At FONA International Inc, 96 percent of employees say their workplace is great.



This review is based on 176 employee surveys, with a 90% confidence level and a margin of error of ± 2.47. It was published on Jul 9, 2018. 18561 Visitors

What Employees Say

I feel good about the ways we contribute to the community.
People celebrate special events around here.
We have special and unique benefits here.
Our facilities contribute to a good working environment.
This is a physically safe place to work.

What They Do

We asked FONA International Inc to explain what they do. Here is what they had to say.

FONA International creates and manufactures flavors for the food, beverage, and nutritional industries, making products taste great by helping customers from original product concept to ongoing manufacture. FONA is the independent alternative in a highly competitive flavor industry.

About this Company

Website: Industry: Manufacturing & Production
US Headquarters: Geneva, Illinois, 60134 US Sites: 1
US Employees: 216 Employees Worldwide: 222
Corporate Structure: Private Founded: 1987

2017 Annual Awards Ceremony

Perks and Programs

We asked FONA International Inc to share a few programs they feel really capture what's unique about their workplace. Here is what they had to say.

  • 100% Premium Paid Health Benefits: FONA charges no premium for employees and dependents on our Core plan and employees have the option to buy-up to our Premium. All medical plans are PPO plans with high coverage and low deductibles because the health of employees and their families matters to FONA.
  • FONA Leaps: In partnership with Experience Institute, FONA designed a new short-term professional development program which facilitates change through a mix of learning, action, and community and teaches employees the principles of innovation in an organization and change on a personal level. Over eight weeks, cohorts take a “Leap” by individually choosing a project they aim to complete while attending regular workshops and check-ins. During this time employees learn about framing challenges, navigating ambiguity, storytelling, design thinking and tuning in to their own self-awareness all for the opportunity to take learning into their own hands, take risks, try new things and share their discoveries along the way. Upon completion, employees earn a certificate through Experience Institute and deepen their understanding of prototyping, innovation, personal growth and business.
  • Parental Leave: FONA employees who have a new child (newborn, adopted or fostered) may substitute an additional paid week for every year of full time employment up to six weeks. This benefit applies to both fathers and mothers and is in addition to any paid disability period for the mother, making it possible for her to be paid for up to 12 weeks. The primary caregiver parent of a newborn, adopted or fostered child is also given the option of working a four day workweek schedule for 12 weeks at any point during the first 24 weeks after the birth, adoption or placement of a foster child.
  • Quarterly Peer Recognition: New employees, guests, and industry partners very often comment on FONA’s outstanding employee recognition programs. FONA has several, but the most tangible and highly respected is FONA’s Peer Recognition tradition. Every day acts of FONA core values (generosity, partner-centricity, integrity, forward thinking, stewardship and excellence) are on display. Employees can nominate other employees anytime they see such demonstrations in action. FONA loves to catch employees in those acts so they can recognize and reward them, and they do! Every quarter, FONA publicly recognizes peer recognition recipients at their company wide employee meeting. The nominating employee announces the reason for the recognition to an assembly and presents the recipient with a gift of $100.
  • Training & Development: All employees are provided with an annual 40-hour training & development benefit. FONA offers a great amount of freedom and flexibility in the type of training an employee can take. Training can include leadership and management skills, computer skills, safety training, process improvement, communication skills, interpersonal skills, project management, technical skills, etc. These training hours may be used in any number of ways (onsite lunch & learns, workshops, seminars, conferences, eLearning, etc.). Besides this program, FONA offers an Education Assistance Reimbursement Program in which employees can use up to $5,750/year towards continued education at accredited educational institutions. For education totaling beyond $15,000, FONA also offers an Advanced Education Assistance Reimbursement Program for those seeking MBAs and other Masters programs.
  • Discover FONA: Discover FONA is an innovative community program that engages the local community to teach kids and young adults about food and flavor science and to highlight exciting careers in the flavor and food industries. Starting in 2012, FONA has hosted over 8000 students through this program that include demonstrations to bring food and flavor science to life and presentations from our experts. Discover FONA also offers turn-key curriculum solutions to educators to bring food and flavor science into the classroom to create the next generation of food industry professionals and passionate advocates. The opportunity to get involved in the community provides our young professionals and technical experts with a unique opportunity to develop their presentation and communication skills while providing outstanding service to the community.
  • Flavorist in Training Program: FONA is a provider of flavor ingredients to major food and beverage companies. As such, it is necessary that they employ advanced chemists in the flavor development field. In conjunction with the Society for Flavor Chemist (SFC), FONA provides a seven year training program for young chemists and food scientists entering the flavor industry. This training is individualized to the trainee with a significant mentorship relationship assigned to a current certified Flavor Chemist at FONA. Participants in this program complete prescribed studies in related disciplines and must successfully pass phase exams administered by the SFC. FONA continually hear from the SFC, that FONA participants who sit for the certification exams are among the most prepared, qualified, and advanced of any they certify.
  • Corporate Chaplains of America: FONA recognizes that spiritual health is a part of employee’s overall well being and offers all employees a chaplain as a resource to go to for personal matters. The chaplain is available via cell phone 24/7 and onsite at FONA one day every week. Their chaplain offers employees personal counseling as well as prayer time and will visit with an employee or the employee’s family member in the hospital, correctional institute or other mutually agreed upon location as requested.
  • Annual Employee & Family Picnic: FONA's summer picnic is one of the biggest cultural events of the year with 650+ people and a $50,000 budget. Employees and their families from around the globe are flown into Chicago to attend. Each employee and each child receives a gift at the end of the event and this year, employees received a FONA-opoly game and children received a tumbling blocks game. After playing games, face painting and arts & crafts, the adults and children enjoy a gourmet buffet followed by snow cones (FONA flavors, of course) and fruit. The finale is a special raffle in which all employees and their children are eligible to win some major prizes including a top raffle prize of $1,500. FONA’s Family Picnic generates a lot of excitement, employee engagement and memories.
  • PTO Donation: FONA recognizes that in the course of one’s life, a family emergency or a personal crisis may happen that causes a severe impact resulting in a need for additional time off in excess of their available time. To address this need all eligible employees are allowed to donate sick/personal time from their unused balance to their co-workers in need Employees may voluntarily donate accumulated PTO hours to assist a fellow employee who is unable to work due to serious personal illness or a family member’s serious illness up to 50% of their current accrued balance.


