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Research & Development Specialist


Research & Development


San Leandro, CA - Corporate HQ




Products at Ghirardelli come in all flavors and sizes and no one piece of chocolate satisfies all consumers. Be part of a progressive team in a role that contributes to every aspect of research and development. This role is the perfect entry into understanding the product development process from assisting with bench top development to running shelf life studies and analytical and consumer sensory tests.

Scope of Responsibilities:
Sensory (70%)

·         Design, and implement effective internal and external sensory tests to deliver decision-relevant research to cross-functional team. Providing actionable recommendations to advance business priorities.

·         Maintain detail oriented sensory testing log with all sensory tests and outputs throughout the year

·         Implement best practices in sensory science and food safety and handling including labeling cups, and maintain sensory lab, booths, and supplies

·         Assist chocolate technologists with shelf life tasting set-up and data entry

·         Write effective sensory report and provide timely feedback to key stakeholders

·         Assist with the recruitment of panelists for consumer studies both with internal employees and with maintaining an external panelist database through Ghirardelli Square, Ghirardelli Factory Store, and/or In-Home Use Test consumers

·         Collaborate with sensory consultant and Senior Innovation technologist to screen and train new panelists on descriptive and discrimination panels

·         Research, design and implement an optimized sensory booth that accommodates external panelists as well as two Ghirardelli campuses

Product Development Support (30%)

·         Complete 1 year training program by completing an “onboarding check-list” and stretch opportunities as they arise

·         Actively learn product development process by assisting Chocolate Technologists with bench-top chocolate sample production as needed

·         Conduct analytical testing such as, but not limited to viscosity, water activity, color analysis specifically Hunter color Lab, pH, and Brix

·         Analyze previous and current data collected for analytical tests to discover and interpret trends, patterns, and/or relationships

·         Accurately reports data analysis, providing recommendations and interpretation

·         Assisting Chocolate Technologists with product shelf life studies including setting up, scheduling, and record keeping of shelf life results

·         Prepare prototypes for tastings with management, special events, and evaluations

·         Support product developers with end product application testing and sensory evaluations

·         Provide miscellaneous support as needed including shipping packages, picking up ingredients, and special assignments as they arise

Specific Knowledge and Skills:

·         Detail oriented and committed to quality

·         Demonstrates Integrity/Honesty

·         Positive attitude

·         Independent thinker

·         Self-motivated and self-disciplined with the ability to work individually and within a team

·         Prompt

·         Eager to learn and grow

Education and Work Experience:

·         B.S. in Food Science or any science field or experience in science field

·         Analytical food testing knowledge required

·         Product development experience a plus

·         Knowledge of food handling and storage

·         Chocolate work experience a plus

·         Some previous knowledge of sensory science and statistical analysis is preferred

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