Leading fresh fruit company has a terrific opening for a Research & Development Specialist. This technical, hands-on role is a great opportunity to grow in scope and responsibilities as this organization’s fruit division continues to expand.
Position based in the Bakersfield, CA region, with some travel within the state and to the East Coast.
Propose, manage, and drive implementation of new product initiatives on new and existing products. Ensure that research and development responsibilities are aligned across functional areas of the business such as growing/field operations, quality assurance, production, and sales/marketing. Accountable for product development and documentation from ideation to first production approval and assist in establishing shelf life.
Accountabilities and Responsibilities
- Develop a lifecycle plan for current and new products and/or variety offerings which maximizes the success and profitability of the products.
- Develop a robust stream of new items which can replace products and/or varieties entering the end of life phase. Ensure products recommended for development have a consumer rationale based on changing consumption patterns and which meet or exceed profitability hurdles.
- In liaison with Plant Operations, facilitate trials and tests of new products to ensure they meet established guidelines for food safety and quality.
- Design ongoing quality control protocols in coordination with QC, to manage and improve flavor profiles of current and new product offerings.
- Perform sensory tests on product mock-ups and finished products, including descriptive analysis and consumer testing.
- Ensure that written specifications for raw materials, nutritional labeling on packaging and finished products meets all customer and regulatory requirements.
- Complete component based cost analysis on new product and have the ability to engineer new product formulas to achieve desired price points.
- Collaborate with other departments to establish branding, positioning, packaging and promotion for the new varieties.
Qualifications and Skills Required
- Bachelor’s degree in in Food Science or closely related field. Relevant experience working in food product development and commercialization.
- Expertise in food research and development processes including functionality of ingredients and materials, flavor development, and sensory testing.
- Strong presentation skills.
- Strong analytical and computer skills including Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
- Attention to detail, time management and ability to coordinate outside vendor activity.
- Strong organizational skills and ability to coordinate multiple projects simultaneously.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills and capable of making customer visits in support of the sales team.
- Self-motivated team player with results oriented attitude and creative background.
- Strong interpersonal skills and able to inspire and motivate a team of direct reports and personnel from other disciplines to achieving the new product goal and vision.
- A culinary background is a plus.
- Available after hours.
For more information, contact D.J. Stornetta, firstname.lastname@example.org
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