Senior R&D Manager (NPD, technical and product innovation)
This is a rare opportunity to join a business in a middle leadership role, working cross functionally heading up an R&D team, driving projects and providing technical guidance in a number of areas. This may be nutritional/scientific guidance on the product itself, or being able to translate consumer insight into tangible product development working with the NPD team.
The business are a global business, operating across a number of sectors - this role sits within the food side of their business. As they operate as their own business unit, the office culture is more of an SME feel and you would be working with agile and dynamic individuals where you can make change and drive projects quickly, without the red tape you may get in a more corporate business.
- Manage and coach direct reports to further develop product development, nutritional, technical and business skills, helping to set priorities and balance workload for the team.
- Consumer: 1) Determine Consumer to Product Requirements by region (where appropriate) i.e. understand the needs of each group of consumers to identify innovation opportunities (product) and consumer communication (claims) approach etc. 2) Define the technical criteria that the product needs to deliver on in order to delight the consumer.
- Category and Brand: Partner with commercial team to ensure that the innovation team establish and deliver a robust innovation programme (product, claims, cost). Identify and translate opportunity areas / white spaces into DMI product initiatives to drive category disruption / disruptive innovation.
- Technical Initiative Critical Success Factors (CSFs) - ensure critical success factors are identified and established, and Technical Scope aligned (claim support, consumer test data).
- Product Design & Development: 1) Translate the consumer's needs into winning product designs, 2) Partner with internal and external technologists to help them understand the technical requirements as they create technology and material solutions.
- Claims: 1) Lead and own the Claim Development Process, 2) Identify/ Review Product-Claim Supportability, 3) Develop Support Strategies and Create Proof of Claims
- Testing & Methodology Development: both in-house and externally for existing, prototype and competitive products.
- Technology and Material Evaluation: As enabling technologies, materials, and/or combinations thereof are identified, evaluate potential, and where they meet consumer and business needs and/or delivers sustainable competitive advantage, integrate within product design.
- Business Continuity: Ensure business continuity by designing and improving key work processes (claims, consumer knowledge, test data etc.).
- Competition: Develop capability to capture and database competitive knowledge (website to experiencing their technologies) to build competitive understanding within the team, and leverage throughout the NPD process and enable Competitive Response Modelling prior to initiative launch.
- Partner with Legal to initiate Freedom to Market Requests and ensure timely approval.
- Ongoing organisational education to build awareness of the R&D function and provide technical understanding of products and concepts (benefits, RTBs)
- A scientist with a BSc, MSc or PhD, in Science
Ideally with a qualification or experience in one of the below fields:
- Nutrition (knowledge of physiology, biochemistry, microbiology, nutrients, functional ingredients e.g. pre- and probiotics)
- Food Science & Technology (knowledge of food ingredients, processing, packaging etc.)
- Pharmacology (biochemistry, microbiology, anatomy, physiology)
Preferably experience of:
- Commercial experience in an FMCG company, in new product development & research, specifically Consumer / Product Research.
- A good level of technical understanding and literacy
- Initiative, self-motivation, attention to detail, analytical skills
- Leadership skills
- Strong interpersonal / communication skills
- Ability to effectively manage multiple projects of varying magnitude, complexity and tight timings
£55,000 + 10% bonus + good company benefits