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Research & Development Director
Ruiz Food Products - Dinuba, CA


The R&D Director will play a leadership role in guiding the new product development on our core businesses as well as driving new category innovation. This role will ensure R&D activities drive to achieve strategic objectives, improve market position and optimize profitability. Through close partnership with the marketing, sales and supply chain teams he/she will lead the development and commercialization new core products, optimization of current offerings and identification and execution of cost savings initiatives.


  • Collaborate with Marketing and Sales to develop innovation plans.
  • Leverage consumer insights and emerging technologies to guide product innovation and renovation plans
  • Leverage internal and external resources to identify emerging technologies and translate these into new product ideas that are aligned with the business strategy.
  • Lead product development, process development and ingredient technology efforts to develop and commercialize new and improved products, cost optimization and quality improvement.
  • Manage a complex and dynamic project portfolio to ensure attainment of business goals, including prioritization and execution strategy.
  • Ensure robust experimentation/design principles and commercialization processes to achieve project objectives and commercial requirements (manufacturing efficiency, stability, shelf life).
  • Manage technical personnel, including priority setting, coaching and skill development
  • Develop and lead annual cost optimization plans
  • Develop and manage R&D Department budget, ensuring efficient utilization of resources and achievement of annual business plan.
  • Collaborate with key customers as required to drive customer specific innovation
  • Ensure ongoing evaluation of the competitive landscape and competitive innovation.


  • Minimum BS in Food Science or a related field. Advanced business degree, culinary training and knowledge of USDA. Minimum 15 years’ experience in food R&D, with at least 5 years’ experience leading technical professionals.
  • Excellent understanding of the product development process and innovation stage gate principles
  • Strong knowledge of the interaction between culinary art, food science and nutrition
  • Strong knowledge of sensory and consumer research methodologies
  • Experience with packaged food safety and government regulatory requirements
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and execute technology strategy that delivers on business needs
  • Strong project management skills and excellent communication, both oral and written
  • People leadership skills and the ability to manage, mentor and develop others.

To learn more about Ruiz Foods visit

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