Innovation/NPD Manager FMCG – Entrepreneurial Food Company
£45K-£55K plus benefits & bonus
Watford/North of London/Flexible Working

Exciting opportunity for smart, innovative and creative thinker with specific food development experience, to join a fast-growth FMCG foods business. We’re looking for a food passionate innovation specialist for this new role, leading the NPD strategy for a number of different brands and product ranges. Flexible working arrangements in new purpose-built offices, easily commutable by train and car from London or surrounding areas.

Head north of London for this exciting new role with a fast-growing player in the dynamic ethnic foods market, with a portfolio spanning rice, spice, snacks, nuts, dairy – ready to eat products, and a huge range of ingredients for consumers to create their own culinary delights! In this challenging role, you’ll play a key role in building a strong innovation pipeline, working cross-functionally with brand, operations and commercial teams, to develop new and compelling product propositions for each brand in the company’s portfolio. This is all about growing consumer and shopper trial, penetration and loyalty in the UKs Asian community and within the wider UK market. This is one of those rare roles that offer a real and exciting opportunity to make a real difference to a truly entrepreneurial business, working within a lively, empowered team.

  • Specific Responsibilities include:
    Working alongside the marketing director to build a robust innovation pipeline with short and longer-term projects, developing critical paths for each product from ideation to manufacturing
    Ensuring target product margins are achieved by optimising ingredient mixes and working closely with the purchasing team.
    Supporting the national accounts team with detailed product information for customers
    Supporting the PR function by contributing to digital content production and attending trade events and media product launches
    Educating the wider business by sharing details of market, consumer and food trends
    Managing the company development kitchen, and bringing product concepts to life with physical prototypes; on occasion giving cooking demonstrations internally as part of customer sell ins and at trade events
    Leading a continuous ideation process in line with company strategy, including running ideation workshops, and developing additional consumer usage occasions for products to drive purchase frequency and trial by new consumers
    Using your expertise in flavours and ingredients to create NPD briefs for internal & external technical experts
    Overseeing research into patents, copyrights and trademarks in order to make sure there are no infringement issues
    Assessing/auditing product quality of competitor products as required
    Opportunity to line manage a nutritionist and packaging engineer as the team grows

Skills Checklist
This is a role for a highly motivated product development and innovation champion with solid experience working on FMCG brands in the food & drinks industry. Key skills include:

  • Strong academics ideally with a degree in food science and additional qualifications in nutrition and/or packaging engineering
    Passionate about food, with a minimum of 5 years’ experience in developing new food products (fresh, frozen or ambient) for either a manufacturer or retailer
    A track record in developing product concepts and bringing products to market.
    Strong personal interest in food & drink and healthy lifestyles. Familiarity with South Asian culture would be an advantage but not essential
    Experience of working with consumer insight agencies to identify and test compelling product propositions based on food trends and consumer attitudes & behaviours
    Experience of managing external agencies and setting their priorities.
    Good grasp of food testing technologies and ideally a good understanding of HFSS legislation (high fat, sugar & salt)

If you are excited by this challenge, talk to me now. This is a rare opportunity to bring your expertise and interest in food to an exciting and challenging role, in which you will be able to make a significant impact on the business. Contact: Adam Tarsh at adam@tarshpartnership.co.uk