Seasoned NPD Manager required to support an FMCG business due to a large volume of work. If you are currently looking for a new role then this is the one for you.
Due to a high volume of work, my client is looking for an experienced NPD Manager ideally with experience of working with fresh products in the food industry to join the business on a 12-month fixed term contract to start asap.
Reporting into the Head of Technical, Compliance and Product Process you will be working with two other NPD Managers to manage the end-to-end new product development process. You will be working closely with suppliers to introduce new ranges and ensuring that the supplier processes are robust enough to show governance and key measures to aid quality and product design credentials.
You will have the responsibility of interpreting key directional trends for the own brand proposition, and translating this into product, through effective supplier collaboration and clear directional criteria.
At the core of effective product development, you will ensure that you are clear on range proposition, and key creative elements that need to be incorporated; as well as ensuring that development helps to make the customer purchase decision criteria as simple as possible, leading to optimised ease of shop within our stores and online.
You will be expected to work effectively across both the customer facing product team, as well as trading, merchandising and supply - and your interaction with the product technologist will be critical to success.
You should develop a clear knowledge of the competitor set and incorporate both gap analysis and benchmarking into product development opportunities.What you'll do:
To apply you will need:
- Work alongside the customer facing team to identify key trends and opportunities for NPD activity across the categories for which you are responsible.
- Work within timelines to ensure that suppliers deliver NPD in the framework identified.
- Ensure that the requirements of stage and gate are adhered to, from a product development perspective; including necessary testing and scale up criteria.
- Ensure that suppliers internal resource and processes support the delivery of product NPD, at the start of the critical path - and furthermore that you ensure that these are aligned throughout robust testing and measurement up to launch dates.
- Regular benchmarking and gap analysis of competitive set should influence key decisions around product design and recipe formulation.
- Keep abreast of key trends within the industry and any legislative changes that may impact NPD.
- Using both knowledge and key stakeholders' input, ensure that recipe development is in line with both customer and ultimately consumer expectations - and ensuring that this has been adequately tested using appropriate consumer screening methodologies (palatability testing/brand panels/focus groups) within budget constraints.
- Support (where necessary) the onboarding of new suppliers, within categories where required.
- Collaborative team working across all key stakeholders, to actively develop own brand products and increase participation across the business.
- Introduce and run the Brand Panel mechanism for product sign off, whereby agreement to proceed is based on SMART targets, and involves key stakeholder sign off.
- 5+ years of working within a product development role
- Knowledge of end-to-end manufacturing from raw materials, through product, packaging, storage and distribution
- Creative flair and a passion for product development to exceed customer expectations
- Knowledge of supplier processes
- Knowledge of HACCP and product safety management systems
- Experience of spreadsheet trackers and project management tools
- A level of commercial acumen that enables commerciality within product development, to be realised
- Strong communication and interpersonal skills. The ability to work cross-departments to achieve results
- Team player
- Communicate clear decisions, next steps and accountability
- Highly organised and able to multi-task
- Good presentation skills
- Detail oriented, with the ability to pre-empt barriers to progress
- Creative flair and the ability to translate ideas into product delivery