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Position Overview: The Innovation Manager is an active hands-on product development management role, requiring to manage the details of new product development and improvement projects from concept to launch. This includes bench formulation work, process design, necessary machine and equipment identification, production trials, shelf life, cost management, trouble shooting, and communication internally and externally with customers & suppliers. The ideal candidate must be willing to break boundaries, take risks, and explore new ideas in order to solve our most complex technical problems. The individual must possess strong technical capabilities with the ability to handle multiple projects simultaneously. The ideal candidate will have a scrappy, can-do attitude with a curiosity and passion for solving problems. This position manages multiple projects concurrently and must demonstrate the ability to complete work with minimal guidance, by exhibiting a collaborative mindset and applying innovative solutions.
Contributes to Fresca’s Technical Innovation Strategy including development of new products throughout the commercialization process and support of existing products as follows:
Ø Provide leadership and championship to ensure relentless focus on delivering innovative, unique new product offerings
Ø Research commercial potential of new emerging food trends by proactively highlighting new concepts and suggestions to current and future clients, facilitating development of new concepts and technologies
Ø Partner with business and growth teams on new product feasibility/scoping including formulas, packaging and process technology based on client requirements
Ø Define, develop, plan, and lead product development projects from concept to commercialization working with cross functional teams
Ø Carry out development work in lab and pilot scale; design, develop, and lead tests to qualify new products and to support changes and improvement to existing products and processes
Ø Work closely with Supply Chain department in identifying and sourcing ingredients and packaging materials
Ø Work closely with Food Safety/Quality Assurance teams to determine product claims/certifications/regulatory requirements and finished good specifications
Ø Lead product parameters including ingredient line, nutritional information, shelf-life and formula cost
Ø Drive formula scale-up from benchtop to production by partnering with operations and engineering
Ø Document test results and conclusions, process parameters, critical control points and specifications
Ø Research new and current raw materials, applications, processing technologies and equipment
Ø Champions researching, planning and implementing new process and programs to improve efficiencies of production and introduce new business opportunities, closely working with Operations and Engineering teams
Ø Develop innovative approaches for testing and creatively solve technical problems in a rapid, cost effective way
Ø Assist in pipeline scoping and technical assessment of future innovation projects and ideas
Ø Responsible for maintaining a food safe work environment and in the event it is perceived that it is compromised, action is to be taken which includes stopping the process and notifying the production supervisor or lead on duty
Ø Other duties as assigned
Skills & Knowledge
Ø Good understanding/appreciation of the broader business environment and application of technical and commercial knowledge during project execution.
Ø Very strong interpersonal skills with ability to influence with integrity through persuasive communication to win support at more senior levels within R&D, Operations and Supply Chain, and to build effective relationships with a wide range of stakeholders
Ø Good technical and analytical skills; ability to interpret data and distill into useful and actionable information
Ø Strong communicator who can effectively communicate complex ideas and collaborate with a wide variety of people at all levels of the company
Ø Self-starter, self-motivating; able to balance competing priorities without losing momentum and manage uncertainty and complexity in fast evolving environments
Ø Quickly analyze complex problems to find actionable, pragmatic solutions and construct an action plan
Ø Clear understanding of the commercialization process and how innovation and the new product development function connect
Ø Ability to use Microsoft Office, search engines, and other tools to obtain technical, patent and market information
Ø Strong quantitative and MS Excel skills and the ability to cost formulas
Ø Demonstrated aptitude for developing plans, completing tasks and meet expected goals with stated timeframes
Ø Ability to generate creative solutions
Ø Strong leadership skills and the ability to make critical decisions that result in meeting organizational goals
Ø High level of detail orientation
Ø Ability to work in a hands-on environment
Education & Experience
Ø Bachelor’s Degree in Food Process Engineering, Agricultural & Biological Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Food Science, or related field looking to build a long-term career within R&D
Ø Minimum 5 years of commercial or industry experience in food research, product development and production equipment; prefer 5-10 years of experience in a CPG R&D or manufacturing role
Ø Experience commercializing packaged food products from bench top to full scale production
Ø Experience with equipment vendors/suppliers; new and used equipment
Ø Experience with small-scale manufacturing
Based just outside Boulder, Colorado, Fresca Foods has supported the growth of the thriving natural foods industry for the last twenty years. Fresca is a manufacturing, supply chain and innovation partner for some of the world’s largest food companies, as well as some of the world’s most vibrant entrepreneurs. We are on a mission to transform the food system by improving how food is sourced, made, and delivered to consumers.
Safety is our first priority, and our commitment to excellence, our passionate and talented team, and our creativity and flexibility have made Fresca a recognized leader and employer of choice. Fresca is recognized as a Top 50 Employer in Boulder County, 2018 Colorado Manufacturing of the Year, 2018 NEXTY Award Winner, and 2016 winner for Outstanding Innovation. Fresca is also a leader in community service. We consistently receive high marks in ethical audits and give our time and resources to community organizations such as Community Food Share, Food Bank of the Rockies, and EFAA. Fresca has the fast-paced, high-growth, and creative energy of a start-up along with the longevity, growth opportunities, and scale of a larger company. The energy of our team is infectious, the work is challenging, and the opportunities for growth are abundant. The next ten years will be even more exciting than the last ten, and we are excited to welcome new highly motivated and talented team members to our family.
At Fresca, we don’t just accept difference — we celebrate it, we support it, and we thrive on it for the benefit of our employees, our products and our community. Fresca Foods is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to equal consideration regardless of gender, age, disability, ethnicity, sexual orientation or religious affiliation.
Please, no third party inquiries.