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Position Title: Sr Food Scientist

Position Type: Regular - Full-Time ​

Position Location: Appleton 

Grade: 00 

Requisition ID: 17322 



The Senior Food Scientist: Appetizers is a key position within North America Appetizers R&D function that drives product development initiatives. The incumbent is a Subject Matter Expert that influences global R&D Teams to bring to life the best in class innovation in the appetizers space to develop products that are flavorful, crispy and delight customer and consumers. The position is works cross-functionally with key stakeholders at all levels and builds a cohesive appetizer product development strategy in the R&D space.


The Senior Food Scientist serves as the leader for appetizer product development initiatives with accountabilities that impact R&D design-thinking and the development and scale up of new products. The position drives consumer-centric thinking, emotional understanding, competitive knowledge and intuition, and research solutions throughout the entire product development process to deliver winning experiences and enable transformational innovations. Through leveraging advanced understanding of food products, ingredients, and their key functional attributes and testing methodologies, the Senior Food Scientist assesses the strategic fit and impact of new innovative product solutions.


As an integral part of McCain’s innovation process, the Senior Food Scientist develops and utilizes appropriate ingredient and product testing protocols and best practices to strengthen the company’s appetizer product propositions. The position provides scientific input for the development and commercialization of McCain’s appetizer products. The position also collaborates with global R&D teams to provide guidance for product development projects.


The Senior Food Scientist interacts closely with Marketing, Manufacturing, Procurement, Innovation, Applied Research, Value Engineering, Technical Services, Sensory and Nutrition teams, to provide guidance and partnership through all stages of the stage-gate process. This includes oversight and coordination of effective test plans to ensure optimized appetizer formulations and product propositions.


The position also develops and executes ingredient and technology centered solutions that guide the design of existing appetizer products to support cost enhancements and strengthen McCain’s brands and market position.


The Senior Food Scientist develops and oversees a network of internal and external stakeholders who are specialized in areas that strategically align with McCain’s Innovation initiatives related to appetizers.


This role sits within Global R&D team and is a fundamental part of North American Appetizer PD team.




Core Accountabilities/Outcomes:


Drive the overall development of appetizer Product Development capabilities within Appetizer R&D team. Assure the latest approaches and appropriate practices are employed through design and scale-up of products that help maximize McCain’s competitive advantage. Drive a deeper understanding of consumer needs and desired key product attributes to functional groups and key stakeholders.


Provide input supported by scientific data on ingredients, processes, manufacturing capabilities that influence functional appetizer product attributes. Lead the development and commercialization stages of the New Product Development (NPD) process, ensuring innovative new products will make our portfolio taste extraordinary while bringing competitive advantages.


For assigned projects, serve as the Technical Project Leader: construct effective project plans, identify risks and corresponding mitigation plans, and stimulate cross-functional engagement to enable progression of projects.


Implement and evolve the open innovation eco-system of ingredient suppliers and research partners. Contribute to intellectual property activities, transform learnings into internal best practices and deliver those learnings to McCain’s global network of employees in Product Development and Value Engineering.


Provide hands on expertise for select NPD efforts and customer-facing projects, develop best-practices and deliver trainings.


Direct product development work to enhance the design and cost competitiveness of existing products.


Act as a strategic partner, working cross functionally across the company to help develop product ideas and solutions that are grounded in consumer and business needs, within resource allocation/timelines.


Accountable for ensuring that appropriate and unbiased research is developed, executed and reported to internal and external stakeholders to help make development decisions and inform robust product specifications.


Required qualifications and experience:

  • Bachelors or Masters in Food Science, Food Engineering, Food Chemistry, Statistics, Engineering or related disciplines
  • 6+ years relevant CPG industry experience
  • 3+ years relevant experience with leading innovation focused product development programs preferably related to food design landscape
  • Experience working in a global organization
  • Experience working with researchers, product developers, ingredient suppliers, open innovation providers, academia, marketing, and quality/manufacturing

Key Competencies:

  • Depth of knowledge and breadth of experience in Food science, Product Development, Food Design and Food Engineering
  • Ability to communicate effectively, verbally and written, with diverse audiences ranging from highly scientific/technical to non-technical personnel and customers
  • Knowledge of Food Science/Food Chemistry/Food Rheology/Statistics desired
  • Demonstrated track record of supporting the delivery of winning product innovations through providing scientific input towards product development that addresses customers’ needs
  • Excellent analytical and decision-making skills, combined with the ability to think strategically and drive projects from development to completion
  • Ability to recognize, disseminate, and reconcile information from insights and trends to product propositions that advance McCain’s ability to make better business decisions
  • Proven leadership experience, passionate about creating a successful, inclusive team environment
  • Established capability in managing stakeholders across a complex matrix and around the globe through use of strong interpersonal, influencing and communication skills
  • Experience in managing external relationships with ingredient suppliers, academic institutions, Open Innovation providers and consultants
  • Engaging individual that encourages the team’s experimentation mindset and digital transformation of methods resulting in bigger insights and innovations



The health and safety of McCain employees and their families has been our number one priority since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Supported by science, and in line with our culture and values, we believe that being vaccinated is the most effective way to protect each other, our families, our customers, and our communities.  It is therefore a requirement that the successful candidate for this role be fully vaccinated and have completed the mandatory incubation period prior to the candidate’s start date with McCain, subject to reasonable accommodations if you are unable to be vaccinated for protected grounds under applicable human rights legislation (e.g. medical or religious reasons).


McCain Foods is an equal opportunity employer. We see value in ensuring we have a diverse, antiracist, inclusive, merit-based, and equitable workplace.  As a global family-owned company we are proud to reflect the diverse communities around the world in which we live and work. We recognize that diversity drives our creativity, resilience, and success and makes our business stronger. 
McCain is an accessible employer. If you require an accommodation throughout the recruitment process (including alternate formats of materials or accessible meeting rooms), please let us know and we will work with you to meet your needs.
Your privacy is important to us. By submitting personal data or information to us, you agree this will be handled in accordance with the Global Employee Privacy Policy 



Job Family: Research & Development      
Division: Global Research and Development 
Department: ​Appetizers North America ​
Location(s): US - United States of America : Wisconsin : Appleton || US - United States of America : Wisconsin : Fort Atkinson || US - United States of America : Wisconsin : Milwaukee || US - United States of America : Wisconsin : Plover || US - United States of America : Wisconsin : Rice Lake || US - United States of America : Wisconsin : Wisconsin Rapids 

Company: McCain Foods USA, Inc. 

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