Director of Product Develpment


Nashville, TN

11 - 15 years

Posted 230 days ago

  by    Heidi DeWitt

This job is no longer available.

We are looking for someone with at least 10 years experience in business development within the food manufacturing industry.

Our company has been in business 40+ years and we are looking to take our business to the next level.

The Director of Product Development is responsible for managing all food Product Development and R & D Department. This position works closely with Sales to develop, research, and prepare recipes of deli salads, sous vide cooked proteins and kettle cooked foods. As an integral part of our team, this position researches, conducts experiments, gathers data, develops preliminary findings and prepares written reports for the development of new products beginning at conception through successful commercialization. Also, supports maintenance of existing brands such as cost savings projects and nutrition improvements. Selects appropriate methods, tests and procedures for testing. Develops project timelines, creates technical proposals and reports and makes recommendations.

DEPARTMENT: Research & Development / Product Development



  • Develop formulations of deli salads, sous vide cooked proteins and kettle cooked side dishes.
  • Research, create, and write product formulas.
  • Improve our product quality using knowledge of food ingredients, bases, stabilizers, starches etc.
  • Lead continuing internal product quality review program for current formulas and manage market based consumer feedback.
  • Develop product labels managing Nutritional Data and knowledge of latest FDA and USDA requirements.
  • Supervise the commercialization of new products that go live (from bench-top to production).
  • Manage customer requests for new and existing products and work with customer?s R&D staff.
  • Manage Vendor samples, new ingredients, and specification sheets.
  • Manage internal requests for current product material and info.
  • Work with our sales team for customer recipe development, sampling, product handling, training and any other Product Development related business.
  • Manage Product Development calendar and deadlines.
  • Assist Sales Team and CEO as needed.
  • Manage recipe folders and filing for all new and existing recipes. Computer skills are essential, to organize, maintain, and control all of our formulas both on paper and in a database. complete project objectives under the direction of our management team.
  • Conceptualize and develop new product prototypes to support New Product or Existing Business initiatives.
  • Improve existing products by optimizing product formulas or attributes (cost, nutritional profiles, and ingredient statements).
  • Maintain accurate and complete records of project work.
  • Work with plant equipment and external partners with significant supervision.
  • Conduct plant trials and new product start-ups.
  • Develop raw material, packaging, finished product and processing specifications
  • Execute experiments and prepare results for review.
  • Develop prototypes that deliver project objectives. This may include ordering and weighing ingredients, as well as assembling prototypes for product evaluation.
  • Prioritize and execute multiple projects simultaneously. Projects may be of limited scope and responsibility and may require significant supervisory direction to complete successfully.

WORK ENVIRONMENT: Mostly office and kitchen setting, however employees are frequently exposed to cold and wet and/or humid conditions in order to perform the essential functions of this job. They are occasionally exposed to moving mechanical parts, airborne particles and freezer level cold temperatures for short periods of time.

QUALIFICATIONS: Experience in the deli salad and/or kettle-cooked foods industry is a top priority

  • 3+ years of industry experience in food manufacturing is required
  • 5+ or more years? experience in Research and Development roles at the manufacturing or corporate HQ level
  • Bachelors, Master's, or Doctoral Level Degree in Food Science, Engineering, Culinary Arts
  • Use of excellent verbal and written communication skills with our customers and sales team
  • Capable of prioritizing workload to maximize team support
  • Strong, general reasoning and analytical skills
  • Basic knowledge of food processing and packaging unit operations
  • Basic knowledge of ingredient functionality
  • Basic knowledge of food chemistry.
  • Strong ability to maintain confidentiality
  • Able to work on deadlines to meet goals and adapt to schedule changes
  • High level of personal, work and professional ethics
  • Proficient in basic office software applications (email, word processing, spreadsheets, presentation)
  • Demonstrated success in project management, monitoring, follow-up and closure.
  • Practical laboratory skills gained within degree studies are essential.
  • General understanding of food processing (formulation, cooking, freezing, portioning, packaging, etc.).
  • Problem-solving skills combined with analytical skills and good attention to detail.

$120K - $130K