Our Mission

We are a unit of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey and the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES) with a mission to stimulate and support sustainable economic growth and prosperity to the food and agricultural industries by providing businesses with innovative research, customized practical solutions, resources for business incubation and a trusted source for information and guidance.

As a result of an in-depth study conducted by Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey in 1997, the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment station established the Food Innovation Center to address the needs of New Jersey's food industry. The research quantified the significant challenges facing the state's agricultural and food industries. It also identified key business needs that are critical in fostering a strong, viable, and sustainable food industry sector within the state. These needs include:

  • Training and education on product trends, business planning, market research, corporate governance, regulatory and permitting requirements, legal matters, quality assurance and food safety, marketing and sales strategy, etc.
  • Product and process development expertise, so entrepreneurs and established businesses can better compete in an increasingly complex retail and foodservice environment which is undergoing significant industry consolidation
  • Equipped, FDA and USDA inspected facility, that  reduces capital costs for business startup and market entry. 
  • Access to a professional management team with expertise in the food industry.

With our team of on-site specialists and access to the vast resources at Rutgers University , we offer our client companies a full range of services.  It is believed that this integrated level of support offered by our staff and university partners makes us unique in the country among food business incubators.

The Community We Serve

The $105 Billion Food and Agriculture Sector: New Jersey's 2nd largest Consumer Goods Industry. The Center specifically targets:

  Domestic and International Food Companies seeking to enter new markets, expand their product portfolio or manufacturing operations, obtain technical or business training, upgrade their quality assurance systems, or assess new technologies or business practices
  Small and Startup Food Companies desiring to create new businesses or new products, and needing assistance with business planning, market research, product and process development, sales strategy, government regulations, and/or that lack a food processing facility and equipment that will enable production under sanitary conditions and under government inspection
  Farmers and Other Agribusinesses desiring to create new specialty food products that are distinctive, differentiated, and value-added