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Food Scientist, Innovation


Seattle, WA (Tukwila)

Job Category:

Research & Development

Employment duration:

Full time



# of openings:




Continental Mills


Effective Date:  5/2015

Facility:  Corporate




JOB TITLE:          Food Scientist, Innovation


REPORTS TO:       Director, R & D


STATUS:                Exempt     




This position is responsible for evaluating technical innovation ideas and concepts that can be used to drive product innovation, improving and optimizing products, and delivering cost improvement for the company. The incumbent will work closely with the R&D Director, R&D leadership, and cross-functional teams (such as Procurement, Internal factories and Co-manufacturers) to evaluate the technical feasibility of ideas/concepts in the lab, pilot-plant, or factory prior to business introduction. The Scientist will be expected to design experiments to evaluate new ingredients, evaluate new processes, perform bench-top development, execute factory trials, and work-closely with ingredient vendors, academic institutions, other companies, and industry associations.  


This position will work closely under the supervision of the Director, Technology in support of developing and sustaining an idea screening/evaluation process by which the company can get an optimal return from the matching of technical innovation ideas and innovative new product concepts.



         Scouts industry for new technologies related to ingredients and processing that can be applied to new or existing product concepts

         Screens these ideas for technical feasibility

         Works with R&D Business team managers to align resources to assist in scoping, feasibility and further development

         Leads technical components of a technical innovation project by coordinating activities of a cross functional team.

         Works with internal ingredient team and external vendors to select raw materials for a given product. 

         Presents iterative prototypes/concepts to business team members, makes technical recomendations to meet project objectives.

         Develops specifications and testing protocol for new products based on critical consumer and customer attributes.

         Identifies and presents new and innovative technical solutions and product ideas to the broader organization.

         Supports cost savings initiatives through ingredient, product & process optimization.

         Provides technical support to Marketing & Sales as required.

         Communicates the status of idea generation and implementation to R&D and Company Leadership




         Creates an environment that encourages and teamwork and collaboration, both internally and externally.

         Excellent problem solving skills, viewing the problem as a whole and working with others as needed to resolve it.

         Strong analytical and presentation skills

         Ability to appropriately manage outside 3rd party relationships for mutual benefit and gain

         Willingness to challenge the status quo and ignite change by actively sharing proven ideas and technologies.

         Excellent project and time management skills.  Self-directed with minimal supervision.

         Individual is a self-starter and takes initiative with little direction



         Strong written, oral, and facilitation skills.

         Ability to evaluate and communicate project status, issues or risk appropriately.

         Conveys technical information in understandable terms to all levels of the organization.


Technical Capability

         Development experience in multiple product categories, dry mix products including baking and/or beverage is a plus.

         Strong background in ingredient application.  Understanding of flours, leavening, hydrocolloids and fats is desirable.

         Experience in product scale up and comfort in a manufacturing environment is critical.

         Systems thinker; understands the linkage of activities during commercialization and principles of design for manufacturing. 

         Understanding of common consumer and market research.  Ability to apply insights throughout the development process.

         Proficient in Microsoft Office and other computer applications to access information, analyze data and solve problems.

         Have working knowledge of statistics, experimental design and project management.

         Has abundant intellectual curiosity balanced with business acumen would be a strong plus

         Stays current on industry trends, both technically and related to consumer need states.


Personal and Social Competence

         High integrity and honesty, promoting trust in all actions

         Effective working relationships with internal/external counterparts: Manufacturing, Quality, Marketing, Supply Chain, Vendors.

         Enjoys working in a results-oriented, customer focused, team environment.

         Ability to turn around projects at a fast pace.

         Can work independently after receiving instructions as well as sharing project tasks in a team setting.

         Flexible with ability to handle changing timelines and priorities.

         Creative and change-oriented, willing to constructively challenge the status quo.

         Physical standing, bending, and lifting of product (up to 50 lbs)

         Willingness and ability to travel up to 20%

         Strives for Win/Win in working relationships, particularly with outside parties.



         B.S. or M.S in Food Science or related field. Experience working on cereals, baking, and/or beverage experience would be a plus

         8 -10 years progressive product development experience.  Previous work in a Consumer Products environment is required.

         Working knowledge of Stage Gate commercialization process is desirable.

 Apply Now


The policy of Continental Mills, Inc. is to hire, train, and promote all persons in all job groups in accordance with law, without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, marital status, presence of sensory, mental or physical disability, Vietnam veteran, or national origin.



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