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Jack Link's Technical Research and Development Manager in Minneapolis, Minnesota

When it comes to being wild, we know a thing or two. We're not afraid of trying something new or the hard work it takes to make it happen. It's in our DNA. We've turned a family recipe into a new snacking category. And the wilderness into the world's largest meat snack business, that's still proudly family owned and operated.

We're a company built by innovators, and are driven to not only satisfy your hunger, but to also feed your journey – whether that journey is on the road, on the run, at the campground, at the playground, in the office or in the moment. It’s a journey we share with you. It’s the journey forward of our people, of our communities, of our category…with a reverence for quality and an irreverence for the status quo.

At Jack Link's Protein Snacks, we see every moment of every day as an opportunity to move forward, to forge new ground. To realize our vision of becoming the World’s #1 Protein Snack Company. We never give up. You never give up. Together, we keep going. Are you wild enough to join us?

Jack Link's Protein Snacks is a global leader in snacking and the No. 1 meat snack manufacturer worldwide. Family-owned and operated with headquarters in Minong, Wisconsin, Jack Link’s Protein Snacks also has a large corporate hub in Downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota. The company is made up of over 4,000 passionate team members, across 11 countries, who share an uncompromising commitment to delivering awesome products and feeding the journey of those who move things forward. The Jack Link’s Protein Snacks portfolio of brands includes, Jack Link’s, Lorissa’s Kitchen, MATADOR Jerky, BiFi and Peperami.

From concept to commercialization to optimization, our Technical R&D Managers are the leaders and drivers of technical development work at Jack Link’s. A highly collaborative and strategic role, this individual will work closely with operations, food safety & quality (FSQ), business management, marketing, sales, consumer insights, procurement and across R&D. Your role will be serving as a technical expert to identify areas of opportunity, to coach others to ensure their success, leading projects, and help the company achieve its aggressive growth objectives. The Technical R&D Manager will be a subject matter expert and provide leadership and effective coaching for programs and people.

Specifically, you will:

  • Provide feedback and technical assistance to our facilities, across R&D, and the broader organization as a Technical Expert.

  • Provide technical leadership through close partnership with Operations and Quality in determining root cause and finding solutions for problems in food products such as sensory, quality, or consistency issues. Participate on cross-functional teams to identify areas of opportunity in cost reduction, yield improvement, and formulation/process improvement and efficiencies.

  • Lead and coach others to develop technical plans and project timelines. Manage individual projects, technical programs and guide other team members

  • Design and execute appropriate testing methodologies to validate changes to raw materials, formulations, and process. Coordinate testing plans with food safety, regulatory, quality and operations. Generate written reports, interpret results, and make next step recommendations.

  • Document and maintain product and processing specifications

  • Proactively identify and bring new ideas and creative solutions to our Operations, Quality, Sales, and Marketing partners

  • Explore alternative approaches to deliver higher margin new product opportunities to market more quickly and opportunities to expand the margins on existing products.

  • Develop products and formulations to meet Jack Link’s business objectives: bench-top prototypes and manufacturing processes, identify ingredients, document product specifications, scale-up products into manufacturing setting, and coordinate product analysis (sensory, nutritional, challenge studies, consumer insights etc.) as needed.

  • Identify ingredients, technology, platforms and processes that meet current needs and will enable future development in line with consumer trends as prioritized by the business.

  • Champion quality awareness.

Required Education: Bachelor or Masters of Science in Food Technology, Food Science or related field

Required Experience: 10+ years of experience in product development, 3+ years people management or informal coaching, experience with meat and/or products containing meat, and experience working in a manufacturing setting

Preferred:

  • Meat science degree and 5+ years in the meat industry

  • Commercialization in a USDA environment preferred

  • Understanding of USDA regulations

  • Smokehouse experience including natural and atomized smoke applications

  • Experience in the shelf stable meat snack industry, dry and/or fermented sausage processing.

REQUIRED SKILLS, KNOWLEDGE and ABILITIES:

Proven thorough understanding of:

  • Knowledge of food manufacturing regulations, standards and labeling, plant sanitation, microbiology and SPC

  • Retail (CPG) product development experience is a plus

  • Demonstrated success in new product development

  • Proficient in data analysis and experimental design

  • Understanding of food processing, food safety, and food regulations and consumer insights

  • Must be able to communicate effectively with various manufacturing and other functional groups

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills

  • Must work effectively with all levels of management and employees

  • Comfortable in a fast paced, changing environment

  • Must be flexible and able to work well in both individual and team environments

  • Must demonstrate effective leadership, problem solving, presentation, and employee motivational skills.

  • Proficient in Internet navigation, Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.

EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER:Jack Link’s provides equal employment opportunity (EEO) to all persons regardless of age, color, national origin, citizenship status, physical or mental disability, race, religion, creed, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, genetic information, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, veteran status, or any other characteristic that is protected by federal, state or local law.

E-VERIFY:Jack Link’s is participant in the federal E-Verify program to confirm the identity and employment authorization of all newly hired employees. For information about the E-Verify program, please visit: http://www.uscis.gov/e-verify/employees

All your information will be kept confidential according to EEO guidelines.

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