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Food Scientist Job – Pittsburgh, PA






Primary Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Job Tile: Food Scientist

Job Number: 2016-43087

Date Posted: 12-20-2016

Job Summary:

The incumbent will ensure product and project specifications, scope and budget parameters are met on time, first time. A liaison between manufacturers and our product innovation team across their respective product development and pre-development pipeline projects. Manage and optimize technical processes, seek new innovative areas for products/flavors, and provide training and supervision to support staff to exceed departmental and corporate goals. **No laboratory - all aspects of this position will be completed in an office setting.**

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

Manage and Supervise Product Development Technical Processes and Functions

  • Manage and supervise product development technical activities of technical/assistant technical managers and report on project status, scope and prioritizations in conjunction with timelines / deadlines. The following activities are included but not limited to:
    • Review overall product concepts to define scope and consider opportunities.
    • Partner with project management team to achieve or exceed project targets including timelines, costing and product claims/features.
    • Actively lead, supervise, participate in troubleshooting with external R&D teams to resolve feasibility, sensory, or other technical challenges.
    • Develop relationships with raw material suppliers and manufacturers.
  • Manage and participate in product sensory evaluations to drive decisions best for the product and our consumers. Assist in sample preparation and experimental design considerations based on desired outcomes of the sensory study (eg. Acceptability Study, Discrimination Study, Triangle Tests and so on). Provide critical feedback to the contract manufacturing formulators/ food technologists for next steps.
  • Partner with Science Team in early stage evaluation of ingredients and potential formulation options.
  • Manage discussions with quality control, raw material suppliers, contract manufacturers, analytical laboratories and technical data writers.
    • Discussions include topics such as testing methods, analytical/micro testing challenges, allergen testing, banned substance testing and stability protocols.
    • Ensure label claims are being met in accordance with product specification targets
  • Create facts panels for food and dietary supplements, where necessary and ensure they are meeting labeling requirements based on the CFR.
  • Review artwork to ensure accuracy for technical aspects (e.g. facts panel and other copy/callouts specifying amounts or features pertaining to ingredient levels or allergens).
  • Manage and supervise additional special projects as needed.

Communication and Reporting

  • Provide regular updates to cross functional teams in a concise format to include status, challenges, issue resolution and ensure success of the programs
  • Communicate early in project to management any concerns regarding the jeopardy of a new product’s committed ship date as well as jeopardy of meeting product requirements/specifications.
  • Manage the end to end reporting of projects from top level to dive deep views on critical milestones.
  • Oversee weekly discussions on technical aspects in manufacturing calls and internal product development meetings.
  • Maintain accurate records of project history (electronic and physical)

Optimization and Streamlining Efforts

  • Ensure team is using best practices to deliver products that excite the consumer and align with the goals of the projects and cross functional departments.
  • Analyze practices, processes and documentation for, but not limited to, sensory evaluation, facts panel creation/review, formulation feasibility analysis, quality control testing and troubleshooting of technical challenges.
  • Analyze time-to-market and “how we do things” in systematic intervals and provide suggestions for re-direction where necessary.

Future Business Opportunities and Relationships (internal and external)

  • Develop and strengthen internal GNC relationships through collaborative discussions and interactions where the Product Development team is viewed as a partner. Through this interaction, this role should be sure to communicate project challenges and ensure success of project through accurate and achievable commitments.
  • Assist department in fostering current relationships with manufacturers and raw material suppliers.
  • Create and Lead technical team in a systematic approach to scout for future opportunities in the areas of food science and dietary supplement manufacturing, new product trends, flavor/sensory trends resulting in new products and improvements to existing products.
  • Lead and assist technical team in co-development of new Raw Materials and proof of concept via analytical or sensory testings with raw material suppliers during the creation of new and innovative ingredients for GNC products.

General / Other

  • Ability to taste and screen various products and ingredients for flavor and sensory evaluation without dietary limitations.
  • Strong verbal and written communication. Ability to condense large amounts of information over many projects and extract most critical points to present to upper management.
  • Strong math and computer skills and ability to analyze data- Excel (spreadsheet organization, formulas and manipulation of data), Word, PowerPoint, Internet and various other necessary applications.
  • Ability to work in a fast paced environment in a highly organized fashion.
  • Ability to work independently with little direction and accept a fluid/evolving environment.
  • Ability to critically read technical documents/formulations, identify and trouble-shoot challenges, and analyze next steps and timing.
  • Ability to interact with technical professionals (scientists, manufacturing), sales and marketing professionals
  • A passion for nutrition is preferred.

Ability to Travel ~10%

Job Specifications:

  • Assign projects and tasks to direct reports and Provide guidance and coaching
  • Set deadlines for projects and ensure teams are on schedule
  • Establish leadership role within departmental peers. Goal is for collaboration with peers to create a unified team which will be showcased via activities/outputs to reduce redundancy and increase efficiency.

Assist in creation and execution of departmental SOP’s.

§ 5+ years experience in R&D, Product Development or Sensory Science

§ Additional experience with raw materials/ingredients, quality assurance, and regulatory experience are also a plus.

Previous managerial and supervisory experience, leading a team of direct reports.

§ Minimum of Bachelor’s Degree in Food Science / Sensory Science ideal.

Additional training in 6 Sigma and/or PMP practices a plus.

Ability to taste and screen various products and ingredients for flavor and sensory evaluation without dietary limitations.

GNC is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action/Protected Veterans/Disabled Individuals Employer.



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