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Position Title: Sensory Innovation Manager (US, CA, LATAM) 

Position Type: Regular - Full-Time ​

Position Location: Oakbrook Terrace 

Requisition ID: 17558 




The Sensory Innovation Manager provides sensory and user experience leadership to R&D Teams in the US, Canada and Latin America. The position is working cross-functionally with key stakeholders at all levels and builds a cohesive regional sensory program in the R&D innovation space.


The Sensory Innovation Manager serves as the regional leader for sensory 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 consumer products, their usage and testing methodologies, the Sensory Innovation Manager assesses the strategic fit and impact of new innovative product solutions.


As an integral part of McCain’s innovation process, the Sensory Innovation Manager develops appropriate sensory protocols and best practices to strengthen the company’s marketing propositions. The position provides scientific sensory input for the development and commercialization of McCain’s products. The position also collaborates with regional chefs to provide guidance for customer facing projects.


The Sensory Innovation Manager interacts closely with Product Development, Marketing, and Consumer Insights 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 product design.


The position also develops and executes sensory protocols that guide the designs of current product offerings and support cost enhancements to strengthen McCain’s brands and market position.     


The Sensory Innovation Manager develops and oversees a network of internal and external sensory experts who are specialized in areas that strategically align with McCain’s Innovation initiatives.


This role is responsible for R&D’s regional sensory team of approx. 7 direct reports.



Required qualifications and experience:

  • Masters or PhD in Sensory, Food Science, Food Chemistry, Statistics, Engineering or related disciplines
  • 10+ years relevant CPG industry experience
  • 3+ years relevant experience with leading innovation focused sensory programs
  • Experience working in a global organization
  • Experience working with researchers, marketing, and quality/manufacturing


Key Competencies:

  • Depth of knowledge and breadth of experience in sensory science
  • Ability to communicate effectively, verbally and written, with diverse audiences ranging from highly scientific/technical to non-technical personnel and customers
  • Knowledge of Food Chemistry/Biochemistry/Statistics desired
  • Demonstrated track record of supporting the delivery of winning product innovations through providing sensory input 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 into insights and trends 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 vendors 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.
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Job Family: Research & Development      
Division: Global Research and Development 
Department: ​Global Science ​
Location(s): US - United States of America : Illinois : Chicago || US - United States of America : Illinois : Lisle || US - United States of America : Illinois : Oakbrook Terrace 

Company: McCain Foods USA, Inc. 

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