JOB FILLED - Product Innovation and Development Director - Joe Produce | Produce Jobs, Produce Careers, Agriculture Jobs, Agriculture Careers

JOB FILLED - Product Innovation and Development Director

Job Description: 

Who We Are:
Family-owned and headquartered in Bakersfield, California, Grimmway Farms traces its roots to a Southern California produce stand opened by the Grimm brothers in the early 1960s. Grimmway is a global produce leader and the world’s largest producer of carrots. Grimmway also supplies more than 65 organic USA-grown crops, and brands include Cal-Organic Farms and Bunny-Luv. Grimmway is committed to caring for customers and employees, honoring sustainable practices and preserving natural resources for future generations.
Who We Are Looking For:
We are seeking a Product Innovation & Development Director that can provide the leadership, management, and creative vision necessary to ensure that the company stays on the forefront of new food product developments and innovations, while achieving the strategic goals and objectives of the company.  This position will be responsible for heading up our product innovation and development team.  The successful candidate will manage and coordinate the developmental process, from ideation to product launch, for new value-added food products and reimaging existing products.  This position reports to the Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing and will supervise a team of product innovation experts. 
Key Competencies:

  • Professional ethics and integrity
  • Creative and innovative thinker
  • Analytical and critical thinking process
  • Creative passion, visionary

Job Qualifications: 

  • Bachelor’s degree in Food Science, Food Technology/Engineering, Culinology or related field is required.
  • Master’s Degree in Food Science or related field preferred.
  • Minimum 10 years of experience in new food product development, from ideation to creating compelling concepts and product innovation recommendations.
  • Must be experienced and knowledgeable in raw vegetable food products, production processes, quality control, and storage/handling techniques.
  • Demonstrated skills in commercializing products/processes in the manufacturing environment.
  • Prior experience working on new product marketing campaigns.
  • General understanding of FDA & USDA labeling requirements.
  • Knowledge of packaging technology preferred.
  • Corporate finance skill set with an ability to apply strategic and financial analysis to projects and potential capital expenditures.
  • Ability to create business plans.
  • Skilled in team development, personnel management, budget and resource development, and general strategic planning.
  • Excellent people skills, with an ability to effectively communicate and collaborate with other departments across all levels of the organization.
  • Must be able to travel to growing areas and all Grimmway facilities as needed.
  • Must have a valid driver’s license with a clean DMV driving record.
  • Must pass pre-placement drug/alcohol screen and background screen.

Essential Job Functions:

  • Continually assess and monitor competition, trends, and vendor ideations. 
  • Gather, analyze, and interpret market data to identify emerging trends.  
  • Remain current on industry and consumer trends and knowledge.  
  • Interpret consumer needs and/or behaviors that will lead to new product innovation and/or renovation of current products.  
  • Evaluate feasibility of new product ideas and determine project objectives, tasks, timelines, and budget. 
  • Create and present business case for new products to the leadership team that align with company strategic goals and objectives.  
  • Work with Ag leaders in identifying vegetable crops with potential for product development based on yields, supply, demand and quality.  
  • Collaborate with business units on ingredient supply and costing; required ingredient handling and/or blending equipment; and to resolve technical challenges.  
  • Collaborate with Operations groups to understand plant capacities and capabilities.  
  • Continuously learn, taste, explore, vet, and research food ideas and concepts.  
  • Oversee new product development piece led by Food Scientist, including creating prototypes for marketing, recipes and nutritional content of new items.  
  • Evaluate the impact of new products on brands and strategic goals and adjust strategy accordingly.  
  • Manage project budgets and prepares financial analysis reports for top management.  
  • Lead, train and develop team members to allow for effective operations, and continued company and departmental growth.  Additional projects and duties as assigned. 

Physical Requirements:

  • Must be able to remain in a stationary position throughout much of the working day. 
  • Ability to occasionally move about inside the office, in food processing facilities, and in the farming fields. 
  • Ability to operate a computer and other office productivity equipment. 
  • Ability to work outdoors. 
  • Ability to visually inspect equipment and product. 
  • Must be able to work in different temperatures (working temperatures as hot as 100° to 110° F and as cold as -20° F to 32° F); must be able to work in a high noise area.

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