Hostess Brands, Inc. Product Sensory Manager in Lenexa, Kansas
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.
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.
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.
External Company Name: Hostess Brands, Inc.
External Company URL: http://www.hostessbrands.com/
Street: 7905 Quivira RD