Principal Food Scientist

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Job Description: 

This position will be responsible for food product development from conception through commercialization for a variety of products. They will be directly responsible for research, testing products including sensory and shelf life studies, gathering data, analysis, and compilation of reports and recommendations.

Areas of Responsibility and Expectations

  • Foster innovative ideas and products beyond the current portfolio of products.
  • Independently formulate and execute product development plans, including approved timelines, from bench to product processing.
  • Work with SFI leaders and use personal observations gleaned from the market place, customers, consumer to identify culinary trends.
  • Identifies and executes key quality, stability, and safety testing protocols.
  • Use of sensory tools to optimize product formulation. Conducts sensory panels and compiles results.
  • Source and maintain vendor relationships to secure the necessary ingredients and packaging that align with prevailing company standards.
  • Ensure all developed products meet internal and external guidelines for nutrition, regulatory affairs, and food labeling.
  • Customer sample production and plant pilot support including manufacturing documentation creation.
  • Identify and develop research programs to drive cost optimization through formulation and processing efficiencies.
  • Create prototypes for product development initiatives and identify and approve potential ingredient and manufacturing suppliers.
  • Participates in pilot plant testing with product development and pilot plant team.
  • Provide judgment and experience to assure that an appropriate level of technical common sense and discipline are being employed and utilized in business decisions.
  • Contribute significantly, directly, and continually to the attainment of results through the generation and application of advanced, specialized knowledge.
  • Develop a close functional relationship with team members and collaborates with other key functional leaders to review projects and contribute information and suggestions regarding product-processing requirements.
  • Effective communications with key stakeholders including but not limited to Marketing, Sales, Operations, Finance, and Engineering.

Required Duties of all Associates

  • Manage all company business according to the cultural objectives of the company (values and behaviors)
  • Understand and execute the principles of the company’s Operational Excellence program driving the right behaviors, standards and continuous improvement across all operating entities
  • Participate in cross-functional teams as required to advance the business interests of the company
  • Compliance with all company and regulatory policies/guidelines relating to associate safety, food safety and food quality

Reporting and Working Relationships

  • Reports to the Director of Marketing. Works closely with Marketing, Sales, Cost Accounting, Inbound Supply Chain, QA, Master Data Management and Operations (all locations).

Skills and Abilities Required

  • Demonstrated product development capabilities with successful in-market products that demonstrate meaningful points of difference, and deliver against increasing consumer expectations on clean, pure, and simple ingredients.
  • Articulate in sensory, consumer testing and ability to create great tasting foods and beverages
  • Aware of consumer trends in ingredients and nutrition
  • Experience with food safety, HACCP, and quality regulations and programs required
  • Working knowledge of the Code of Federal Regulations required
  • Passionate about creating, rapid prototyping, development and commercialization of ideas
  • Demonstrated analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Excellent planning and organizational skills
  • Solid project management skills and proven ability to work with cross-functional teams
  • Strong time management capabilities
  • Attention to detail and ability to manage multiple projects
  • Able and willing to travel as needed
  • Ability to safely work in a variety of environments including office, laboratory, and/or manufacturing plant settings.

Additional Eligibility Qualifications

  • Knowledge of Genesis, DAX, Compusense

Education and Experience


  • The following combination of education and experience is required for this position:

    • Bachelor’s degree in food science, nutrition, or closely related field with at least 12 years of relevant progressive experience
    • Master’s degree in food science, nutrition, or closely related field with at least 10 years of relevant progressive experience
    • PhD degree in food science, nutrition, or closely related field with at least 7 years of relevant progressive experience
  • Prior experience must include 10 years product development and/or research experience in food industry
  • Demonstrated examples of successful commercialization of products that establish points of difference from existing products with consumers required.
  • Experience working with nutrition focused products preferred
  • Experience working with plant based ingredients in the development of food products preferred

Additional Eligibility Qualifications:

  • Knowledge of Genesis, DAX, various customer portals, Compusense Sensory Panel software

Days and Hours: or Expected Work Schedule

  • Generally, Monday – Friday, 8:00a – 5:00p
  • Additional hours and days as needed
  • Travel as needed to meet with vendors or customers

Wages and Benefits

  • Salaried Position
  • 401K, Life Insurance, Disability Pay, Health Insurance

Our company is an Equal Opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, national origin, age, sex, religion, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, gender identity or expression, or any other basis protected by local, state or federal law.

This policy applies with regard to all aspects of one’s employment, including hiring, transfer, promotion, compensation, eligibility for benefits and termination.