Research And Development Manager

Leahy-IFP  Glenview, IL

Job Purpose/Objective:
The primary objective of the Research and Development Manager role is to provide the individual with an opportunity to be a key contributor within the Innovation Department through the management of research, development, and optimization of both new and existing products for key customer accounts.

The research and development manager will be the technical lead for key accounts. By utilizing both their creativity and technical knowledge, they will be tasked with supporting the customer through collaborative ideation, product development, product optimization, product launches, and on-site working sessions.

This highly motivated and progressive thinking individual will collaborate and work closely with many departments including sales, supply chain, quality, and operations to help manage customer accounts and contribute to the development and implementation of strategic account plans.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Manage and execute the hands on development of multiple new product, line extension, quality improvement, cost improvement, ingredient substitution and applied technology related projects simultaneously
  • Competently work independently in formula development. Formulation types may include: matching ingredient statements, nutritional profiles, and product attributes, custom formula development, cost reduction, and product optimization
  • Conduct and/or arrange quantitative and qualitative analyses to determine chemical, microbiological, physical, and shelf life properties of raw materials and finished products
  • Conduct and participate in sensory testing and analyze results in support of the development of new or improving existing products
  • Serve as technical expert while interfacing with leadership and customer’s Senior leadership
  • Develop ongoing and fruitful working relationships with our customers, production plants, suppliers and independent contractors
  • Leverage and manage suppliers and other industry resources in relation to formula development
  • Provide guidance and training to develop suppliers, customers, and Leahy sales team
  • Maintain accurate and complete records
  • Work with sales team to lead customer presentations and be the expert in the following areas: technical aspects, nutritional, allowable claims, formulation, and possible manufacturing and scale-up challenges
  • Provide detailed information and proficient technical support to the customer, internal team, and production plants for the successful completion of plant scale-up trials and commercial production runs


  • Minimum B.S. in Food Science or a related scientific field
  • 2+ years experience in food related research and product development
  • Experience in product development. Knowledge of juice based beverages and their processing are a plus but not required
  • Demonstrated technical competency through strong written and communication skills
  • Must be highly proficient in Microsoft Excel
  • Highly competent at problem solving
  • Must have strong, outgoing communication skills to work effectively in a cross functional team environment to help meet customer needs and deadlines
  • Must be comfortable sharing and presenting creative solutions and ideas to larger groups
  • Highly creative with a strong passion for food and beverage
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