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Sr. Research and Development Manager in Minneapolis, MN at Jack Link's

Date Posted: 11/16/2018

Job Snapshot

Job Description

From concept to commercialization, Senior R&D Managers are the leaders and drivers of new product development 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, and procurement, serving as a technical expert to identify areas of business opportunity, to execute plant trials, and to effectively launch new protein snacks and help the company achieve it's aggressive growth objectives. The Senior R&D manager will be a subject matter expert and provide leadership for programs and people.


The duties and responsibilities of this position shall consist of, but not be limited to, the following:

  • Driving innovation from internal and external sources to help fulfill the company’s strategic plan.
  • Develop project timelines. Manage individual projects, technical programs, and team members as assigned.
  • Participate in the innovation process for new idea generation. Bring new ideas and creative solutions and interact with Sales and Marketing partners to understand the business and our customers
  • Explore alternative approaches to deliver higher margin new product opportunities to market more quickly.
  • Develop new 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.
  • 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 the next step recommendations.
  • Document and maintain product and processing specifications
  • Provide technical support 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.
  • Provide feedback and technical assistance as an NPD subject Matter Expert.
  • Champion quality awareness.
  • Performs other duties and responsibilities as necessary.

Job Requirements

Required Education: Bachelor or Masters of Science in Food Technology, Food Science or related field

Required Experience: 15+ years of experience in new product development/commercialization, 3+ years people management  


  • Meat science degree and 10+ years in the meat industry
  • Commercialization in a USDA environment preferred
  • Understanding of USDA regulations
  • Smokehouse experience including natural and atomized smoke applications
  • Experience in the shelf stable meat snack industry, dry and/or fermented sausage processing.

Proven thorough understanding of:

  • Knowledge of food manufacturing regulations, standards, and labeling, plant sanitation, microbiology and


  • Retail (CPG) product development experience is a plus
  • Demonstrated success in new product development
  • Proficient in data analysis and experimental design
  • Understanding of food processing, food safety, and food regulations and consumer insights
  • Must be able to communicate effectively with various manufacturing and other functional groups
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Must work effectively with all levels of management and employees
  • 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.

Excellent verbal and written communication skills; must work effectively with all levels of management and employees

Must demonstrate effective leadership, problem-solving, presentation, and employee motivational skills.

Proficient in Internet navigation, Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.


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