The Sr. Manager, Research and Development will be a critical member of our R&D team responsible for driving exceptional product design and delivery through a deep knowledge of consumer quality and needs. The ideal candidate must have demonstrated proficiency with project leadership for multiple simultaneous product lines, as well as demonstrated capabilities in leading strategically complex and large scope projects.


Reporting to the VP of Innovation, the key responsibilities will include:


  • Lead new product development through in-depth ingredient and processing knowledge
  • Leverage ingredient trends and identify new ingredients to build existing product lines and new product platforms
  • Develop a pro-active roadmap for advancing nutritional delivery and technology
  • Validate ingredients used and processes that impact them, including regenerative agriculture potential
  • Guide verification of methodologies and evaluate secondary suppliers, as well as alternative ingredients, for cost savings and supply assurance
  • Develop a deep understanding of available manufacturing technology solutions and their impacts on formulations
  • Participate in and evaluate product design and commercialization based on quality needs and mission alignment
  • Actively contribute to ideation of new products lines and renovation of existing product lines by developing formulations, recipes, and cooking instructions
  • Manage the nutritional facts and ingredient statements while advising on regulatory parameters
  • Develop bench top tests and deliver against consumer sensory ideals, understanding business initiatives, including consumer expectations, financial parameters, and timing goals
  • Lead plant trials and define consumer specifications, including recipes, ingredient handling instructions, sensory attributes and ranges, and shelf life
  • Partner closely with internal and external teams through open-minded leadership and business expertise to manage product commercialization
  • Leverage R&D knowledge to guide projects and assist with consumer inquires
  • Recommends equipment modification and raw material and ingredient changes
  • Support concept development and communication in developing claims and marketing materials
  • Leads the organization in developing product profile benchmarking to determine how products compare to competitors and to determine consumer preferences through knowledge of industry trends, relevant legislation and regulations, and competitor activities
  • Partner with suppliers, farmers, universities, and government agencies to identify and address solutions or future needs
  • Cultivate strong relationships with suppliers to become the go-to source for vetting new ingredients and technologies
  • Performs other projects as assigned


Position Requirements:


  • Minimum of 8 years of experience in R&D, Quality Assurance, or a related field, within the CPG industry
  • Bachelor’s Degree required; Masters degree in associated field preferred
  • Prior experience leading end-to-end product development is required – from bench to shelf, supporting the overall commercialization of products with a solution-driven mindset
  • An expert understanding of the business processes necessary to control, improve, and create new product innovation to competitive advantage, including Sensory and Product Guidance, Technology Development, Quality Assurance, Packaging, and shelf life
  • Must have a high level of curiosity about the marketplace, competitors, consumers, and ingredients
  • Be hands-on in the commercialization of product development, from bench to shelf
  • Must be willing to make recommendations for improvements to strategies as well as processes through demonstrated expertise in R&D, specifically the science of ingredients
  • An essential function of this role includes tasting and working in the vicinity of various food allergens
  • A passion for natural food and healthy eating as well as a desire to change the way we think about ingredient labels


Benefits of Working at Simple Mills:


  • You will make a huge impact as a key member of an emerging brand that’s changing the way we eat and facing explosive growth
  • Working with a unified group of passionate team members that are driven by healthy food that tastes good and fuels your body
  • Integrating into a company that is passionate about its people and their development, with consistent in-office classes and trainings
  • Employee benefits including health, dental, vision, life, disability, FSA/DCA account options, Commuter Reimbursement Plan, and a 401(k) plan


Compensation will be competitive for the ideal candidate. Due to current COVID restrictions, you must be able to work remotely at your own designated location with sufficient internet access to support video conferencing. You must also be willing and able to work at our California office in the future. As of present, the majority of our workforce is working remotely.


At Simple Mills, we are committed to providing an environment of mutual respect and inclusion. Equal employment opportunities are available to all applicants and teammates without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, past or present military service, physical or mental disability, or other applicable legally protected characteristics. All aspects of employment are decided on the basis of business need, job requirements, and individual qualifications.


Company Description:


Simple Mills is a rapidly-growing Chicago-based company on the forefront of the clean food movement, transforming center store grocery aisles with products made from simple, whole food, nutrient-dense ingredients. In the company’s short history, Simple Mills has become the #1 bestselling natural baking mix, the #1 bestselling natural cracker, and the #2 bestselling natural cookie.


Distributed in 20,000+ grocery stores nationally from Whole Foods to Target and Kroger, the brand’s newest products include: Almond Flour Brownie Mix, Soft-Baked Almond Flour Bars, and Veggie Pita Crackers. Simple Mills has earned broad recognition from top magazines, bloggers, and industry associations- including a segment on our Founder & CEO Katlin Smith on the TODAY Show in April 2020. Our products have been featured in a wide array of top publications including Vogue, Women’s Health, Forbes, Business Insider, mindbodygreen, NOSH and many more. Simple Mills was also a 2019 Clean Eating Clean Choice Award Winner!


The company’s mission is to enrich lives and bodies through simple, delicious, real foods. We strive to make healthful choices easy by offering food that tastes great in the moment and nourishes your body for the long-term. We’re here to positively impact the way food is made because we believe in clean, nutritious foods for a greater life. It’s that simple.

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Contact us

Phone: (312) 410-8414


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