$52,482 Average salary and additional cash compensation for Production Assistant $60,234 Average salary and additional cash compensation for Applications Technologist
100% Company-paid health coverage for employees (for Based on employee election) 100% Company-paid health coverage for dependents (for Based on employee election)
FONA Family Picnic


24 days Paid time off after one year of full-time employment Set days Paid sick days after one year of full-time employment
5 weeks Paid sabbatical after 25 year(s) of employment 10 Days Paid time off as of first day of full-time employment


  • Flexible schedule (20% use it)
  • Subsidized On- or Off-site Fitness (100% have access)
  • Onsite Amenities (FONA provides yoga, boot camp, massages, dry cleaning, car wash, fitness center, garden, monthly hot lunch, and monthly employee breakfast.)


60 days Job-protected maternity leave (including FMLA/STD) 15 days Fully-paid maternity leave (does not include personal vacation or paid time off)*
65 days Average length of maternity leave new mothers take15 days Job-protected paternity leave (including FMLA)
15 days Fully-paid paternity leave (does not include personal vacation or paid time off)*15 days Average length of paternity leave new fathers take
60 days Job-protected parental leave for adoptive parents (including FMLA)*15 days Fully-paid parental leave for adoptive parents (does not include personal vacation or paid time off)
*Employees are not required to use all their personal paid time off before taking parental leave. All employees are eligible for parental leave benefits.


  • Lactation room(s)
  • Paid sick leave to care for a child or relative


  • Mental health care
  • Alternative treatments (such as acupuncture, homeopathy, or chiropractic)
  • Fertility treatments

Community and Environmental Impact

$1,605,773 Philanthropic donations in last year Third-Party Conducted Environmental impact audit


  • Written policy prohibits discrimination based on (at a minimum) age, disability, race/ethnicity, religious beliefs, gender and sexual orientation
  • Formal programs (such as resource groups, mentorship, networking, or other affinity groups) support professional development for: Under-represented racial/ethnic minority groups; Women; Speakers of English as a second language
  • 4 events a year connect employees with peers from different racial/ethnic, religious or country-of-origin identities
  • Non-birth parents in same-sex relationships can take parental leave

Leadership Diversity


Workforce Diversity

Eclipse Viewing Party


Intern Volunteer Day

How to Get Hired

We asked FONA International Inc for some inside information on how to get hired at the organization. Here is what they had to say.

What key characteristics tell you a prospective employee will be a great fit for your company?

FONA’s hiring philosophy is about identifying Willing, Able, and Growing talent. Willing: We look for people who demonstrate a willing, can-do, action-oriented attitude- people who seek to go the extra mile and are willing to “lift the heavy end of the box” within their teams. Able: We seek subject matter expertise and a drive for excellence. Growing: Results matter. We seek people who want to grow themselves and our business and believe in achieving results and impact.

What can prospective employees do to get your attention?

Like many other employers, it’s about who you know! Get to know their people and ask for a referral to an open position. FONA values the input of our employees and trusts their referrals.

Are there any positions or types of candidates you are particularly focused on hiring in this coming year?

We look for willing, able and growing experts with the will to win. Experienced sales executives in the food ingredient industry, knowledgeable and action-oriented food scientists and flavorists, and creative marketers are among the areas we most regularly seek people who want to do their best work with the best team in the industry.

What should interested candidates do to find out more and get started?

Explore the FONA website at Their site provides great information for candidates under the Careers page. It’s also a great resource to get a feel for what FONA is all about – how they do things, the kinds of people that are part of the FONA team, and the values and culture that drive their success. To view the most current available positions, click on Company and then scroll down to Careers and select Career Opportunities on the next page.

hiring Outlook

20 Forecasted positions to fill in coming year 2% Job Growth
44 Average applicants per opening 1,309 Total job applicants
25% New hires by employee referrals 23% Openings filled by current employees
2 Recent graduates hired 6% Voluntary turnover for full-time employees
* All figures refer to 12-month period prior to reporting, unless otherwise noted.

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