Our client is a $300 million manufacturer of bakery dry products, well known in the retail market. Categories include baking mixes (cake, brownie, cookies, muffins, etc.) ready-to-spread frostings, pancake and waffle mixes, breakfast syrup, and baking ingredients. They manufacture the majority of its products from its facility in Ohio where the company employs 255 full-time employees.
The Director R&D will be joining a private equity “start-up” business with iconic brands, strong retail presence, and outstanding manufacturing capabilities. A key early challenge in this role will be to build a lean and effective R&D organization comprised of food scientists and engineers. Our client plans to aggressively increase the pace of innovation in the baking, ingredients, and breakfast categories where there is ample opportunity for disruption and differentiation. The role will be based in the Ohio manufacturing facility where a fully operational pilot plant is located.
· Build out the R&D function and lead a team of food scientists and engineers.
· Provide technical expertise throughout all phases of New Product Development (concept through commercialization).
· Provide leadership, coaching and mentoring for the technical team.
· Work with Marketing to establish Innovation strategy and partner with operations for commercial execution against all new products.
· Recommend and implement product quality improvements based on quantitative insights.
· Investigate and implement cost reduction initiatives.
· Cross functional collaboration with Marketing, Sales, Supply Chain, Finance, Operations.
· Some travel required.
· 10+ years of CPG/food R&D experience. Experience in baking categories strongly preferred:
o Understanding of flours and grains
o Understanding of grain-based products, chemical leavening, yeast leavening, ingredient functionality
o Understanding of carbohydrate chemistry and fat/oil chemistry
· Experience leading highly skilled technical teams (scientists and engineers)
· Bachelors Degree in Food Science or Engineering, Master’s in food, engineering or business is preferred