Rooted in California, Califia Farms is on a mission to create a future where plants replace dairy, without compromise. The company creates a variety of great-tasting plant-based beverages that make the transition to eating plant-based dairy easy and delicious. Califia Farms is one of the fastest-growing, independently owned, natural beverage companies in the US, UK, and Canada, and is well-known for its iconic curvy bottle. Califia Farms was founded in 2010 and is headquartered in the downtown Los Angeles Arts District, with a manufacturing facility in Bakersfield, Calif. The company’s culture is built around four core values passion for purpose, insights into action, fierce interdependence, and challenger spirit.Position Summary
The Product Development Manager will be responsible for leading and managing a small team for new product and process development for Califia Farms’ portfolio of plant-based beverages. He/she will be accountable for delivering new and exciting prototypes and process technologies for scale-up and commercialization of naturally tasty and nutritious products that meet the needs of Califia Farms’ environmental and socially conscious consumers. The Product Development Manager will leverage his/her technical expertise and project management skills to coach direct reports and others to successfully deliver innovation and technology projects with a sense of urgency and cost consciousness. The role requires a person who leads by example, takes initiative, and exhibits proactive cooperation to have the team perform to their best while keeping them accountable for their goals and deliverables.
Product/Process Development and Project Management (approximately 70%)
Emphasis will be on the development and management of new plant-based food products and processes for Califia Farms categories of Plant Milks, Cold Brew Coffees, Creamers and more. Characteristics of importance
- Hands-on experience and strong interest in the development of new products is essential – from concept development to final product launch
- Ability to define important key development issues and to execute rapid prototyping.
- A self-starter and strong team player wanting to work in a fast-paced entrepreneurial environment.
- Creates and maintains formulations, product specifications, processes, and testing procedures.
- Conducts design of experiments and line trials within the manufacturing facilities to ensure accuracy of process and quality of product.
- Collaborates with Marketing, Sales, Operations, and Procurement teams to develop new products that match targeted consumer preferences.
- Proactively identifies and drives product improvement, cost reduction and efficiency improvement opportunities.
- Effectively lead, execute, and assign projects to team members aimed at improving top line sales and/or gross margins across the Califia product portfolio.
- Supervise, coach, and guide direct reports on the team and set their performance goals, tracking them regularly.
- Ability to improve systems and processes, approve workflows, have self-accountability on R&D deliverables, report writing, etc.
- Knowledge of Infor Optiva, Wrike and/or other project management tools.
- Accountable and able to approve workflows for creative team (lay flats) for NFP, ingredient statement, etc.
- Strong communicator who understands business priorities and helps team members understand them.
- Ability to create and make effective presentations to stakeholders and upper management.
People Management (approximately 30%)
Well-versed in working with upper management, marketing, sales, operations, and production to ensure product development is on track and the coordination and execution of new product launches, including
- Rapidly resolving roadblocks or escalate issues as needed
- Determine the complexities of the project and assign according to the competencies of the team members
- Determine gaps in competencies of team members and help them bridge by 702010 model (Learn by doing Developing by association formal training/conferences)
- Ensure that labeling conforms to FDA/USDA standards and general Quality standards.
- Provide or determine regulatory inputs for new products and ingredients and create dossier for claims as needed.
- Must have a B.S. in Food Science or related Science field with 15 years of R&D experience in food manufacturing environment OR
- Preferred M.S. in Food Science or related field with 12 years of R&D experience in food manufacturing environment OR
- Preferred Ph.D. in Food Science or related field with 8 years of R&D experience in food manufacturing environment.
- Proven track record in R&D/Product Development with strong leadership and management skills and experience.
- Experience working with plant-based products and familiarity with plant-based ingredients and processing is desired.
- Experience working with thermal processing and aseptic beverage processes is desired.
Salary Range $125 - $140K
The Company is committed to providing equal opportunity for employees and applicants in all aspects of the employment relationship, without regard to race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, citizenship, marital status, veteran status, disability, age, religion or any other classification protected by law.