R&D Manager, Sensory


Looking for something new and fun?! The Krusteaz Company is looking for a new R&D Manager, Sensory. This position will be responsible for driving sensory science expertise within the organization. This position will manage a team of Sensory Scientists and Technicians responsible for the design, execution and reporting of quantitative and qualitative sensory testing that supports all phases of new product development to ensure the voice of the consumer is heard throughout the entire process. This position will partner with cross functional project teams to drive customer and consumer product initiatives from concept through the lifecycle utilizing their deep knowledge of sensory methods and data to deliver relevant and actionable guidance aligned with business strategies. This position is a key technical interface to R&D, Marketing, Innovation, and Consumer Insights.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities: Other duties, responsibilities, and activities may change or be assigned at any time.
  • Act as the key sensory lead on project teams, understanding business and project objectives, and developing appropriate sensory testing plans/designs.
  • Execute sensory testing that is valid and reliable to provide actionable recommendations and conclusions to project teams.
  • Influencing and leading project teams in understanding the relevance of sensory consumer science.
  • Prepares and delivers effective results and data presentations to cross functional teams to drive business decisions; ability to push back when needed.
  • Help develop and implement a technical strategy working with cross-functional partners.
  • Establish a long-term strategy growth plan for the sensory team that continues to improve the level and depth of services provided to the organization that.
  • Manages the operational (1 year) plan and budget of the sensory department to support the key business objectives across all divisions and departments within The Krusteaz Company.
  • Engage with external collaborators to generate novel methods and leverage industry experience to develop and utilize new capabilities and methodologies.
  • Consistent interaction and involvement with sensory professional network and organizations.
  • Has a deep and robust understanding of sensory evaluation methods including descriptive evaluation, consumer testing both qualitative and quantitative, and discrimination.
  • Develops appropriate job duties and work activities based on business plans.
  • Ensures progress against work plans and communicates directly to the business team and cross functional counterparts.
  • Conducts performance evaluations and develops comprehensive career plans for the technical team.

Position Requirements

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals qualified with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Leadership and Management:
  • Creates an environment that encourages and rewards teamwork and collaboration, both internally and externally.
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Sets expectations, tracks results, and manages accountability.
  • Effective people developer. A teacher, coach, mentor, and role model.
  • The ability to work independently (self-starter).

Technical Capability:
  • Experience in the food or personal care industry with a focus on quantitative and qualitative sensory research, user experiences, and product evaluation skills.
  • Strong statistical analysis skills with ability to interpret data. Demonstrated knowledge of application of sensory science methodologies and advanced statistics.
  • Ability to design, implement and analyze a variety of non-routine sensory tests to provide feedback and guidance to product developers and product managers.
  • Knowledge and familiarity with statistical software programs such as Compusense or Sims.
  • Proven analytical and critical thinker with excellent business acumen and problem-solving skills.

  • Exceptional written, oral, and facilitation skills.
  • Excellent listener: empathetic to individuals concerns and directs necessary follow-up actions.
  • Ability to evaluate and communicate project status, issues, or risk appropriately.
  • Conveys information in understandable terms at all levels of the organization.
  • Strong relationships within the sensory professional network.

Personal and Social Competence:
  • High integrity and honesty, promoting trust in all actions.
  • Desire to drive positive change.
  • Assertive, energetic, and a self-starter.
  • Open to try new things and take appropriate risks, willing to constructively challenge the status quo.

Supervisory Responsibilities:

Carries out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the organization's policies and applicable laws. Responsibilities include interviewing, hiring, and training employees; planning, assigning, and directing work; appraising performance; rewarding and disciplining employees; addressing complaints and resolving problems

Education and/or Experience:
  • B.S. or M.S. (preferred) degree in food sciences or technology or related field.
  • 8+ years of progressive experience in the sensory field.
  • Previous people/team management experience.

Physical Demands and Work Environment:

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to stand, sit, talk, hear, and use hands and fingers to operate a computer and telephone along with reaching. Specific vision abilities include close vision requirements due to computer work. Moderate noise, ability to work in a confined area, and ability to sit at a computer for an extended period of time are also included. Ability to effectively communicate and work in a dynamic environment.

The policy of The Krusteaz Company, is to hire, train, and promote all persons in all job groups in accordance with law, without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital or military status, national origin, gender identity, the presence of any sensory, mental or physical disability, genetic information, or any other status or characteristic protected by local, state, or federal law.

Get to know us:
  • A people-focused company that cares​: We're a 90-year-old company with the entrepreneurial spirit of a startup and a focused eye on the future. As a midsized, privately-held company with a portfolio of beloved food and beverage brands, our people are the most important ingredient in our success.
  • A valued and supported workforce​: We place tremendous value in our employees and provide competitive pay and comprehensive benefits to ensure our employees can create the best life for themselves. Benefits include a top tier health insurance plan with lower than average employee cost share, generous PTO, 401(k) match, and more.
  • An engaged and energized culture​: At The Krusteaz Company, collaboration and ingenuity drive our fierce commitment to creating extraordinary product experiences that people love.
  • A place to grow and make a difference: An entrepreneurial spirit has been at the core of our company since the beginning, attracting self-starters who are curious and love to learn and to share ideas.

Hybrid Work Model: At The Krusteaz Company, we have in-office "core days" of Tuesdays and Wednesdays where all corporate employees are expected to be onsite. Monday, Thursdays, and Fridays are flexible remote days to allow for work/life balance. You may be asked to come in outside of a core day from time to time, based on business needs. We have found aligning our scheduled in-office days provides opportunity for employees to build connections and collaborate together.

Benefits: We are proud to offer generous benefits including comprehensive medical, dental and vision insurance (starting at $45/month for employee only coverage), 401(K) matching, 4 weeks of paid vacation, 10 paid holidays, company provided life insurance and disability insurance, flexible spending account and tuition reimbursement.

Salary Information:
  • An employee in this position can expect a salary range between $109,570 and $180,783. We typically pay between $123,000 and $157,000. The actual salary offered will carefully consider a wide range of factors, including internal equity, experience, education, certification, training, and location. All positions are eligible for additional incentives based on business performance.

We hope you'll take the time to get to know us!