Lauren Shimek, PhD

Lauren Shimek

Lauren Shimek is the Founder and CEO of Food.Tech.Design, an innovation consulting business for the food industry. As a Ph.D. food scientist with over nine years of food design and innovation experience at IDEO in addition to product development expertise at General Mills, she creates breakthrough food and beverage products that tap into people’s unmet needs and desires while being grounded in manufacturability. Lauren’s personal passion for food, deep technical expertise and design thinking know-how place her at the innovation intersection of food, science and technology, and design. 

As a Sr. Portfolio Director at IDEO, Lauren co-led the Food Studio and developed product and packaging innovation platforms for Fortune 500 companies as well as emerging start-ups. She pioneered the discipline of food product design at IDEO. At General Mills, Lauren created innovative technologies and new-to-the-world products in bakeries and foodservice, baking and meals categories. 

Lauren holds a Ph.D. degree in Food Science and a B.S. degree in Biochemistry from the University of California, Davis. She is an active Professional member of IFT who began serving the organization at the national level as a graduate student and has continued in various volunteer capacities including IFT Nominations and Elections Committee, Industry Advisor of the IFT Student Association, and the IFT Certification Task Force. She is also a mentor at Indie Bio, a startup accelerator focuses on entrepreneurs building technologies in or around the field of Biotech. She is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Food Science at the University of California, Davis and will be teaching a new graduate level course, Design Thinking for Food, this fall.

Lauren is passionate about the vital role that food plays in our everyday lives and is committed to creating a bright future of food that leverages science and technology to create meaningful solutions to our world’s complex food challenges. She also loves to cook and bake and of course, taste the newest food trends!