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Hostess Brands, Inc. Product Sensory Manager in Lenexa, Kansas

Company Overview

Hostess Brands, LLC, is a large packaged food company focused on developing, manufacturing, marketing, selling and distributing fresh baked sweet goods in the United States such as Ding Dongs®, Ho Hos®, Donettes® and Fruit Pies, in addition to Twinkies®, CupCakes, Voortman’s Cookies and Wafers.

Job Overview

The Product Sensory Manager is responsible to support Hostess Brands’ organization to provide sensory and consumer preference knowledge in close collaboration with R&D Product Development and Consumer Insights. The Manager will leverage descriptive analysis for iterative food and package development using research guidance testing. This role works collaboratively with Marketing and Consumer Insights, to ensure innovation, renovation, and quality improvements meets consumer expectation. She/He will also work with Consumer Affairs to build the playbook for advocacy groups and lead this workstream. This role will develop product sensory evaluations and training for Operations, Marketing, R&D, and Quality and insure consistency via round-robin testing.


In addition to following Hostess’s policies and procedures, principal duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Implement sensory quantitative testing and analysis. Orchestrate effective testing for Hostess and Voortman products and report findings to stakeholders

  • Design sensory experiments, lead sensory evaluations, hire and develop internal panelists to provide consumer perspective on product designs.

  • Ensure high quality results through panel maintenance and lead the training of internal panel members. Coach panel leaders to reach excellence in execution and autonomy.

  • Ensure collaboration with panel leaders and external agencies in order to ensure lean and transparent execution

  • Build sensory & consumer preference knowledge based on product experience.

  • Leverage sensory analysis to improve existing products in portfolio and leverage to build products into the pipeline.

  • Drive projects through appropriate product and packaging consumer and sensory learning plans from optimization to confirmatory testing

  • Play an active part in cross-functional project teams from front-end innovation until launch. Ensure knowledge is transferred throughout the stage gate with a consumer-centric mindset.

  • Develop and define strategy and execution to build and initiate consumer advocacy groups both virtually and in-person.

  • Manage and execute consumer and sensory research studies with excellence.

  • Be responsible for continuous improvement of consumer & sensory practices.

  • Guide Quality Assurance Managers for A, B, C grading and train them with the implementation of sensory defects.


  • Statistical methods

  • Capable to design and run experiments using statistical methods

  • Experience with fried donuts, grain-based sweet cakes a plus.

  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office applications required.

  • Excellent communication and cross-functional teamwork skills are a must.

  • Able to maintain work area neat and organized.

  • Strong ability to identify potential product /packaging quality opportunities.

  • Good time management and multitasking skills

  • Excellent leader, communicator, and trainer

  • Ability to influence and lead people and decisions in situations absent of a direct reporting structure

  • Ability and willingness to take action

  • Excellent problem solving and trouble shooting skills

  • Willingness to accept 20% travel


This position requires a M.S. or Ph.D. in sensory, statistical methods or food science with 5-10 years with focus on quantitative, qualitative, or consumer research.

ID: 2021-1456

External Company Name: Hostess Brands, Inc.

External Company URL: http://www.hostessbrands.com/

Street: 7905 Quivira RD