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R&D Specialist, Raw Materials

Job Location: ​Chicago​

Chicago, IL

Company description

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.

Diversity Statement

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:

The Raw Material R&D Specialist will lead and execute all the raw materials technical agenda, towards supporting the successful execution of new and innovative projects, as well as ensuring business continuity for the Cookies & Chocolates Categories and international Ferrero categories with products to be launched in the North American Market.  

Main Responsibilities:


  • Identifies new raw materials (present and future) in order to enable the development of semi-finished and finished products.
  • Liaise with the laboratory partners to lead testing in order to define raw materials characteristics and study raw material specifications according to Ferrero standards, Governmental regulations, nutritional, etc.
  • Provides technical support to the Product Technical Performance Managers for eventual problems related to raw materials.
  • Proactively deliver possible technical raw materials improvement, through the study of technological-productive interventions among suppliers and through the study of alternative raw materials.


  • Prepares, issues, and updates the specifications of raw materials of competence.
  • Supports the preparation and issuing of the related specifications (Quality).
  • Analyses the data of experimental testing and taste, suggesting improvements & modification, and participate in the sensorial taste analysis to validate the product shelf life.
  • Collaborates with the relevant cross-functional partners and technical functions for the constant maintenance of regulatory updates (legislation and voluntary standards of the category) in order to quickly grasp any emerging problems and/or take advantage of new opportunities.


  • Collaborates with competent technical partners (operations, engineering & equipment manufacturers), in the design of new process manufacturing equipment and potential improvements/modification of existing capabilities.
  • Provides recommendations on the ideal process parameters and quality standards, to ensure the maintenance of the ideal raw materials characteristics.


  • Leads the validation of alternative raw materials & suppliers to ensure business continuity.
  • Supports the process of the raw material provision in order to have the availability of all necessary materials to do the trial defined and required.


  • Coach, manage, and motivates a team of individuals, ensuring a management system based on Ferrero values, motivation, competence development, and empowerment.
  • Guarantees Human Resources professional development, evaluating people, and proposing development initiatives. 

Who we are looking for:

  • BS / MS degree in Food Science, Chemical Engineering, Nutrition, etc. (PhD a plus)
  • Minimum of 5 years of proven experience in FMCG R&D, innovation, product, raw materials, process or technology development roles.
  • Successful track and proven experience in product/process development from laboratory bench scale, to successful execution & launch to market.
  • Result-oriented with a strong passion for creativity and innovation within a complex driven environment.
  • Dynamic, flexible, proactive approach and ability to work effectively in high-pressure situations within strict deadlines.
  • Strives for high standards, seeks innovative solutions, drives continuous improvement of ingredients, semi-finished & finished products, and processes, and demonstrates a high degree of attention to detail. 
  • Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to influence with integrity through persuasive communication to win support at more senior levels within R&D and Cross-Functional areas (Marketing, 3rd party co-manufacturers, Operations, Supply Chain, Procurement, Quality, etc.). 
  • Strong people and project management skills to effectively and efficiently drive a complex program.

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.

Please note that all Ferrero employees are required to submit proof of vaccination against COVID-19. If you accept an offer of employment from Ferrero, you are expected to abide by Ferrero’s Commercial COVID-19 Vaccination Guidelines and General Procedures, a copy of which will be provided to you upon hire.

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. 

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United States
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