Job Summary

Our client is a multi-million producer of plant-based seasonings and spices. They are the largest supplier of garlic to America’s supermarkets. Reporting to the Chief Marketing Officer, this individual will be responsible for the entire new product development process, including product improvements and cost-optimization projects.  This is an 80% innovation role, creating new platforms. One technician reports.   The Director, Research & Development will manage the stage-gate process from start to finish, and will be responsible for planning, market research, formulation and all activities required to successfully launch innovative new products. Position is based in Central Florida.

Position Responsibilities

  • Lead all formulation activities for new products, product improvements and cost-optimization projects
  • Work with Legal, QA and Food Safety to ensure products are safe and comply with all regulations
  • Identify, build relationships, and leverage alliances with external innovation partners in order to accelerate new product development
  • Execute projects within time and financial budgets, while also delivering expected quality and legal compliance
  • Approve all pilot and trial designs to achieve the best cost, quality, and speed to market
  • Collaborate with Operations to conduct feasibility analyses, plant trials and production start-ups
  • Design, execute and interpret consumer research studies and make recommendations based on the findings
  • Track industry trends, relevant legislation, and competitor activities
  • Identify new technologies and production practices to drive advancements in innovation, product quality, safety and margin improvement
  • Develop and manage the annual R&D budget
  • Provide regular project updates to senior management


  • Bachelor’s Degree in food science, food engineering , microbiology, or related field
    • Preferred: Master’s degree in food science or engineering
  • Minimum of seven (7) years experience in food R&D, food safety and/or quality control/assurance
    • Preferred: At least 3 + years of previous food R&D experience, including supervising an R&D team.
  • Sound knowledge of Food GMPs, regulations such as FDA FSMA (and USDA/FSIS, CFIA, SENASICA) and Food safety/HACCP/Sanitation
    • Preferred: GFSI knowledge (standards like BRC, SQF, IFS, Global GAP)
  • Extensive knowledge of US government regulations, including labeling & nutritional facts.
    • Preferred: Knowledge of international regulations, especially Canada and Mexico
  • PCQI and/or HACCP knowledgeable
    • Preferred: PCQI and/or HACCP certified
  • Analytical, chemical and microbiological experience in product formulation and sensory techniques
  • Strong understanding of and passion for the Food industry
  • Ability to make complex decisions and communicate with both technical and non-technical team members
  • Proven track-record of consumer-focused innovation
  • Strong analytical skills
  • Good verbal and written communication skills; bilingual a plus (Spanish and English).
  • Ability to think both strategically and tactically
  • Ability to travel up to 30% with no destination restrictions
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office Suite and related software.
    • Preferred: Google Suite and ESHA Genesis R&D suite (or similar formulation system)

This is not a remote role. Local candidates (in Florida)  preferred.

For more information, please contact Moira McGrath at  OPUS International, Inc. at (954) 428-3888 or