R&D Product Observatory Specialist
Job Location: Chicago
Ferrero is a family-owned company with a truly progressive and global outlook and iconic brands such as Nutella®, Tic Tac®, Ferrero Rocher®, Raffaello®, Kinder Bueno® and Kinder Surprise®. As the love for our brands continues to grow, so too does our global reach. Represented in more than 50 countries, with products sold in more than 170, the Ferrero Group is loved by generations around the world. The secret to our global success? 38,767 dedicated employees who celebrate care and quality to craft a business, careers and brands we are proud of. Join us, and you could be one of them.
Ferrero is committed to building a diverse and inclusive culture in which all employees feel welcomed and appreciated and have the same opportunities. We believe all of our people are equally talented in their own way. In nurturing the curiosity and natural abilities of our employees, we provide them, generation after generation, the means to succeed personally and professionally, enabling them to craft their journey at Ferrero. The diversity of our talents is what makes our work environment multicultural, innovative and highly rewarding.
About the Role:
This newly created role will be responsible for designing and executing sensory evaluation across Sweet Packaged Food (SPF) categories (i.e. spreads, confectionary, sweet baked goods, and ice cream products) to drive diligence in our innovation and competitive benchmarking activities. Additionally, the incumbent will independently manage the sourcing, analysis, and archive of our products as well as relevant competitor’s product.
- In close collaboration with Local and Global cross-functional teams, acts as key sensory lead on projects clearly understanding and driving project objectives, developing/executing the appropriate sensory test plans and ultimately providing sound conclusions and actionable recommendation. Independently writes concise reports that convey valid actionable results and recommendations
- Independently manages all activities related to sensory analysis (through different types of tests depending on the objective and needs) including the formation, execution and maintenance of our panels delivering against the agreed upon objectives
- Evaluates new and existing products as well as the competition through sensory evaluation using structured tasting panels and standardized methods
- Supports Food Quality Department (FQD) and Category Technical Development (Brand Product Development teams) in defining the appropriate sensory evaluation depending on the project goal
- Supports the definition of the shelf-life curve of our products following specific analyses and studies and issues the relevant technical documentation
- Operational tracking of competitors' products on the market, including both sensory and physiochemical analysis (in coordination with FQD)
- Structures and manages the retrieval, archiving and storage system for our products, raw materials and semi-finished products (i.e. arrival of samples from plants, cataloguing, archiving and operational archive management) as well as relevant competitive products
- Be a key ally and work closely with the rest of the Innovation Center team (Product Development, Open Innovation, Raw Materials R&D, Food Trends, and Market Specialist teams) to ideate, develop, and test new products
Ferrero N.A. provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics.
Who we are looking for:
- A minimum of 4+ years’ experience in the in Food and Beverages CPG companies in a wide range of sensory analysis and consumer product testing techniques and their applications
- Advanced degree (Bachelors and/or Master’s degree) in Sensory, Food Science, or related discipline preferred
- Demonstrated proficiency in leading and applying sensory methodologies including design of experiment, descriptive, and consumer testing
- Experience in end-to-end research in consumer-packaged goods a plus
- Strong critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills with a solid strategic mindset; acquired knowledge of SPF industry is preferred
- Creative, enthusiastic, curious, proactive, collaborative, analytical, with strong communication skills and with a can-do attitude
- Experience working in an international and multi-cultural environment
- Proficient in Microsoft Office, Excel, Word, and Powerpoint
- Occasional lifting may be required (<=25 kg)
How to be successful in the role and at Ferrero:
Consumers, quality and care are at the heart of everything we do. So, to be successful at Ferrero, you’ll need to be just as consumer and product centric as we are - dedicated to crafting brilliant results for consumers around the world.
Strong analytical mind, attention to details on one hand, and ability to cooperate with employees at all levels and great organisational skills on the other, would be key to success. Employee contribution and engagement at Ferrero is based on the individual, team and organisation dimension, so you should have the ability to work independently, as a part of the team and build good relations with stakeholders at all levels. Being flexible and dealing with a dynamic working environment as well as the ability to embed new knowledge and skills in existing competencies will definitely help you to become high performer here.