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Senior Director R&D Product Development At KIND

Location: New York, New York

Job Description

Job Description:

Who are we?

Since its founding in 2004, KIND has been on a mission to make the world a little kinder one snack and one act at a time. KIND was born out of its founder’s desire to create a snack that was healthy and tasty, wholesome and convenient. What began as a line of premium Fruit & Nut bars sparked the creation of an entirely new healthier snacking category. Today, KIND has a family of snacks that offer solutions for a variety of different occasions.

From the healthy snacks, we make to the way we work, live and give back, we are committed to making the world a little kinder, because we believe that there’s more to business than just profit.

We're looking for passionate, conscious collaborators to help us meet our goals: to inspire kindness, with one tasty snack (and good act) at a time. If you’re looking to be a part of an inspiring, energetic and entrepreneurial environment, you found the right place.

What you’ll do

Reporting to KIND’s SVP of NPD/R&D, and a member of the NPD Leadership Team, the Senior Director of R&D Product Development is responsible for providing technical direction to the KIND technical team and drive new product development and improvement of existing products. You will oversee all product innovation & develop new technical capabilities to support your accountability for the delivery of all projects on time, within budget & with the highest quality across product innovation projects, continuous improvement and productivity initiatives.

People Leadership

  • Manage & build the Technical Food Scientist team (retention, growth, training, staffing)
  • Develop career plans that will enable Scientists and/or Engineers to continue growing professionally.
  • Coach team members through conflict & strive to continuously improve communication with cross functional team.
  • Establish partnerships that expand our technical capabilities and to escalate resources as needed to minimize resource shortages.

Technical Leadership

  • Serve as KIND R&D Product Development “steward” on the NPD leadership team to provide leadership across all technical functions that impact the business. Develop and collaborate on a technical strategy and project portfolio to deliver business objectives for 2019-2022.
  • Direct R&D Product Development. Develop project portfolio and budget to meet goals, negotiate project objectives and measures, liaise with commercial partners to prioritize portfolio, and ensure portfolio delivers revenue targets. Organize Product Development team to execute and deliver projects on time and on budget.
  • Strongly influence product support groups (packaging, processing, consumer insights, and regulatory) to maximize contributions to business.
  • Partner with Brand Marketing, New Products Marketing, Operations, and Quality to ensure alignment and maximize performance against objectives.
  • Identify new products, brand support/renovation, and cost savings opportunities.
  • Track and monitor KPIs established as part of the OGSM; drive consumer repeat metrics to support a fewer, bigger and better innovation program.
  • Work collaboratively across Operations to review and monitor quality and process improvements and new product development
  • Provide quantitative analysis and input to all Innovation/Productivity decisions and strategy, including preparation of any materials

Product portfolio management:

  • Development and application of project management standards, tools, and systematic processes.
  • Participate in project management meetings to provide a preliminary technical assessment on innovation ideas, communicate resource constraints & cost-opportunity or prioritization implications.
  • Assign resources to approved projects, ensuring critical corporate initiatives are prioritized and resourced appropriately
  • Ensure resources are not overcommitted and working on the greatest value opportunities
  • Evaluate short, mid and long-term resource capacity & anticipate staffing needs to drive and support innovation, support and execute continuous improvement & formula/ingredient productivity initiatives.
  • Develop and manage product development budget.

Project Management:

  • Provide technical & project management guidance to food scientists (and other teammates) throughout the process. Provide input to project timelines, and challenge contingency plans to project risks & roadblocks.
  • Accountable for ensuring the product development process is followed with discipline and deliverables are met on time, within budget, and the work product has the highest quality.
  • Accountable for ensuring shelf-life is established with predictable methods and monitored through the life-cycle
  • Evaluate all projects at the concept and feasibility stages, and make a technical recommendation to go, hold or recycle.
  • Approve all technical specifications.

What you’ll bring to KIND

  • Sense of urgency and can-do attitude
  • A partnership and relationship-based approach in working with internal and external business
  • A willingness to challenge our “way of work” to maximize our resources and enhance our success
  • Strong analytical skills
  • Always presenting a we not me attitude
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Familiarity with problem solving tools including root cause analysis, flowcharts, and fishbone diagrams

Required Experience:

You are…

  • A relationship builder, excited by the opportunity to partner with team members cross-functionally
  • A strategic thinker and approach business initiatives with an entrepreneurial spirit
  • Ability to communicate effectively with staff at all levels of the organization.
  • Excellent at planning and prioritization skills with the ability to multi-task and adapt.
  • Able to influence, facilitate groups with diverse perspectives and bring teams to consensus / alignment
  • Able to work in a fast-paced and rapidly changing environment and maintain a positive outlook
  • Able to demonstrate prudent judgment when making important decisions by utilizing knowledge of industry best practices and current trends
  • Able to maintain direction and focus by leveraging organizational abilities and proactive planning
  • A collaborator and can reach mutually agreeable outcomes and resolve potential conflicts
  • Genuine in your desire to help make the world a kinder place, committing to always spreading and celebrating kindness

You have…

  • 12-15 years successful experience in product development activities in the food industry and worked collaboratively with Marketing and Manufacturing teams
  • Minimum of 5 years of experience in a high-volume manufacturing environment, preferably in the Consumer Package Goods Industry
  • Experience in preparing and managing department budgets.
  • At least 5 years leading a Product Development team in an R&D setting
  • Strong problem-solving and analytical skills.
  • Are familiar with the activities in Marketing, Market Research, Finance, Legal/Regulatory, QA and Manufacturing.
  • Highly proficient in Microsoft Office; MS Project a plus.
  • Experience working with 3rd party contract manufacturers, material vendors, service groups
  • Proven track record of project & change management experience
  • Strong leadership skills and demonstrate a high degree of collaboration with peers and team members.
  • Successful track record of taking projects from concept to commercialization.
  • Strong negotiation, communication and interpersonal skills and ability to deal effectively with the cross functional team.
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Food Science or Engineering or related field of study required

What KIND offers

  • Competitive compensation, including equity in KIND!
  • Flexible Paid Time Off. Choose what works best for you, including summer hours
  • Excellent health, dental & vision insurance, with options to fit you & your family’s needs
  • Your health is important! Our wellness strategy focuses on mental and physical wellbeing through in office programs like Drs, Nutritionists, Mindfulness, Chair Massages & others
  • Casual office dress code – feel free to wear your KIND gear
  • Monthly shipment of your favorite KIND bars to share with your friends and loved ones. After all, we’re all brand ambassadors!
  • Training & tuition reimbursement program, because continuing to learn matters and we support your development
  • A dynamic, ambitious, fun and KIND work environment
  • The opportunity and responsibility to be KIND everyday


At KIND, we are committed to being an inclusive workplace where diversity in all its forms is championed. KIND is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace and we are an affirmative action employer. We are committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, gender identity or Veteran status. We also consider qualified applicants with criminal histories, consistent with legal requirements. If you require special accommodation, please let us know.
Keyword: R&D Product Development, Innovation, Food Science
From: KIND