We're looking for a Food innovation manager to join our team.
Integrating consumer insight, research, brand management, Commissary (NPD) and all sector requirements, the role is to develop clear and detailed product briefs to uncover insights and bring innovative solutions to the market. The aim is to optimise consumer appeal and position all Java House brands as leading edge in East Africa and beyond.
Key Responsibility Areas
Knowledge, Skill and Abilities
• Creating and leading a multi-year innovation pipeline for Java House and its subsidiary brands including Commercial Innovation while supporting brand strategies.
• Identifying trends and insights that lead to the conceptualisation of product ideas that will uniquely and competitively position Java House.
• Work closely with a team of chefs and other related departments to ensure all new products meet technical, price and production parameters.
• Develop the food and beverage platforms for new concepts and channels for all brands.
• Drafting and signing off on product specifications and documentation.
BUSINESS INTERACTION AND PERFORMANCE
• Conceptualization of new products right through the seamless transition to the brand team post launch and track year-one-in-market performance.
• Responsible for improving existing product offering and packaging innovation to address Ever-Changing Consumer Demands.
• Work closely with finance in delivering P&L, including Y1 and ongoing volume forecasts, along with pricing and trade recommendations to profitably win in the marketplace.
• Drafting and updating company existing/New Product Development procedures and ensuring that all staff are fully compliant.
• Reporting on product performance on a regular basis.
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
• Food Industry R&D activities and business performance leading to improved business performance.
• Presenting new products to potential customers through research and co-creation groups.
CUSTOMER INTERACTION AND CO-CREATIONS
• Be the key customer contact for all issues concerning product innovations and outcomes (Business-Customer interface).
COMMUNICATION AND TEAM
• Fostering an environment in which team members are motivated to generate new ideas based around clear customer feedback.
• Taking responsibility for successful handover of product to process development staff
• Contribute to all wider business perspectives from a food innovation perspective.
A food or business-related degree.
At least 5 years’ experience in the hospitality industry preferably with 2-3 years exposure to product/marketing innovation at mid-level management within the hospitality and or restaurant industry. Exposure to brand management would be an added advantage. Previous project management work experience would be an added advantage.
• Someone who is absolutely passionate about food and your role in helping to develop new products.
• Have some people management experience so that you can get the best out of your team of technologists. This and your excellent communications skills will also help when you’re dealing with other departments and also suppliers and clients.
• A methodical sort of person. You’ll enjoy working your way through processes without taking short cuts making sure everything is always recorded accurately.
• Comfortable with deadlines and pressure and organised at all times.
• Proficiency working in Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
• Spending time researching the market, watching what the competition is up to and seeking out new ideas to keep your company ahead of the game.
• A lot of the work will be spent working in test kitchens or factory floor areas so protective clothing will be as familiar as a business suit.
• A fair bit of travel is required in this job as you travel around meeting with suppliers of ingredients and also the clients for whom you’re developing the new products.