Work hard and play hard at a place that feels like home,
with people that feel like family.

Product Development & Innovation Specialist

Date posted: May 30, 2024
Department: Product Development & Innovation Team
Location: Sycamore, IL


Core Hours

Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.


  • Support the Mission of the Company by identifying and accomplishing team and individual performance goals that directly support the goals of the Company.
  • Treat all co-workers, customers and suppliers with respect and in accordance with the Company’s Core Values.
  • Follow all company GMPs and SOPs.


  • Produce samples as requested for customers and prospects.
  • Ensure product development systems are followed (i.e. recipe documentation, sample log, sample labeling, lot code documentation, etc.).
  • Follow GMP and SOP protocol for retrieving ingredients out of production.
  • Create and formulate new recipes based on customer and marketing requirements.
  • Source and qualify new ingredients as needed.
  • Coordinate with Production and Quality to ensure new products adhere to our food safety standards and operational constraints.
  • Coordinate product testing for new products to meet customer and company requirements.
  • Ensure that proper shelf-life studies are conducted on new products.
  • Ensure inventory system is maintained on inbound samples, including timely communication.
  • Provide input and support for sensory training and sensory plans for each product category.
  • Strive to understand the scope of new product development relative to customer expectations and business potential.
  • Keep Manager informed of all critical information related to job responsibilities and management of the Product Development Department.
  • Assist supply chain in securing the secondary supply of essential ingredients.
  • Assist in the commercialization of products from conception to launch.
  • Responsible for planning and executing production trials.
  • Responsible for shelf-life testing from a sensory perspective and completing the necessary SARF documentation.
  • Identify opportunities to drive business growth and improve food technologies, processes, and ingredients.
  • Perform product development in bench and plant operations meeting the product development and business needs.


  • Contribute to the Lean Manufacturing program by looking for ways to improve processes, optimize efficiency, and reduce waste.
  • Develop working relationships with the roles that the position interacts with and manage customer relationships to foster a team-based approach that meets and exceeds customer expectations.
  • Support and/or Lead the Product Development weekly meeting.
  • Support and/or lead the coordination of new product launch meetings and production trials.


  • Bachelor’s degree, preferably in food science, AND 5 years product development in related field, or a similar combination of education and experience.


  • Working knowledge of food science and research principles and procedures.
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office programs.
  • Demonstrate organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Must have effective written and verbal communication skills and ability to develop positive working relationships with internal and external customers.
  • Problem solving and ability to react quickly to change.
  • Always work in a safe manner.
  • Ability to resolve issues independently.
  • General understanding of PET packaging, mixing, and filling equipment in a food production environment.


  • Reasoning – Comprehend several abstract and concrete variables; use logic or reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions or approaches to problems.
  • Mathematical – Add, subtract, multiply and divide whole numbers and perform arithmetic calculations involving fractions, decimals and percentages.
  • Language Development – Ability to communicate information and ideas by speaking or writing so others will understand; ability to gather and organize information to write reports; can effectively relay information to and/or facilitate small groups of people.
  • Physical Effort – Heavy work: exerting up to 20 pounds of force regularly, 50 pounds of force frequently and 75 pounds of force occasionally to lift, carry, push, pull or otherwise move objects.
  • Vision – Far, near and mid-range vision, depth perception, color identification, and field of vision.
  • Activity – Regularly required to stand, walk, reach with arms and hands, finger dexterity, talk, hear, taste or smell; occasionally required to balance, stoop, kneel.
  • Successfully present customer demonstrations that ensure quality presentation and appropriate flavor profiles with pairing of items to assist in sales and business development.


The work environment characteristics described herein are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly exposed to moving mechanical parts, wet and/or humid conditions, and moderate noise.

This role description does not state that the above are the only duties and responsibilities assigned to this position. Employees holding this position will be required to perform any other job-related duties as required.

Equal Opportunity Employer

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The Suter Company is proud to be a member of C12, an organization where results-focused, faith-driven Christian business leaders come together to encourage and challenge each other to build a great business, for a greater purpose.

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