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Director, Research & Development - Kraft Food Ingredients-1301053 - TN-Memphis


Kraft Foods Group is one of the most admired and largest food and beverage businesses in North America. We’re also one of the largest worldwide among publicly traded consumer packaged food and beverage companies, based on our 2012 combined net revenues of $18.7 billion.

We manufacture and market food and beverage products, including convenient meals, Refreshment beverages and coffee, cheese and other grocery products, primarily in the United States and Canada, under a host of iconic brands. Our product categories span breakfast, lunch and dinner meal occasions, both at home and in foodservice locations.

Our diverse brand portfolio consists of many of the most popular food brands in North America, Including three brands with annual net revenues exceeding $1 billion each – Kraft cheeses, dinners and dressings; Oscar Mayer meats; and Maxwell House coffees – plus over 20 brands with annual net revenues of between $100 million and $1 billion each.

In the United States, based on dollar share in 2012, we hold the number one branded share position in a majority of our 50 product categories, as well as in 18 of our top 20 product categories. We hold the number two branded share position in the other two product categories.


The Director of Research & Development for Kraft Food Ingredients (KFI) is responsible for all aspects of research and development activities, product compliance and technical leadership for the Business. The individual in the position is responsible for directing creation of new ingredient platforms, the design, development and commercialization of products for Savory, Dairy, Sweet and Fruit Flavors, Cheese Powders, Process and Natural Cheese,Cream Cheese and Confection & Gelatin categories, managing domestic and international regulatory compliance for all KFI products and providing technical services to KFI customers. The individual will assure that all activities adhere to Corporate and R&D policies, procedures, budgets and objectives.

This position is responsible for R&D oversight for approximately 25 scientists, engineers, regulatory specialists and technicians, two pilot plant facilities (Memphis, TN, Kendallville, IN) and 8 laboratories located at the Memphis Facility. KFI R&D commercializes products at approximately 15 Kraft manufacturing plants including 3 solely dedicated KFI plants. This individual will have leadership opportunities in the areas of strategic direction, organization development, Research & Development, New Product Development, Regulatory Compliance and direct customer interaction.

The individual should have experience with the design, development, commercialization and application of food ingredients in at least two of these three the areas flavors, cheese & dairy and confections. This role will partner with the Sr. Foodservice Director of Research Development Quality and Innovation (RDQ&I) to ensure alignment on all Corporate R&D policies.

This role is a direct report to the General Manager and Vice President of Kraft Food Ingredients and an indirect report to the Sr. Director of RDQ&I for Kraft Foodservice. The Director of R&D is a member of the KFI Leadership Team and interacts with the functional leads of Marketing, Sales, Finance and Operations for KFI.

1.    Drive successful implementation of policies, programs, tools, growth and productivity technologies and processes, new product development and superior technical services that position R&D as a competitive advantage for the Business Unit, protect brand equity while balancing the risks needed to deliver superior business success. Leverage shared services to enable achievement of business goals

2.    Influence Senior Management and lead the development and implementation of a strategic plan that sets a strong R&D direction for the KFI Business. Deliver continuous improvement through innovation, benchmarking, and leveraging cross-BU, cross-category collaboration to ensure compliance with Kraft product design processes, product labeling, nutritional information, compliance with USDA, FDA and religious (Kosher/ Halal) policies and quality (Lean Six Sigma) / food safety systems (HACCP). Drive adoption and institutionalization of key R&D strategies that drive business success.

3.    Represent KFI and collaborate directly with external customer peers to influence and advance tactical and strategic business initiatives and develop strong business networks with strategically important customers. This activity also extends to KFI’s Inter Company initiative where KFI provides NPD, productivity and technologies to Kraft Retail and Foodservice business units. Manage sensitive and confidential information and activities between KFI and external (trade) and internal (Kraft) customer base.

4.    Mentor and grow R&D professionals’ capabilities, competencies and career experiences that advances and enables Organizational Excellence for the R&D Function and ensures R&D retains its competitive advantage and continuously expands its technical scope and depth.

5.    Manage KFI R&D Department budgets assuring that resources are prioritized appropriately

Internal and external contacts:

Operations, Marketing, Sales, Finance leads are the key stakeholders of the KFI Business for this position. The Director of R&D meets with these senior leaders monthly and more frequently during issues. The Director also works closely with the Corporate Shared Service RDQ organization, Regulatory Compliance, Food Safety/Microbiology and Scientific Affairs.

External contacts include KFI customers, regulatory agencies, contract technical laboratories and services.



·         Master's Degree with a major in Sciences or Engineering preferred

Functional/Technical Expertise:

·         General Work Experience – Work experience in food ingredients with a foundation in either Research & Product Development or manufacturing that includes exposure to flavors, C&D products, confections, liquid sauces and application technologies.

·         Functional Work Experience – Corporate research or BU product development, quality and/or Operations management experience. The candidate must have strong business acumen and a deep understanding of commercialization in addition to basic research and applied science / technology with focus on product development.


1.    Factor I: Strategic Skills – Strategic agility, perspective, problem solving

2.    Factor II: Getting Work Done through Others – Developing Direct Reports and Others, Informing

3.    Command skills

4.    Cluster Q - Inspiring Others: Motivating Others, Negotiating, Building Effective Teams, Managing Vision

Kraft Foods is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. Kraft recruits qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, gender, age, ethnic or national origin, veteran status, physical or mental disability, genetic information, sexual orientation or preference, gender identity, marital status or citizenship status.


: Research & Development Management

Primary Location

: NA-US-TN-Memphis

Kraft Foods Group is an Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action Employer.

Kraft provides reasonable accommodation for individuals protected by Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, and Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Applicants who need accommodation in the job application process should contact 847-646-6044 to request assistance.




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