProTM completion which was 15%- 20% increase versus the Rouxbe platform average knowledge based increased after a course.

Senior Director, Market Development・ USA JUL 2017 – JAN 2021

  • Led and managed the design of global marketing and innovation strategies for the Market Development department, leveraging international and food industry experience.
  • Utilized a deep understanding of consumers and cultures across all markets.
  • Employed quantitative and qualitative research insights to drive business impact for CPG and food service clients.
  • Aimed to create meaningful consumer and customer experiences while building long-term value for the American Egg Board's brand legacy.

Newly Weds Foods (Food Ingredients)

A privately held company, with revenues at $1.4 Billion in 2017

Senior Marketing Manager - Global・ USA 2014-2017

  • Led marketing team initiatives which resulted in 350 customer presentations annually and contributed to over 265 concepts that resulted in over $14M of sales annually in various channels from processors, food service or retail channels.

Grupo Bimbo

Formally known as Maple Leaf Frozen Bakery

Director of Innovation・ USA, Canada 2013-2014

  • Identified companies for licensing opportunities for in-store bakeries, i.e., Cinnabon - 6 items for both the U.S. and Canada. Increased sales by 18% in the first full year of launch.
  • Created and implemented the Bit O’ Bliss in-store deli private label brand that contributed to a 20% sales increase within the first 12 months.

The Schwan Food Company

a food company with approximately 8,500 employees.

originated in the United States as a family-owned business and in 2019 became a subsidiary of CJ CheilJedang of South Korea — with four major business units including Schwan's Consumer Brands, Schwan's Food Service, Strategic Partner Solutions and SFC Global Supply Chain

Senior Manager - Innovation and Market Research・ USA 2011-2013

  • Identified, validated, and built new food and technology platforms for Schwan's Food Service company.
  • Developed brand strategies using qualitative and quantitative research.

Manager - Marketing Innovation・ USA, Canada 2011-2012

  • Evaluated current brand strategies for Schwan's Food Service company.
  • Identified future trends in food, health, nutrition, packaging, and technology.
  • Supported the expansion of Schwan's Food Service's current and future platforms.


an American multinational manufacturer of confectionery, pet food, and other food products and a provider of animal care services

Senior Business Development & Innovation Manager・ USA 2005-2010

  • Primarily focused on product innovation and renovation for the Uncle Ben's portfolio within the Foodservice industry, from inception to launch.
  • Supported national and regional chain customization projects.
  • Contributed to website support for Uncle Ben's products.

Marketing Manager・ USA 2005-2007

  • Started as Trade and Channel Marketing Manager for Mars Foods Incorporated in March 2005.
  • Promoted to Marketing Manager for the Uncle Ben's Brand for the Foodservice segment, including commercial and non-commercial accounts, after 5 months.

The Kraft Heinz Company

one of the largest food and beverage companies in the world, with eight $1 billion+ brands and global sales of approximately $25 billion

Marketing Manager・ USA 2003-2005

  • Served as Marketing Manager for the Quality Chef Frozen Soup brand within the Foodservice channel.
  • Managed marketing efforts targeting National, Street, and non-commercial accounts.

The Schwan Food Company

a food company with approximately 8,500 employees.

originated in the United States as a family-owned business and in 2019 became a subsidiary of CJ CheilJedang of South Korea — with four major business units including Schwan's Consumer Brands, Schwan's Food Service, Strategic Partner Solutions and SFC Global Supply Chain

National Account Marketing Manager - Mrs. Smith's Brand・ USA 2000-2003

  • Worked as a Product Manager for the Mrs. Smith's Dessert brands in the Foodservice segment, previously under Flowers Food Company until April 2003.
  • Managed National accounts, non-commercial clients, and private label partnerships with Sysco and US Foodservice.
  • Launched numerous new products regionally and nationally.

Cardinal Brands

Regional Sales Manager - Adams Business Forms・ USA 1999-2000

  • Served as Regional Manager overseeing 13 states for a product line consisting of guest checks and cash register rolls for the Foodservice segment.
  • Managed a broker sales force to promote and distribute the product line within the region.

Trader Joe's

a national chain of neighborhood grocery stores

Category Manager/Buyer・ USA 1998-1999

  • Served as an East Coast Buyer/Category Manager during the late 1990s, instrumental in expanding a chain from 13 stores to 33 stores on the East Coast.
  • Achieved a collective revenue increase of over 27% in various categories including produce, floral, household goods, housewares, breakfast cereals, and protein bars.
  • Contributed to the significant growth of the chain, which now boasts over 200 stores on the East Coast and in the Midwest.

Taylor Farms

North America's favorite maker of salads and healthy fresh foods

Category Manager/Buyer・ USA 1994-1998

  • Started as one of the first five employees at a start-up company.
  • Served as Sales Manager for the Southeast region, concentrating on both retail and national foodservice segments.
  • Contributed to the company's growth from a start-up to a billion-dollar enterprise.
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