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Nutrition and Ingredients Experts

Need to speak to a nutrition or ingredients expert on our team? This is the place to start – take a look at our team below and contact us with any questions you have for them:


Marlene Schmidt, MS, RD

Ask Marlene about: Nestlé’s Approach to Nutrition, Health and Wellness and Consumer Food and Nutrition Trends, Sugar, Clean Label


Marlene holds a Master of Science in clinical nutrition from the University of Memphis and a Bachelor of Science degree in food and nutrition from Appalachian State University.

Across a broad range of products, Marlene is the person behind the scenes working with the experts to ensure the foods and beverages meet the highest nutrition standards. To do this, she uses her great experience in assessing the latest science, regulatory and marketplace trends to help drive innovation. Most recently, Marlene has been working to champion sugar reductions and fruit first on Outshine and simpler ingredients for Dryer’s/Edy’s Slow Churned and Häagen-Dazs.

E-mail a question for Marlene.



Cassie Hoover, MS, RDN, LD

Ask Cassie about: Children's Nutrition, Snacking, Pizza, Nestlé’s Nutritional Profiling, Gluten Free


Cassie is a registered dietitian with a Master of Science degree in Nutrition; a Master of Science degree in Management and a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutritional Biochemistry from Case Western Reserve University.

With Nestlé, Cassie leads the Kid’s Nutrition & Health Study, which examines the eating habits and lifestyle behaviors of children between 4-12 years of age. Recently she has also been involved in the salt reduction and culinary improvements of pizzas and snacks, working with brands such as DiGiorno and Hot Pockets.

E-mail a question for Cassie.



Rhonda Richardson

Ask Rhonda about: Baking, Sodium, Frozen Meals, Culinary Trends, Protein


Rhonda obtained a Master’s Degree in Food Science. She also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Ecology with a minor in Management from the University of West Indies in Trinidad and Tobago.

Originally working with Nestlé in Trinidad and Tobago, Rhonda led regional and global nutrition and health initiatives. Here in the USA she works with brands such as Lean Cuisine, Stouffer’s and Tollhouse to guide the development of the brand towards better nutritional profiles such as reducing sodium and saturated fat and moving to simpler ingredients.

E-mail a question for Rhonda.



Erin Quann, PhD, RD, LDN

Ask Erin about: Childhood Nutrition


Erin Quann is the Associate Director of Nutrition Research for Gerber Products Company. She leads the activation of the Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study (FITS) in the U.S. in support of laying the foundation for healthful diets early in life. This includes gaining a better understanding of the diets and lifestyle habits of infants and young children to help optimize nutrition guidance and related products, communications and services available to parents.

Previously Dr. Quann worked for the National Dairy Council holding roles in Nutrition Research, Regulatory and Scientific Affairs, as well as Nutrition Marketing and Affairs. She led their NHANES research program, as well as helped to develop and drive the nutrition strategy for the dairy and broader food and restaurant industries. A University of Connecticut alum, she received Masters and PhD degrees in exercise science with a concentration in nutrition. Dr. Quann is actively involved in the American Society for Nutrition and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and recently served on the Board of Trustees for the American College of Sports Medicine.

E-mail a question for Erin.



Ryan Riddle, MS

Ask Ryan about: Ingredients and Suppliers, Product Development, Organic Ingredients and Products, Baking Kits, Refrigerated Cookie Dough.


Ryan is an ingredient specialist supporting product development and operations at Nestlé USA. He holds a Master of Science degree in Food Science and Technology from The Ohio State University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from The University of Texas at Austin. Previously Ryan has served as a product developer for Lean Cuisine, Stouffer’s, Toll House, Carnation, and Libby’s Pumpkin brands.

At Nestlé, Ryan helps to ensure ingredients meet the needs of consumers by setting ingredient quality standards and approving new ingredient suppliers. In the past, Ryan led the development of Libby’s Pumpkin Cheesecake Kit, Stouffer’s Morning Scrambles, and the Lean Cuisine 1 Cup of Vegetables product line. He has supported new organic and non-GMO ingredient needs for Lean Cuisine, California Pizza Kitchen, and DiGiorno brands. Ryan also plays a key role in creating shared value within Nestlé and the Cleveland community, leading volunteering and team building events for the product development group.

E-mail a question for Ryan.