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Product Developer

Founded in 2009 and headquartered in Downers Grove, IL we are a world-class contract manufacturer producing wholesome baked goods, snacks and packaged foods for many of the world’s leading food companies. As one of the largest and fastest growing food co-manufacturing companies in the US, we are the proud owner and operator of over 35 facilities globally. Our nearly 10,000 employee-strong organization is leading the way and setting new standards for quality, safety, flexibility and efficiency while feeding families around the globe.
Hearthside’s exceptional growth stems from its ability to address real-world problems for customers of all shapes and sizes, and by our resolute commitment to our belief that there are no great companies without great culture. Our culture of personal empowerment enables growth, learning, and continuous improvement every day!
We are steadfast in our ambition to be the indispensable and most trusted partner to our customers and need your help to do it! Join Hearthside and enjoy a competitive package, outstanding benefits and a diverse work environment.

Job Summary:
To support and drive Product Development (PD) and the Product Development (PD) process as defined by the business strategy. The Product Developer creates the products and process parameters through which HFS provides manufacturing services to the snack, baked goods and nutrition bar market. This scientist provides technical expertise, leadership and execution in the development and commercialization of new products to generate revenue for the business. This function requires: creativity, innovative thinking, interpersonal effectiveness, effective project management skills, a depth of technical food formulation and processing knowledge and the ability to collaborate with other professionals to achieve common goals.

Job Duties:
Duties may include, but are not limited to the following:
• Identify and evaluate food trends that support the business vision and customer strategy within a rolling 2-year horizon
• Create new and innovative Snack, Cookie, Cracker and Baked Bar related product recipes and processes which will produce commercial products on the HFS manufacturing lines at a targeted cost and to the revenue through the sale of manufacturing services. This activity will include developing project briefs as necessary, specifying ingredients, specifying process parameters, production of samples by R&D Techs, hands-on sample production, hands-on experimentation, ordering and analysis of third-party lab work, and approving samples before shipping to customers.
• Reverse engineer products for the purpose of moving production services currently existing elsewhere into the HFS facility.
• Support commercialization projects for said products, including leading full-scale plant trials, sometimes involving costs of six figures per day, and conducting pre-trial meetings. The work product of this activity is a turn-over packet to Operations with the full process instructions, rates, and product specifications.
• Positively and proactively interact with customers, prospects, and colleagues to keep projects on track. Relationship building will be a key to success in this area. Some travel will be required from time to time.
• Manage multiple projects and activities within R&D Department to accomplish department objectives in an effective fashion.

Required Competencies & Knowledge:
Knowledge of:
• Knowledge of general food technology in bakery applications, ingredient functionality and formulation of baked goods
• Working knowledge of product development & commercialization processes
• Detailed experience in products related to Hearthside bakery business
• Autonomous management of multiple R&D projects
• Bakery product, processes and ingredient Knowledge
Skills In:
• Assessing customer needs to resolve problems promptly and efficiently
• Adjusting to changing schedules driven by the customer
• The ability to effectively conduct formal meetings with professional clientele to define: project objectives, formulate action plans, and report on progress
• Building customer confidence with proper follow through
• Clear and concise communication with customers through e-mail, virtual and face-to-face meetings
• Strategic planning
• Strong interpersonal and influencing skills
• Create and present professional presentations
Ability To:
• Supervise and lead all customer related requirements related to R&D
• Communicate effectively both verbally and in writing to all customers
• Have knowledge of all customers and their expectations
• Project HFS as world class production facility
• Work closely with the development lab technical assistants and/or interns
Proficiency in: MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SAP/ERP, formula database (Genesis/Product Vision), and raw material costing.
Work Environment: Work is primarily done in a lab setting but can involve the pilot and/or any number of main Hearthside production facilities (travel required)
Physical Requirements:
• Sitting at a work station for extended periods of time
• Standing while creating product samples both in R&D and on the plant floor
• Stand, walk, climb stairs on an infrequent basis
• Working possible off-hours when required
• Clean and order R&D lab at the end of each working day
• Able to lift up to 25 pounds
Minimum Qualifications:
• B.S. in Food Science, Food Engineering, Chemistry, or commensurate experience
• 3+ years’ experience of relevant work in a food product development/production facility, preferably in a commercial manufacturing /production environment
• Industry experience supporting product development projects
• Networked in PD – suppliers, operations, customer, market
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Hearthside is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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Location
Front Royal, VA
Posted On
28 March, 2024