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Product Development & Innovation Technician

Date posted: June 21, 2024
Department: Product Development & Innovation Team
Location: Sycamore, IL


Core Hours

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


We are looking for an experienced Product Development & Innovation Technician to join our Commercial Team. This position will report directly to our Product Development & Innovation Manager and is responsible for supporting our team in various ways by making test batches, fulfilling sample requests, and inventory, assisting in the preparation of products, conducting and documenting lab work, partnering with other departments, aiding in customer demonstrations and various other duties as assigned.


  • 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 Code of Ethics and Core Values.
  • Follow all company GMPs and SOPs


  • Secure the necessary ingredients and packaging from production for Test Kitchen batches.
  • Make Test Kitchen batches and log into necessary spreadsheets.
  • Fulfill sample requests:
    • Label all samples clearly and accurately with recipe code, description, and use-by date.
    • Make test kitchen batches by established deadlines.
    • Meet customer ship dates with secure refrigerated (avoid breakage, correct temperatures) and ambient packages.
    • Include required forms as needed.
    • Log requests and required information into appropriate test journals and batch ship journals and track inventory.
    • Responsible for packing and shipping all samples via FedEx, UPS, and/or messenger service.
  • Keep the work area organized with only current (not expired) samples.
  • Inventory:
    • Sample database – log all incoming samples with necessary information (lot code, supplier name, quantity, picture).
    • Establish an accurate starting count of all items in the test kitchen inventory.
    • Manage a system of all inventory test kitchen items in the plant.
  • Assist in preparation and involvement in production trials as needed.
  • Conduct and document product development lab work, including the development of benchtop prototypes and implementation and maintenance of stability testing.
  • Conduct and document all production trials and support scale-up and commercialization of products.
  • Perform, analyze, and communicate implications of experimental design.
  • Set up, complete, and communicate Shelf-life studies.
  • Provide sensory training assistance through weekly evaluations and by using Draught Labs.
  • Partner with Research & Development areas such as Quality Assurance, Operations, Packaging, and Regulatory to ensure safe and legal product design.
  • Actively engage in process reviews to avoid/minimize product shifts through the product life cycle.
  • Aid in customer demonstrations, and concept ideation and development.
  • Gather and record market research including competitor product analysis and trend data.
  • Perform additional tasks as assigned by Product Development & Innovation Manager.

QUALIFICATIONS – A combination of the following education/work experience AND demonstrated abilities and skills:



  • Bachelor’s Degree or at least four (4) years of experience in a food manufacturing or related environment, AND


  • Detailed oriented.
  • Ability to follow a recipe, plan ahead and gather ingredients/packaging.
  • Strong reading comprehension and writing skills.
  • Ability to work independently and manage multiple projects.
  • Work successfully in cross-functional teams.
  • PC proficient with MS Office programs (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint).
  • Basic familiarity with sensory science.
  • Good sensory and tasting skills, including the ability to distinguish between different flavors.
  • Basic technical knowledge of food applications is a plus.
  • Strong commitment to working safely and maintain a safe work environment.
  • Transportation to work at two different facilities throughout the day as needed.
  • A high degree of communication skills that provide for the ability to coach/correct employees following Leader’s Voyage® core values.
  • Reasoning – Comprehending several abstract and concrete variables; using 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; follow technical manuals; have increased contact with people; able to interact with and coach peers and managers in a tactful and firm manner.
  • The ability to write, read, and speak in English is required.
  • Physical Effort – Medium work: exerting up to 10 pounds of force constantly lifting up to 20 pounds of force frequently and 50 pounds of force occasionally to lift, carry, push, pull or otherwise move objects, standing for long periods of time, working in a cold environment.
  • Vision – Far, near, and mid-range vision, depth perception, color identification, and field of vision.
  • Activity – Frequently required to stand, walk, reach with arms and hands, finger dexterity, talk and hear; occasionally required to climb, balance, stoop, kneel, crouch, taste, and smell.


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 could regularly be exposed to wet and/or humid conditions, moving mechanical parts, significant pace/pressure and moderate noise level.

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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