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Director of Research Development

Bennettsville, SC



About the job

Director Research & Development. This role serves as a full-time member of the R&D team and is accountable for delivering R&D objectives. This includes (but is not limited to): quality improvement initiatives, line extensions, cost reduction initiatives, new product development, technology evaluations, developing standard operating procedures (S.O.P.), establishing process critical control points and specifications, quality measurement and tolerances, thermal processing for sterility, and general manufacturing support. Incumbent with this position is the responsibility for communication and implementation of technical development throughout the supply chain (engineering, manufacturing, co-packers, Q.A., procurement, logistics etc.). This person will be responsible for leading the team to produce product for commercial lines.


Role Responsibilities:

  • It is an essential requirement of the job that the employee has the ability to function in a feedback-rich, team-based environment.
  • Employees must possess good interpersonal skills and be compatible with co-workers.
  • Brand Protection (Defend)

Includes, but is not limited to; Food Safety, Q.A., Regulatory Compliance, Statistical Process Control, HACCP, Environmental Compliance, and Specifications, Documentation & Standard for Products.

Work to establish and maintain “gold standards” for all assigned products and to ensure that all future products match or exceed those standards. Support the deployment of SPC and HACCP where appropriate throughout the organization. Assist in resolving any food safety, regulatory or environmental issues that may arise.

  • Ensuring Product Vitality (Extend)

Include, but is not limited to; Line Extensions, Product Restages, Quality Improvement Projects, Cost Reduction Initiatives, and supporting work on Process Improvement and New Packaging Projects ect.

Need to leverage external resources and work closely with suppliers to identify opportunities for improving quality and reducing costs. Ensure that all products have equal or superior hedonic scores to “gold standard formulae”.

  • Development of New Products (Create)

Involves using Consumer / Military Focused Designs to support the development of products.

This includes, but not limited to: Line qualification trials; plant scale-ups and start-ups; developing and communicating S.O.P.’s for manufacturing, setting specifications, measurements, and tolerances; delivering consumer testable products; conducting accelerated shelf-life testing; co-coordinating sensory testing etc.

  • Innovation in Products (Innovate)

Involves developing Superior Product Knowledge and Enabling Technologies and leveraging it to develop new to the world / military products. Need to keep abreast of current developments in food technology through organizations such as the IFT and through developing strong relationships with vendors and universities.

  • R&D Team Member

Participate in R&D vision, strategy, annual planning, and resource allocation. Participate in management and decisions of team in all relevant areas. Communication with groups – build support and excitement for R&D efforts. Contribute to the development of manufacturing strategy (internal and external) Manages and co-ordinates all meetings related to direct areas of responsibility.

  • Researches, develops, and implements capital projects.
  • Consistently communicates and promotes the company vision.


Desired Knowledge, Skills, and Expertise:

  • Degrees

B.S. Food Science or related discipline combined with 5- 10 years experience working in the Food Industry. M.S. in Food Science is preferred though not required.

  • Certifications / Licenses

Better Process Control School, Thermal Processing School, Design of Experiments (preferred though not required)

  • Specialized Skills

Expertise/knowledgeable in the areas of product formulation, flavor work, ingredient interaction, analytical methods, statistical design of experiments and analyses of data, retorting.

  • Demonstrated successes in meeting and exceeding targeted goals – cost, quality, & safety.
  • Must have exceptional planning, organizational and problem-solving capabilities.
  • Food plant experience required with knowledge in pouching, bowls, or trays in retorts.
  • Proven ability to manage multiple projects within budget and schedule requirements.
  • Previous experience working with branded concepts a plus.
  • Must be flexible and be able to work well under pressure.
  • Must enjoy problem solving, teamwork, and have a strong “can-do” attitude.
  • Position located in SOPAKCO facility in Bennettsville Plant.

Apply Now!