General information

All posting locations: Glenview, Illinois, United States of America

Job Function: 10 - R&D

Date Published: 21-Feb-2024

Ref #: R-79003

Remote, Hybrid or Onsite: Hybrid

Description & Requirements

Here at Kraft Heinz, we grow our people to grow our business, because we believe that great people make great companies. When you join our table, you can expect access to an array of holistic wellness benefits* and perks, including medical, dental and vision coverage, 7% 401(k) matching, Business Resource Groups (BRGs) to help foster diversity, inclusion, and belonging for all employees, an industry-leading total rewards package that emphasizes a high discretionary bonus.

*Benefits begin 30 days after hire for hourly employees, and immediately upon hire for salaried employees.

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Lead, R&D - Product Development at a glance...

This is a research and development Lead role in the Beverages & Desserts business unit. This individual will help deliver the near-, mid- and long-term product development strategies for such brands as Capri-Sun, Kool-Aid, Cool-Whip and Jell-O. The role will include advising developers and projects across the North American zone to support the enterprise strategy. It includes coordinating the development for innovation, renovation, productivity, service continuity, and other critical initiatives. The individual will need to work independently with cross functional teams to provide strategic direction and updates on the projects across the platform. Additionally, this role will provide technical coaching and guidance to developers leading projects. They will also cultivate the career development of their team members, while building succession plans for their team. Communication and collaboration skills are crucial in this role, which operates in a dynamic and cross-functional environment with partners in R&D, Quality, Marketing, Commercialization, Operations, Procurement, Finance, Supply Chain, external ingredient/product suppliers, co-manufactures, and other business customers. The candidate must have a technical background, learning mentality and be able to apply prior learning or scientific principles to new situations.

The role will be based out of the Glenview, IL Innovation Center with a flexible hybrid working structure requiring at least 3 days of the week working at an KHC facility and will require travel approximately 20% of the time.

Note: There are TWO open roles within this technical platform. One will be the Lead for Beverages, one will be the Lead for Confections.

What's on the menu?

  • Work directly with the business units, cross-functional teams, plants, and suppliers as the R&D category lead to help develop strategies and lead developers across all projects within the category
  • Lead the resources and budget management for projects and initiatives within the category
  • Assist in scoping and facilitating business opportunities
  • Lead developers to design and implement tests, analyzing data, drawing conclusions, documenting, communicating results to successfully commercialize products
  • Translate research findings into substantial business opportunities and communicate to cross-functional teams
  • Communicate regularly with BU cross functional teams, as well as pertinent R&D Leads
  • Operates with a high degree of autonomy, creating and prioritizing own and team’s work
  • Support extended cross functional team on initiatives to ensure commercialization excellence and speed to market
  • Understand relevant competitors in the Beverage and/or Desserts category and bring a consumer centric approach to innovation.
  • Scout and seek new technology platforms to driver greater disruption for KHC.
  • Able to create and build partnerships with key partners, suppliers, academia and industry leaders to navigate and lever technology strategies.
  • Collaborate with all related technical experts and internal category scientists to understand technologies and applications
  • Collaborate with teams to understand and ensure product quality and food safety requirements are defined and delivered through the completion of raw material, finished product and quality specifications that deliver consistent, high-quality products
  • Guide technical timelines, provide clear and timely communication, complete risk assessments, raise issues, and develop contingency plans demonstrating strong project management skills
  • Work closely with Food Safety, Regulatory & Labeling to ensure appropriate steps taken to deliver the best product to our consumers
  • Adopt a culture of diversity & inclusion, sustainability, learning, and working like an owner
  • Inspiring a culture of excellence and high performance: Cultivate an organizational culture that embraces ambition, engagement, agility, and innovation.
  • As a champion of people leadership, you will motivate, guide, coach and empower teams of leaders to drive results and achieve their full potential building a culture of trust and collaboration among KHC’S R&D community

Recipe for Success - apply now if this sounds like you!

  • Bachelors / Masters degree - Food Science, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering
  • 8+ years of experience in the food industry preferred
  • Technical experience in Beverages (Ready to Drink, Powders, Liquid Concentrates) or Desserts (Refrigerated Ready to Eat, Marshmallows, Refrigerated Whipped Dessert Topping, Peanut Butter, Powdered Desserts)
  • Experience developing, coaching, and leading others
  • Ability to work effectively in a team environment
  • Strong experience in R&D commercialization
  • Understanding of ingredient interactions/functionality
  • Self-motivated problem solver and drive to deliver objectives in a complex, fast-paced environment
  • Manage multiple assignments/tasks concurrently with the ability to prioritize work for self and others.
  • Understanding of Design of Experiments
  • Excellent verbal and written communication
  • Strong influencing skills
  • Willingness to travel 20% pending business needs


About Us

Kraft Heinz is a global food company with a delicious heritage. With iconic and emerging food and beverage brands around the world, we deliver the best taste, fun and quality to every meal table we touch. We’re on a mission to disrupt not only our own business, but the global food industry. A consumer obsession and unexpected partnerships fuel our progress as we drive innovation across every part of our company.

Around the world, our people are connected by a culture of ownership, agility and endless curiosity. We also believe in being good humans, who are working to improve our company, communities, and planet. We’re proud of where we’ve been – and even more thrilled about where we’re headed – as we nourish the world and lead the future of food.

Why Us

We grow our people to grow our business. We champion great people who bring ambition, curiosity, and high performance to the table as the guardians of our beloved and nostalgic brands. Good isn't good enough. We choose greatness every day by challenging the ordinary and making bold decisions. All while celebrating our wins - and our failures – as we work together to lead the future of food.

Challenging the status quo takes talent. We invest in your purpose and potential by developing skills and nurturing strengths that leave a legacy on our business and a lasting impact on your career. Because great people make great companies, and we’re growing something great here at Kraft Heinz.

Office Collaboration & Hybrid Work Environment

We believe our office environment fuels our collaboration, connection & community as an organization and allows our employees to grow toward greatness. We also believe providing a more flexible and agile model is essential in today’s workplace. A majority of our office-based employees will be able to work remotely for up to two days each week. Additionally, employees who are subject to this hybrid model will be eligible to work from anywhere for up to six weeks in a rolling 12-month period (in maximum two-week increments and according to benefits and tax guidelines). Some jobs may be required to be performed fully in office depending on the role’s responsibilities and requirements.

Kraft Heinz is an Equal Opportunity Employer that prohibits discrimination or harassment of any type. All qualified applicants are considered for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. Applicants who require an accommodation to participate in the job application or hiring process should contact