The Research and Development Director is responsible for driving the development of new products in anticipation of and response to customer needs, market trends, and competitive opportunities. This individual will be responsible for generating and developing new food products, line extensions and reformulation from bench top through manufacturing scale up. You will collaborate with resources across the company to generate and evaluate ideas to enhance Zumbro River Brand’s product portfolio to create a competitive advantage. The Research and Development Director is accountable for working with the Sales, Marketing/Optimization and Business Development teams to ensure products meet criteria for successful market introduction. This is a fast-paced environment and the ideal candidate must be able to manage multiple projects and competing priorities with excellence and efficiency.
Essential Job functions
- In collaboration with Marketing and Sales, analyze market trends and suggest new product development priorities
- Develop new products to enhance ZRB’s product line of high protein crisps, snacks and cereals.
- Develop new products for existing customers and modify or improve existing products upon or before the customer#39;s request.
- Identify and recommend available and new technologies for developing new products, product lines and improving existing products and processes
- New product development from concept to commercialization
- Manage and facilitate various R&D functions and be responsible for coordinating plant support for new product executions into commercialization.
- Ensure proper facility and plant R&D testing procedures are followed such as test request, pre-test meetings, test execution, test summary with next steps Develop and implement methods and procedures for monitoring projects such as preparation of records of expenditures and research findings, progress reports and staff conferences, to inform management of status of each project.
- Work with pilot plant equipment (twin screw extruder)
- Work with purchasing to approve alternate sources of raw materials
- Work with operations management, identify and develop training and other programs focused at improving the understanding of quality standards, statistical process control methods and other advances process control procedures, good manufacturing procedures and FDA regulations, as they pertain to new products, processes and procedures
- Oversee and implement testing required for pre-launch and post-launch.
- Collaborate with teams to establish the timelines of product launches.
- Collaborates with Supply Chain and Materials to ensure inventory and production meet launch timelines.
- Assists in the control of ingredient costs through new product development, analyzing food cost information, and suggesting cost saving ideas and changes for currently produced products and new products under development
- Manage individual and team performance, creating a culture of continuous improvement, and ensuring that the team environment consistently aligns with ZRB’s organizational objectives
- Train or delegate training of employees as required. Evaluate skills and performance of employees and make appropriate recommendations
- Maintains discipline of employees under their jurisdiction in accordance with established rules and regulations. Initiates verbal and written warnings and recommends further disciplinary action as required
- Provides Research and Development team leadership including staffing requirements and hiring process, and performance coaching and development of Establishes and monitors co-worker performance and developmental goals, assigns accountabilities, sets objectives, establishes, priorities, conduct annual performance appraisals, and administers salary adjustments as required
- Promote a positive team-oriented attitude
- Travels to outside locations when necessary for R&D.
- Travels to customer to make functional project presentations
- Participates in business development team meetings and operational leadership team meetings
Qualifications & Requirements:
- Bachelor’s Degree in Food Science; having a Masters and/or experience in plant/protein would be a plus, but not required. Experience MAY trump educational requirements.
- 5 years experience in R&D
- Experience in Twin Screw Extrusion is preferred.
- Supervisory/managerial experience; prefer demonstrated experience in savory snacks, nutrition bars and plant proteins. In-depth knowledge of food science and technology and experience in product development and commercialization.
- Ability to manage the formulation, consumer testing, and go to market activities for new products Possess excellent verbal, written and interpersonal skills.
- Entrepreneurial spirit with a can-do attitude.
- Proactive, self-driven, results and action oriented, demonstrating passion, strong teamwork spirit, open mind and flexibility.
- Ability to coach, train, and mentor technical team members
- Proficient in Windows, Excel, Word and related software Must have a valid driver’s license
- Exhibit leadership and proactive attitudes in approaching technical solutions to business and market issues
- Demonstrate ability to communicate well and to effectively influence and interact with others to accomplish research goals
- Great negotiating skills when working through conflict resolution
- Great presentation skills, both oral and written
Physical and Other Requirements:
- Climbing to various heights via stairs or ladders
- Exposure to manufacturing environments for periodic extended work days to include: loud noise, excessive heat, wet, and slippery conditions.
- Use of tools, equipment, and machinery
- Exposure to food tasting and smells including all food allergens
This is a full time, in house position at our headquarters in Albert Lea, Minnesota A pre-employment drug screening and background check are conditions of employment
ZRB offers a great work environment, support for a healthy lifestyle, and an opportunity to be part of a company that’s making a positive difference. We see a growing worldwide market and need a great team of people to enable our company to continue to fulfill its mission.
This description is not intended, and should not be construed to be, an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, skills, efforts or working conditions associated with the job. It is intended, however, to be an accurate reflection of those principal job elements essential for making decisions related to job performance, employee development and compensation. As such, the incumbent may perform other duties and responsibilities as required.
Zumbro River Brand, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer and considers qualified applicants for employment without regard to sex, race, color, religion, ethnic or national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, pregnancy, leave status, disability, veteran status, genetic information and/or any other characteristic or status protected by national, federal, state or local law.