R&D Manager - Raw Materials

Job Location: ​Chicago​

Company description

Ferrero is a family-owned company with a truly progressive and global outlook and iconic brands such as Nutella®, Tic Tac®, Ferrero Rocher®, Raffaello®, Kinder Bueno® and Kinder Surprise®. As the love for our brands continues to grow, so too does our global reach. Represented in more than 50 countries, with products sold in more than 170, the Ferrero Group is loved by generations around the world. The secret to our global success? 38,767  dedicated employees who celebrate care and quality to craft a business, careers and brands we are proud of. Join us, and you could be one of them.

Diversity Statement

Ferrero is committed to building a diverse and inclusive culture in which all employees feel welcomed and appreciated and have the same opportunities. We believe all of our people are equally talented in their own way. In nurturing the curiosity and natural abilities of our employees, we provide them, generation after generation, the means to succeed personally and professionally, enabling them to craft their journey at Ferrero. The diversity of our talents is what makes our work environment multicultural, innovative and highly rewarding.


Ferrero N.A. provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics.

About the Role:

The Raw Material R&D Manager will independently lead activities focused on identifying new and/or improved raw materials to enable the development of semi-finished and finished products across Sweet Packaged Food (SPF) product categories (i.e. spreads, confectionary, sweet baked goods, and ice cream products). The individual will also partner with Local and Global R&D groups to ensure that the appropriate, robust analysis and evaluation process is in place to evaluate and validate raw material technology.

Main Responsibilities:

Identifies new raw materials to enable the development of semi-finished and finished products
Identifies new raw materials for the improvement of half-finished and finished products
Coordinates lab testing to define raw materials characteristics and studies raw material specifications according to Ferrero standards 
Provides technical support for eventual problems related to raw materials resolution
Verifies used raw materials possible improvement, through the study of technological-productive interventions among suppliers and through the study of alternative raw materials
Prepares, issues and updates the specifications of raw materials of competence; supports the preparation and issuing of the related specifications 
Analyses the physicochemical and/or sensory data to proactively improve and/or validate appropriate technical due-dilligence 
Collaborates with cross-functional partners and technical functions for constant maintenance of regulatory updates (legislation and voluntary standards of the category) to quickly grasp any emerging challenges and/or take advantage of new opportunities
Collaborates with internal and external partners in the design of new process manufacturing equipment and/or in improvements of existing capabilities
Provides recommendations on ideal process parameters and quality standards, to ensure the maintenance of ideal raw materials characteristics
Leads validation of alternative raw materials & suppliers to ensure business continuity
Supports  the procurement of raw material to conduct the appropriate due-diligence processes/streams 
Accountable for team management and guiding career paths and succession plans

Who we are looking for:

BS / MS degree in Food Science, Chemical Engineering, Nutrition, or relevant scientific field (Ph.D. a plus)
Minimum of 8 years of proven experience in FMCG R&D, Ingredient /Raw Materials, Process and/or Technology development roles
Strong competence and proven experience in ingredient functionality, formulation, product/process development from lab-bench scale to full commercialization; excellent knowledge of Local Regulations, Food law and Nutrition 
Strong critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills with a solid strategic mindset; intermediate commercial acumen and acquired knowledge of SPF industry is preferred 
Result-oriented, creative, enthusiastic, curious, proactive, collaborative, analytical, with strong communication skills and with a can-do attitude 
Strives for high standards, seeks innovative solutions, drives continuous improvement, and demonstrates a high degree of attention to detail 
Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to influence with integrity through persuasive communication to win support at more senior levels within R&D and other cross-functional stakeholders (Marketing, 3rd  party co-manufacturers, Operations, Supply Chain, Procurement, Quality, etc.)
Strong people and project management skills to effectively and efficiently drive complex program and streams in a complex environment


How to be successful in the role and at Ferrero:

Consumers, quality and care are at the heart of everything we do. So, to be successful at Ferrero, you’ll need to be just as consumer and product centric as we are - dedicated to crafting brilliant results for consumers around the world. 

Strong analytical mind, attention to details on one hand, and ability to cooperate with employees at all levels and great organisational skills on the other, would be key to success.  Employee contribution and engagement at Ferrero is based on the individual, team and organisation dimension, so you should have the ability to work independently, as a part of the team and build good relations with stakeholders at all levels.  Being flexible and dealing with a dynamic working environment as well as the ability to embed new knowledge and skills in existing competencies will definitely help you to become high performer here. 

Nearest Major Market: Chicago