executive boardroom

Our Team

Jessica Williams

Consulting Partner

Business History

Jessica’s mission to advance foodservice programs includes providing Menu Labeling compliance services as well as advice, tools, and resources to improve foodservice quality and consistency. Cross-channel experience covering quick service restaurants, grocery, and convenience is very unique in the product development space.

Experience

b2b SOLUTIONS, LLC, Lake Forest, Illinois
Full service consulting company for retailers and suppliers to retail firms.

President, May 2018 – Present
Responsible for assisting retailers and manufacturers improve foodservice quality and consistency. Specialties include Menu Labeling and compliance support, as well as support for all phases of the product development cycle including product innovation, recipe and cost optimization, commercialization, training, and product launches.

      • Carefully review procedures to ensure consistent execution
      • Complete nutritional facts calculated for each unique foodservice menu item
      • Obtain up-to-date specifications from suppliers and distributor partners
      • Input nutritional information into a secure database for safe storage
      • Nutritional facts, ingredients, and allergens in a neat, organized format of your choice
      • Fast, efficient turnaround

 

THORNTON’S INC., Louisville, KY (2014 – 2017)
Thorntons Inc. operates nearly 200 locations in six states.

Manager of Product Development and Quality Assurance, Fresh Food Category

      • Introduced new fresh foods to bakery, roller grill, deli case and hot foods sub-categories, which contributed toward a $7 million annual category budget
      • Introduced more than 75 new food items in three years including a new sandwich platform which performed +120% to budget
      • Responsible for quality assurance matters throughout supply chain
      • Led the company in research, application, and rollout of program for FDA Menu Labeling compliance
      • Developed innovative new food products, platforms and packaging for the fresh food category including concept design, consumer testing, data collection, commercialization, implementation, and validation of new food products, including analysis of cost of goods, waste, and sales
      • Directed food styling and photography for advertising
      • Led cook and holding profile development, develop rollout guides, training materials and implementation plans for new products and programs and cascade to store-level operations

 

YUM! BRANDS, INC. (2004 – 2014)
Yum! Brands, Inc., based in Louisville, Kentucky, is one of the world’s largest restaurant companies with more than 40,000 restaurants in more than 130 countries and territories.  Powerful restaurant brands KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut are leaders in each of their respective food categories.

KFC U.S. Food Innovation & Technology, Louisville, Ky (2011 – 2014)
Associate Manager, New Product Development

      • Product design, consumer testing, commercialization, and implementation of new for 4,800 stores including innovative training and marketing applications
      • Successful track record of numerous consumer tests, 10 market tests, and 3 national launches
      • Developed beverage menu and brought full food menu to life by developing 50 new ingredients for “KFC eleven” concept store, which increased sales more than 20 percent over the previously existing KFC base concept store

 

Yum! Restaurants, International Latin America & Caribbean, Ft. Lauderdale, Fl (2011- 2011)
Associate Manager, New Product Development

      • Three-month secondment: New products and technical support for Latin America & Caribbean regions
      • Instructed Product Excellence section of KFC So Good action camps in three countries
      • Researched and presented 300 internationally successful products to fill region’s 2012 marketing calendar

 

Yum! Restaurants, International Product Support Center, Louisville, Ky (2009-2011)
Associate Manager, New Product Development

      • Led training and knowledge sharing initiatives for consistent execution across international markets
      • Developed complete rollout-ready packages for new KFC food, beverages, and equipment for four global strategic initiatives: Beverages, Oven Innovation, Breakfast, and Core Products
      • Gained deep understanding of marketing planning by leading knowledge sharing initiatives via internal websites, conference calls, travel, and product demonstrations

 

Yum! Restaurants, International KFC Middle East, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (2008-2009)
Associate Manager, New Product Development

      • One-year secondment: Developed innovative food products for the Middle East & North Africa regions
      • Responsible for product training, consumer, and operations testing at area and store level
      • Managed product development of Halal ingredients for product launch of new sandwich across 500 stores
      • Influenced largest franchisee in Yum! Restaurants International to test and implement new product layers
      • Led development of 15 new ingredients for Breakfast and Oven Innovation market tests in Kuwait and U.A.E. with multiple ingredient suppliers, including new cook profiles, procedures and smallwares
      • Developed delivery system for frozen beverages in a desert environment, leading to new revenue source

 

Yum! Restaurants, International Product Support Center, Louisville, Ky (2004-2008)
Technologist, New Product Development & Technology

      • Managed development of new products for market test in England, including collaboration with chefs in the U.S. and the U.K., and conducting consumer research on new menu in high-volume London store
      • Successfully redesigned food section of KFC and Pizza Hut mystery shopper programs, which positively impacted product quality and consumer experiences at restaurants worldwide
      • Collaborated with global operations teams to elevate consumer experience by increasing speed of service
      • Led Yum! University courses in perfect product training, cooking and holding procedures
      • Developed cooking and holding profiles for global application, including food and packaging specifications
      • Led validation of new and existing seasonings and equipment via consumer and expert panels

Education

Masters of Business Administration, Marketing, 1975
Western New England University, Springfield, Massachusetts

Bachelor of Science, Agricultural and Food Economics, 1969
University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts

Associate Degree, Food Distribution, 1967
Stockbridge School of Agriculture at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts

Professional Affiliations

National Association of Convenience Stores (1974 to Present)

Supplier Board Manpower Committee (Member, Committee Chair 1999 – 2011)
Member, Board of Directors – Retailer (1992 to 1995)
Member, Board of Directors – Supplier (1999 to 2005)
Program Director and Program Moderator

Convenience Retailing University Advisory Council (Past)

RetailWire BrainTrust Panel (Present)

GLG Research Council Member (Present)