Frequently Asked Questions

What does CuliNex do?

CuliNex is a product development consultancy specializing in the development of clean label food products. CuliNex works with brand owners, food manufacturers, ingredient suppliers, retailers, and multi-unit foodservice operators to achieve their growth goals by bringing successful products to market. Check out our services page for more information.

What doesn't CuliNex do?

CuliNex doesn’t manufacture or sell anything besides our consulting services. While we have a small analytical laboratory, and trained sensory panelists for organoleptic evaluation, we don’t perform microbiological testing. We also don’t conduct consumer research, do brand development, marketing, packaging, sales, distribution, or web design, but we have a select network of vendors, suppliers and consultants that we frequently collaborate with. Check out our strategic partners’ page for more information.

What sets CuliNex apart from the competition?

CuliNex is a boutique product development consultancy specializing in clean label product development. We work in every food product category; snacks, confectionery, bakery, meat, frozen foods, sauces, soups, seasonings, and more. Our specialized co-packer and ingredient knowledge helps us perfect formulas and processes on the bench that will translate to a successful commercial product, saving you time and money.

While some consultancies do only culinary concepts or benchtop prototypes, our comprehensive set of services and strategic partner relationships make CuliNex a one-stop development resource. We provide all development and commercialization services and can also partner with your team, capitalizing on in-house resources.

We take a unique approach to every project at CuliNex, creating a highly customized project plan for each engagement. We have a limited client base and value long-term relationships. Utilizing our big company experience, we take an entrepreneurial approach to each project, ensuring our development strategy meshes with your business priorities to achieve long term success.

Unlike some ingredient companies or manufacturers that might offer “free product development services” and then hold onto the ownership of your product formulas, with CuliNex, you have complete control of your intellectual property.

What does clean label development mean to CuliNex?

We’re passionate about creating great tasting, wholesome food. While there is no legal definition for “clean label” or “natural”, when we say clean label at CuliNex, we use it to describe a transparent development philosophy:

  • Leading with culinary artistry first and food science second to ensure we are staying true to the food
  • Excluding all artificial colors, flavors and preservatives; we generally follow the Whole Foods List of Unacceptable Ingredients
  • Avoiding overly processed/refined ingredients
  • Keeping ingredient statements as simple and easy to understand as possible  
  • Avoiding misleading marketing claims on packaging

What is a Culinologist?

Culinology is a trademarked term owned by the Research Chefs Association, a non-profit group of 2,000 food manufacturing industry professionals. It is the blending of two disciplines, culinary arts and food science, both of which are critical to creating successful food products.  As Culinologists, we practice Culinology, which is both an operating philosophy and daily practice at CuliNex, allowing us to develop delicious, safe, food products that can be manufactured in a commercial setting.

Who do I talk to about a new project?

If you’re thinking about a new project, use our contact form to fill out as much information as you have. Once you submit it, one of our business development managers will contact you to find out more about your needs. If it sounds like we’re a fit, we’ll have you sign a Mutual Non-Disclosure Agreement (MNDA), which ensures we’ll both be able to speak freely about our respective companies and your project.

Next, we’ll send you a detailed survey to fill out with your project parameters and set up a Project Scoping Call, an in-depth conversation which usually takes about an hour. We’ll go over everything from desired product attributes, nutritional & cost parameters, target shelf life and project timelines.

From there, we’ll create a Statement of Work, a detailed document outlining the key deliverables, services, and timeline. This will come with other contractual documents, including price and payment terms.

How long will my project take?

Because every project is unique, it is difficult to generalize how long a project will take to complete. Typically, simpler development projects can take anywhere from 4-6 months and up to a year for more complex projects.

Where is CuliNex located?

Our test kitchen and offices are in the Greater Seattle area, about 20 minutes south of downtown Seattle in Tukwila; we're conveniently located about 5 miles from SeaTac Airport. 

Where should I ship items to you?

Please ship all samples, ingredients, and packages to the CuliNex Test Kitchen:

360 Corporate Drive N. Tukwila, WA 98188