During his 28 years in the of food industry, Dr. Hawkins' experience has been with developing and implementing new food products and solving complex technical problems for many large medium and small food companies. In his early days Dr. Hawkins worked for the 2 largest food companies in the USA: Oscar Mayer Foods, previously a division of Philip Morris and currently a division of Kraft, Inc., and GoodMark Foods, currently ConAgra Snack Foods and a group of ConAgra Foods, Inc. For Oscar Mayer he created the concept and product known as "Lunchables"; this product has been describe by Kraft Research as the most innovative new product developed by Kraft over the past 20 years. He also developed fully-cooked BBQ Ribs, OM Pre-Cooked Bacon (using microwave technology), Low-Salt Bacon and Beef & Cheddar Bun Length Franks.
Dr. Hawkins worked 15 years with GoodMark Foods Research &
Development (R&D) becoming one of the world's leading
authorities on shelf-stable meats and foods. Working with the
researchers at the US Army Soldier System Command, Performance
Enhancement & Food Safety Team, he has developed sandwiches that
are shelf stable for up to 3 years. He has also setup meat
processing lines in the USA and Europe. He is recognized for
his product knowledge, project management, leadership,
team-building, extensive technical network and problem-solving
abilities. He has received an Excellence-In-Research Award from
the US Army and has 15 patents with 1 patent-pending, among other
accomplishments. His leadership as Director of R&D for ConAgra
Specialty Snacks created innovative and efficient product,
process and packaging systems that contributed to sales growth
increase from $50 million to $300 million in 15 years and
percent net profits in the double digits for the last 6 years.
His food processing knowledge for extended shelf life includes
extensive knowledge in ingredient, fermentation, product
formulation, cooking, drying, smoking, water activity, ionic
concentration, water binding, Modified Atmosphere Packaging,
oxygen control, delayed oxidation, oxygen absorption, natural
anti-oxidants, light diffusement and combinations of the
preceding techniques known as "hurdle technology".