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



This review is based on 154 employee surveys, with a 90% confidence level and a margin of error of ± 3.31. It was published on Jul 18, 2016. 8915 Visitors

What Employees Say

I'm proud to tell others I work here.
We have special and unique benefits here.
People celebrate special events around here.
This is a physically safe place to work.
I am offered training or development to further myself professionally.

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 US Sites: 1
Major Locations: Geneva, IL, Illinois US Employees: 211
US Revenues: $76 million Employees Worldwide: 218
Corporate Structure: Private Founded: 1987

FONA International Inc. has been awarded:

Best Workplaces in Chicago 2017 (ranked 1)

Best Medium Workplaces 2016 (ranked 36)

Best Workplaces in Manufacturing & Production 2015 (ranked 3)

Take Your Child To Work Day

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 Employee-Only medical coverage and a highly reduced premium for dependent coverage. In fact, one medical plan is 100% premium paid for employees and dependents. All medical plans are PPO plans with high coverages and low deductibles because the health of employees and their families matters to FONA.
  • Certificate in Business Administration: FONA has established an ongoing relationship with the St. Xavier University Certificate in Business Administration Program. The CBA Program is a graduate level, 16 week intensive curriculum in key business topics. The cost of the program is $8,600.00 per participant. To date, FONA has graduated over 125 employees from this program which represents an investment of greater than $800,000. Within the last year, four (4) more employees graduated with two (2) in the program right now. This program is not limited to management personnel. All employees can apply for the program. Maintenance, production, and support staff personnel have attended the program in addition to business, executive and management staff.
  • Parental Leave: FONA employees who are the primary caregiver parent for a newborn, adopted or fostered child may substitute an additional paid week for every year of full time employment up to six weeks. This benefit 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 4000 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. This year, employees received a FONA embossed YETI tumbler. Children received a FONA embossed regulation-size Adidas soccer ball. After playing games, face painting and arts & crafts, the adults and children enjoy a gourmet buffet (separate children’s size buffet table) 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.
  • Thanksgiving Celebration: FONA’s Thanksgiving Celebration is a formal, white table cloth, plated meal that is catered by a local upscale Geneva restaurant. This celebration is unique in that, at the end, all employees are personally handed a gift – their choice of either four vacation days, four days equivalent cash (minimum of $1,000) or a combination of the two. Managers write personal notes on employee envelopes before distributing them to their respective employees. There is no other holiday that so simply yet so elegantly states gratitude as Thanksgiving.


$39,459 Average salary and additional cash compensation for Production Assistant $54,887 Average salary and additional cash compensation for Applications Technologist
100% Company-paid health coverage for employees (100) 100% Company-paid health coverage for dependents (72)
$5,250 College Tuition Reimbursement


  • 401(k)
  • Pre-tax savings account


  • Free beverages during the day
  • Personal concierge service
  • Massage therapy
  • Fitness classes
  • Vehicle maintenance
  • Free breakfast foods on a regular, daily basis
  • On-site package/mailing service
  • Discount ticket sales
  • Car wash
  • Dry cleaning
Best & Brightest Companies To Work For WIN


24 days Paid time off after one year of full-time employment 9 days Paid time off after one year of part-time employment
Set days Paid sick days after one year of full-time employment 5 weeks Paid sabbatical after 25 year(s)


  • Phased retirement planning (1% use it)


    60 days Job-protected maternity leave15 days Fully-paid maternity leave (does not include personal vacation or paid time off)
    60 days Average length of maternity leave new mothers take30 days Job-protected paternity leave
    15 days Fully-paid paternity leave (does not include personal vacation or paid time off)5 days Average length of paternity leave new fathers take
    60 days Job-protected parental leave for adoptive parents15 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. Not all employees are eligible for parental leave benefits.


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


    • Medical care
    • Vision care
    • Mental health care
    • Fertility treatments
    • Dental care
    • Prescription drug subsidy
    • Alternative treatments (such as acupuncture, homeopathy, or chiropractic)


    • Skin cancer screening
    • Blood pressure screening
    • Complete biometric screening
    • Subsidized offsite gym memberships
    • Cholesterol tests
    • Flu shots
    • Fitness center (only at headquarters)

    Community Involvement & Philanthropy

    $989,640 Philanthropic donations in last year


    • Formal programs support professional development for: 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
    • Married employees in same-sex or heterosexual relationships receive the same benefits
    • Non-birth parents in same-sex relationships can take parental leave

    Executive Diversity

    FONA Community 5k Run


    Academy Awards Winners 2015

    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 looks for warm and humble experts with the will to win. Some key characteristics include creativity, adaptability, and customer-focus. FONA seeks people the ability to establish excellent relationships with team members and customers and that exhibit a desire to grow themselves and their business. 

    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?

    FONA is always seeking warm and humble experts with the will to win. Experienced food industry sales executives, food scientists, and flavor chemists are always in high demand at FONA due to our exceptional growth.

    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 Careers and Career Opportunities.

    hiring Outlook

    12 Job openings forecast for coming year 12% Job Growth
    86 Average applicants per opening 1,715 Applications received
    45 Positions filled in past year 6% New hires by employee referrals
    5 New positions created 4 Jobs filled by current employees
    11 New graduates hired 7% Voluntary turnover for full-time employees
    * All figures refer to 12-month period prior to reporting, unless otherwise noted.

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