Helping food & consumer product organizations navigate the capital project challenges in a rapidly changing environment.

IPA guides food, nutrition, and consumer products companies by improving capital project outcomes, reducing project risks, prioritizing improvement efforts, and significantly contributing to financial performance.


What We Do

The Food and Consumer Products industries need to be able to quickly respond to market developments by introducing new products. Companies have to deal with frequent shifts in consumer demand, eroding brand loyalty, fierce competition, short product life cycles, and increased regulatory attention. In these dynamic markets, delivering capital projects rapidly and consistently is a core element of a company's competitive advantage.

IPA’s Food and Consumer Products industry sector supports clients in developing project risk profiles, identifying mitigation strategies, and setting appropriate targets. IPA offers data-driven solutions to support the timely delivery of capital projects with minimum capital expenditures. IPA provides food and consumer project companies with data to optimize capital project delivery systems for the market dynamics. We also provide food and consumer products companies with tools that can help effectively manage varying priorities, functionalities, and changing market conditions. IPA measures the effectiveness of the performance of individual projects as well as global project portfolios.

This industry sector supports clients at three levels:

  • Individual project level – Benchmarking gives clients an objective and quantitative assessment of a project’s cost and schedule competitiveness against like projects and provides a measure of project development readiness.
  • Project system level – The performance of a client’s project system can be evaluated to identify weak and undefined functions and work processes. Evaluations also result in recommendations to improve capital project system effectiveness.
  • Industry level – The sector draws from insights raised by individual clients and leads multi-client research studies to address industry-wide concerns. Downstream industry benchmarking conferences and cost engineering forums allow participating companies to share Best Practices for delivering more cost-effective capital projects.


Our Approach

IPA is data driven.

The Food & Consumer Products database consists of over capital 480 projects representing a variety of companies within the Food and Consumer Products Industry.  The types of projects benchmarked by IPA include food and food ingredient processing, mixing, blending, forming, fermenting facilities, packaging, and utilities and infrastructure projects.

The database is used to develop and keep current proprietary models and tools to benchmark food and consumer products projects, project systems, and as well as project organizations. We offer a broad expertise to help our clients establish continuous capital effectiveness while clearly defining their trade-offs and flexibility options in their work processes. This enables their projects to be in line with market development and production needs. IPA has a number of proven tools that help clients accelerate project schedules by as much as 40 percent without additional investment.

IPA has developed a set of proven Best Practices to support the need for the flexible project organizations that are required to be successful in the food and consumer products industries.  Our practices address organizational design, work processes, global makeup, and staffing approaches.This knowledge is used to prioritize improvement efforts, reduce project risks, improve capital project outcomes, and significantly contribute to financial performance. 



Capital Project Evaluation
Owner companies have turned to IPA to benchmark and evaluate the performance of individual capital projects and project systems for nearly 30 years. The food, nutrition, and consumer products industry sector maintains and continually adds to a proprietary database containing input from more than 600 food & consumer product projects.

Using industry-recognized statistical models and assessment tools, experienced IPA analysts are able to provide a variety of capital project evaluation services for its clients.

  • Benchmark and evaluate individual projects
  • Assess individual project cost and schedule risk
  • Determine a project’s cost and schedule competitiveness and predictability throughout its development
  • Pinpoint capital project system work process weaknesses
  • Identify drivers to improve project cost effectiveness
  • Conduct both qualitative and quantitative analyses measuring capital project system effectiveness, using IPA’s proprietary suite of Project Evaluation System (PES®) tools

Team Effectiveness
IPA offers organization and project team assessment services to determine owner and project team function competencies and assess team integration, including the use of contract services.

Industry Research

Capital effectiveness and time to market are critical to the Food and Consumer products industry. Companies from various consumer product groups have found IPA’s research useful in determining how and why project cycle times increase, resulting in greater costs. The study findings often present recommendations and strategies for reducing time to market and delivering projects that meet key performance standards, including safety, standard cost, and production.

See the full list of available studies for the Food & Consumer Products Industry

Project Assessment Software
With the FEL Toolbox software application, a company can accurately measure the quality of Front-End Loading (FEL), or project definition, for a particular project (less than US $20 million), based on IPA data. Additionally, project teams can use the application to benchmark their project’s FEL compared to other projects executed by their company as well as similar projects in the industry.

Training & Education
The IPA Institute, IPA’s education division, offers a suite of courses centered on various capital project development Best Practices derived from IPA research. The following are public courses frequently attended by project professionals in the Food and Consumer Products industry:

Industry Conferences & Committees
Several owner clients participate in industry groups sponsored and coordinated through IPA. These groups gather annually to share knowledge and Best Practices for improving capital project effectiveness:



 Site Staffing Strategy IPA 750x225


There is a natural friction between industrial plant managers and site-based capital project directors. Plant managers are under pressure to drive down capital project costs, and one of their go-to tactics is reducing project system overhead. Read More



No Measure, No Change: Project System Change Management Observations from the Field

For companies initiating capital project system change management efforts, having a measure of success is critical.

By Paul Barshop, Director, IPA Capital Solutions

I sometimes feel like a war correspondent embedded on the front line...

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Executing Projects in New Regions - Meaningful ‘First-to-Region’ Project Information Can Be Uncovered

Evaluating risks inherent to capital projects is challenging. The difficulty is even greater when an owner company is investing in a region for the first time.

Among the challenges our clients’ business executives confront on a regular basis is evaluating risks inherent to hi...

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Choosing the Right Project Manager: Linking Personality Traits to Successful Projects

How can organizations choose the project manager best suited to lead a particular capital project? An IPA research study links personality traits to success.

By Phyllis Kulkarni, IPA Regional Director, North America

So your company has a great new capital project that the b...

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Key Contact

IPA-Natalia-Zwart-Chemicals-Life-Sciences-Nutrition-300pxNatalia Zwart
Manager, Chemicals, Life Sciences & Nutrition


Natalia joined IPA in 2001, and currently serves as Manager, Chemicals, Life Sciences, and Nutrition. Natalia develops business plans and oversees IPA’s relationships with client companies in these industries.



Jordan Sealock
Manager, Chemicals, Life Sciences & Nutrition


As Manager of the Chemicals, Life Sciences, and Nutrition Business Area, Jordan Sealock is responsible for developing business plans, growing and maintaining client relationships, and advancing research in the area. Previously at IPA, Jordan was the Deputy Director of Research and a Senior Project Analyst and Client Coordinator to various global clients.








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