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Associate Product Developer

Des Plaines, IL

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• Contribute to Exclusive Brands profitable growth and overall success, with focus on assortment optimization and product evaluation of the overall Clients' portfolio.
• Use strong technical expertise, portfolio analysis and insight to identify areas for innovation or consolidation, claims/nutritional potential, improved profitability, and matches to existing products.
• Commercialize products by working closely with internal and external stakeholders including manufacturers.
• Ensure products meet brand standards in regards to sensory, ingredient, nutritional and product attributes.
• Collaborate with Category Management, Marketing, Food Safety & Quality, and other functions to drive project potential and assure aligned direction on priorities.
• Maintain solid technical and business understanding of the competitive set, and emerging technology to help identify opportunity areas for technical point of difference in US Foods' products.
• Develop best-in-class specifications that meet corporate, regulatory, and consumer/customer needs.
• Ensure that brand integrity and brand strategies are maintained.
• Ensure that projects are delivered with the highest quality to the business on agreed timelines and within budget and are communicated with senior leadership and other stakeholders.
• Provide support to product training and marketing.

Job Requirements

Qualifications - External
• Education/Training: Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in food science. Meat science, or animal science & agribusiness may also be acceptable depending on categories.
• 2 - 3 years experience in product development of consumer packaged goods, retail or foodservice industry.
• Prior experience in product development including refinement of specification and leading the process of plant trials.
• Project management experience required.

• Ideal candidate will have a broad range of experience in various categories of the food industry and a strong foundation in the core fundamentals of the culinary arts and food science
• Strong sensory evaluation and analysis skills and ability to compile data obtained through sensory analysis and specification comparisons
• Strong passion for food and the drive to develop this passion throughout the organization
• Strong collaboration and project management skills to work across a broad business base. Ability to influence and translate technical information in a non-technical way to all levels in an organization. Strong judgement and decision making skills.
• Highly organized with a strong focus on detail and accuracy. Able to thrive in a complex, high demand, evolving environment, requiring quick responsiveness. Must be able to handle multiple priorities while maintaining focus on the bottom line.
• Must demonstrate a high degree of written and verbal skills and have excellent organization and presentation skills
• Must be able to work effectively as an individual with minimal supervision or as a team member as required
• Must possess strong proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, OneDrive, and Outlook.

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