TASKS, DUTIES, & GENERAL RESPONSIBILITIES
- Take an active role in the R&D Team’s product development process and serve as a sensory subject matter expert to the team with best sensory practices and efficient execution of sensory testing.
- Responsibilities include: (1) scheduling, designing, and conducting sensory tests, (2) supporting and coordinating consumer studies, (3) maintaining sensory and descriptive panels, (4) researching sensory methods, (5) training of panelists and team, (6) moderating panel discussions and tasting sessions, (6) taking part in team tastings and product studies, and (7) analyzing data and reporting to stakeholders.
- Collaborate with internal and external groups to plan and execute projects in a dynamic and fast-paced environment.
- Support the stage gate process with presentation of sensory results and coordination of tasting sessions with stakeholders.
- Integrate sensory data with technical and/or marketing data to develop sound recommendations.
- Develop new research methodologies as needed and work to continuously improve the efficiency and impact of the sensory program.
- Work with large data sets, apply statistical techniques and use statistical analysis programs to make informed and justifiable decisions; work with researchers to develop sensory-based models from quantitative technical data.
- Conduct independent experimental studies to prove sensory-backed hypotheses, including planning and conducting product functionality, use-case, and shelf-life studies.
- Assist in presentation of products to key stakeholders and leadership team.
- Provide sensory-based guidance to R&D team members to support the product development process and take an active role in tastings across product categories, including regular tasting and analysis of new product prototypes.
- Support product concept testing and monitor consumer trends to inform product development.
- Document and report sensory results, including the upkeep of information databases of use of information management systems.
- Support the preparation of food products for sensory testing as needed.
- Maintain excellent work standards and a safe work environment, while operating on fast-moving projects.
- Support the R&D team in all aspects of product development and company goals.
- Potentially supervise Batching Assistants, Associate Food Technologists, and Food Technologists
- Provide mentorship and training to functional team members
- Accountable for developing talent through on-going performance feedback and career management coaching
- Conduct quarterly and yearly performance reviews of direct reports
QUALIFICATIONS: Education, Technical Skills, and/or Previous Experience
- Master’s or PhD in Sensory Science or related field
- 4+ years of industry experience with a food-related CPG, Ingredient, Flavor, or Research Agency with a demonstrated track record of increasing responsibility and meaningful business impact; position to be commensurate with experience level.
- Strong knowledge and experience with sensory test design, sensory software, statistical analysis, panel moderation, consumer studies, and food product development.
- Strong knowledge and hands-on experience in sensory and consumer research testing, including hedonic, descriptive, discriminative, and temporal methods, as well as qualitative and quantitative consumer methods. Panel moderating experience is a plus.
- The Ideal candidate will have a background in food product development, capable of independently conducting sensory studies that identify and address key product development questions.
- Record of R&D and impactful sensory studies in food development
- Working knowledge of sensory data collection software (e.g., Compusense®, RedJade®) and statistical analysis tools (e.g. SPSS, XL-STAT, JMP), including regression and multivariate analyses.
- Strong computer skills and proficiency with Microsoft Office. Experience in data basing is a plus.
- Prior experience managing direct reports is preferred.
- Excellent communicator, capable of collaborating effectively with internal and external teams in cross-functional settings and preparing reports.
- Excellent time management, analytical, problem-solving, and creative-thinking skills
- Strong project management skills and ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously with minimal supervision.
- Ability to build and partner with external research agencies on test design, execution, and delivery of results.
- Stay ahead of new and emerging testing methods and developments in the academic and sensory professional associations.
- Strong problem-solving skills and creative thinking.
- Excellent interpersonal and communication (verbal & written) skills.
- Business acumen and a philosophy of “Going Beyond” to get the job done.
- Work setting involves a Sensory Center, office space, laboratory, warehouse, kitchen, and production areas. Requires a tolerance for high worker traffic, occasional close quarters, food aromas/odors, and varying room temperatures and lighting
- May require up to 10% travel
- May require lifting items up to 50 lbs.
- Position requires standing, moving, or sitting frequently for prolonged periods of time