From concept to commercialization to optimization, our Technical R&D Managers are the leaders and drivers of technical development work at Jack Link’s. A highly collaborative and strategic role, this individual will work closely with operations, food safety & quality (FSQ), business management, marketing, sales, consumer insights, procurement and across R&D. Your role will be serving as a technical expert to identify areas of opportunity, to coach others to ensure their success, leading projects, and help the company achieve its aggressive growth objectives. The Technical R&D Manager will be a subject matter expert and provide leadership and effective coaching for programs and people.
Specifically, you will:
Provide feedback and technical assistance to our facilities, across R&D, and the broader organization as a Technical Expert.
Provide technical leadership through close partnership with Operations and Quality in determining root cause and finding solutions for problems in food products such as sensory, quality, or consistency issues. Participate on cross-functional teams to identify areas of opportunity in cost reduction, yield improvement, and formulation/process improvement and efficiencies.
Lead and coach others to develop technical plans and project timelines. Manage individual projects, technical programs and guide other team members
Design and execute appropriate testing methodologies to validate changes to raw materials, formulations, and process. Coordinate testing plans with food safety, regulatory, quality and operations. Generate written reports, interpret results, and make next step recommendations.
Document and maintain product and processing specifications
Proactively identify and bring new ideas and creative solutions to our Operations, Quality, Sales, and Marketing partners
Explore alternative approaches to deliver higher margin new product opportunities to market more quickly and opportunities to expand the margins on existing products.
Develop products and formulations to meet Jack Link’s business objectives: bench-top prototypes and manufacturing processes, identify ingredients, document product specifications, scale-up products into manufacturing setting, and coordinate product analysis (sensory, nutritional, challenge studies, consumer insights etc.) as needed.
Identify ingredients, technology, platforms and processes that meet current needs and will enable future development in line with consumer trends as prioritized by the business.
Champion quality awareness.
Bachelor or Masters of Science in Food Technology, Food Science, Meat Science or related field. Or in lieu of a degree, 10+ years of experience in R&D focused on meat or meat products.
Required Experience and Skills:
8+ years of experience in R&D
2+ years people management or informal coaching
Experience with meat and/or products containing meat
Experience working in a manufacturing setting
Understanding of USDA regulations
Demonstrated success in new product development
Proficient in data analysis and experimental design
Understanding of food processing, food safety, food regulations and consumer insights
Effective communication skills with various manufacturing and other functional groups with all levels of management and employees
Excellent written and oral communication skills
Comfortable in a fast paced, changing environment
Must be flexible and able to work well in both individual and team environments
Must demonstrate effective leadership, problem solving, presentation, and employee motivational skills.
Proficient in Internet navigation, Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.
Preferred Experience and Skills:
Commercialization in a USDA environment preferred
Smokehouse experience including natural and atomized smoke applications
Experience in the shelf-stable meat snack industry, dry and/or fermented sausage processing.
Knowledge of food manufacturing regulations, standards and labeling, plant sanitation, microbiology and SPC
Retail (CPG) product development experience
About Jack Link's Protein Snacks
Jack Link’s Protein Snacks began with treasured family recipes passed from generation to generation, transforming a small North Woods business into one of the fastest-growing meat snack manufacturers in the world. Over the years, as consumer demand for convenient, high-quality snack foods increased, so has the company’s product offerings. Today Jack Link’s is the fastest-growing meat snack manufacturer in the world, and sells more than 100 different meat snack products in more than 40 countries. The Link family principles and traditions remain the same: hard work, integrity and a commitment to earn consumer respect by delivering the best-tasting meat snacks in the world.