Senior R&D Manager/Product Development Manager - Desserts

Job Title: Senior R&D Manager – Desserts

Salary: Competitive with company benefits inc. Car allowance

Location: Colworth, sharnbrook

Function: R&D

Terms: Local

Scope: Global

Travel: 10% Travel

Business Context & Main Purpose of the Job

Unilever Ice cream business in Europe is large and highly successful. The Europe Ice Cream Regional Design Centre is the driving force behind the creation and delivery of benefit-led, innovative ice cream products across our world-renowned global (e.g. Magnum, CdO, Cornetto, Walls), premium (e.g. B&J, GROM) and regional (e.g. Cremissimo, Ingman, Evga, Cucciolone) brands. The team embrace agile innovation and are fully-connected to countries and markets together with R&D Local Deploy teams to land in the markets global, regional and local-for-local projects.

The business reaches across all Ice Cream experiences in two broad platforms: Desserts – familiar in-home tubs, pints and monoportions as well as scooping Out of Home (OOH), and Impulse – global and local classics and kid’s favourites, and the EU IC RDC organisation design reflects this.

In this role you will lead the team driving product development across DESSERTS platform and ensure project delivery in close partnership across functions (Marketing; Supply Chain; Procurement) as well as key (external) partners and suppliers (e.g. 3PM, Flavour and Ingredients suppliers). You will bring your passion for Ice cream, and enthusiasm to know consumer and customer needs and trends and use this to shape and deliver brilliant, sustainable, product experiences..

Main Accountabilities

Desserts Ice Cream Product Design

  • Lead the R&D design, creation and delivery of innovative Desserts products for launch OTIF
  • Deliver functional product specifications and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)
  • Champion continuous improvement and inspirational Desserts Product Design
  • Proactively contribute to defining medium-term Desserts innovation roadmap
  • Lead risk assessment, HACCP studies and ensure regulatory compliance
  • Lead robust intellectual property protection, including: Patents, Designs Trademarks
  • Lead sustainability, complexity reduction, quality and value improvement
  • Drive agile innovation

Technical project leadership

  • Manage and lead all technical workstreams to deliver project(s), including process design, formulation, packaging, specifications, consumer insight, safety, regulatory and intellectual property
  • Manage cross-functional resources to deliver against project milestones including: Consumer Insight; Supply Chain; Finance; and Regulatory teams.
  • Manage and lead `Open Innovation’ partners to deliver project(s), including technical delivery, CDA’s and service agreements
  • Manage `desserts’ R&D budget (bought-in and capital), including tracking spend against R&D activities
  • Drive robust innovation process and project management (including IPM Navigator, Functional excellence)
  • Ensure clear management of stakeholder groups (e.g. R&D VPs, Category Senior VPs, Cluster teams and supplier/partner companies)

Contribute to the growth and development of the EU IC RDC team

  • Line management and development of Desserts team
  • Actively participate in RDC leadership team and lead RDC strategy implementation
  • Proactively contribute to recruitment and development of talent including: direct reports, apprentices, UFLP scheme

Skills/ Experience/ Qualifications:

  • A deep knowledge of and passion for product design and creative product development
  • Understanding of scale-up and operational implementation
  • Excellent communication and project management skills
  • Proven ability to translate consumer habits and needs into in-market product innovation
  • Time management and priority setting
  • Health and Safety
  • Professional networking and stakeholder management, external focus
  • Project Finance and the Strategic Innovation Business Case
  • Working with colleagues from different cultures and team building
  • Degree level qualification (or equivalent) and / or relevant experience in a technical discipline preferably in food technology or development.
  • Significant experience of the successful leadership of an innovation portfolio, projects and teams
  • Significant experience of project management, including with third parties
  • Relevant experience in ice cream (Desserts) development is desirable.

Standards of Leadership:

  • Bias for Action
  • Building Talent and Teams
  • Growth Mindset
  • Consumer and Customer Focus
  • Accountability & Responsibility

How To Apply

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Or to apply now, click on “Apply to this job”. All candidate applications are reviewed in accordance with the criteria outlined for the job role. Please note that the closing date for the receipt of applications is 21st February 2017

Candidates who have applied online can track their application through the candidate tracking link or, if you have any additional queries, you may contact the Recruitment hotline number on 0800 0284390.

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