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Research and Development Category Leader

East Midlands

  • Reference: 384871
  • Job type: Permanent
  • Salary: Competitive + excellent benefits

  • Location: Leicestershire

Role Overview

Our client is looking for a Research & Development Category Leader to lead the Intersnack Specialties Category Hub located at the KP Snacks site in Ashby, Leicestershire (UK). This is an exciting time to be joining one of the leading manufacturers of savoury snacks in Europe, who are implementing a new Research & Development operating model that is evolving towards a more balanced organisation between local and international expertise. 

The Company

People throughout Europe enjoy savoury snacks made by the Intersnack Group every day. Intersnack is one of the most successful European savoury snacks producers of brands and private label products. 

We are a privately owned company with innovation, entrepreneurship, creativity and teamwork at our core. Our philosophy is based on rapid decision-making, efficient actions and intelligent solutions. We believe our snacks are popular because we listen carefully to our consumers and costumers, wherever they live.  Our brands have become consumer favorites and annually we sell around 600M tons of snacks including potato chips, nuts, baked products and specialty snacks (pellets, extruded, sheeted, popchips and popcorn). 

Intersnack is present in more than 29 countries across Europe and beyond, employing more than 12,500 colleagues in 13 management units and 38 plants. The brand portfolio includes strong brands like Funny-Frisch, Chio, Tyrrell’s, Hula Hoops, POM-BÄR, McCoy´s, MAARUD, Estrella, Vico, ültje and Kelly´s.

The Role & Criteria

The position is a key role of the Intersnack R&D organization, owner of the product innovation strategy for the category as well as the technical elements of the products included in the category across the different markets in the Group.

Key Responsibilities: 

  • To define the category product innovation strategy in close cooperation with the marketing teams across the group and all management units. 
  • Lead the product development team to deliver the product and technology fit to the consumer needs. 
  • Develop a good understanding of the consumer behaviours, trends as well as competitive environment, to identify new products opportunities to fit growth needs. 
  • Generate compelling product insights to support the implementation at a country level. Run the technical feasibility analysis and present the business opportunity to the stakeholders to get support and resources. 
  • Identify new product opportunities that could be considered for the group and maximize the use existing technologies to the advantage of Intersnack Group.
  • Project development governance according to the company: Information, alignment, commitment and delivery. Generate fact and data to support decisions in the main decision forums.
  • Steer the projects to a successful conclusion, focused on optimum, consumer-tested market performance. 
  • Ensure proper roll outs to the different markets/productions plants to minimize product design differences across countries.
  • Alignment of the different key partners before projects scale ups and launch at standards.
  • Guide external technical providers to secure service according to the contracts. 
  • Run the Category Days in collaboration with the Marketing partner. 
  • Manage the product developers and the technology experts in the execution of the product and/or technology development to the launch in the different markets.

Key Criteria:
  • Degree or equivalent in a technical discipline (chemistry, food science, biology or engineering).
  • Likely to have 10-15 years’ experience within an international food FMCG technical environment, ideally in a multi-culture environment leading R&D Innovation projects.
  • Strong commercial acumen with an excellent understanding of consumer behaviours and trends. 
  • Experience of leading and coordinating cross country and cross functional teams. 
  • Develop a high performing and effective category team based in Ashby, Leicestershire, UK
  • A creative innovator and self-starter with a positive ‘can do’ approach 
  • Strong result orientation with solid analytical skills 
  • Used to work with R&D tools: (Project management, product tests, industrial trials)
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication and influencing skills at all levels. 
  • Proven clear decision-making capability.
  • Fluent English, both verbal and written.
  • Computer knowledge working tools.
  • Willing to progress in an international environment including international assignments.
  • Flexibility to travel internationally.


Intersnack Group is collaborating with Nigel Wright Group for this recruitment. We look forward to your application with an updated CV. If you have any questions about the role or would like a confidential discussion, please contact darren.hubbard

Please also note that the applications will be reviewed on a continuous basis.  

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