Senior Innovation Manager

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About This

What is THIS?

THIS is a high-growth, VC-backed start-up producing plant-based food. Meat-alternatives, to be exact. In fact if we’re being reallllly exact - our products are at the leading-edge of the plant-based sector in terms of taste, texture and appearance. Here’s our insta, for a quick stalk - https://www.instagram.com/this.uk

It’s worth mentioning that since our launch in June 2019, the company has experienced extremely significant growth in revenue - around 35% compound every month we’ve been trading.

Why are we doing THIS?

We’re Andy and Pete - co-founders of THIS. Our last job entailed selling tonnes (literally tonnes) of meat. Then we felt bad. Also, we felt like meat-alternatives weren't realllllly for people who love the taste of meat. We felt like they were for people who like sandals and socks. So we've basically ended up making THIS for ourselves, but we'd love other meat-lovers to nom nom it too. THIS is a game-changer.

Job Description

The successful candidate will lead the innovation project team and pipeline; that means they’ll be responsible for launching all our kickass ideas to market. We’ve allocated over £500k of our latest funding round to build an R&D facility in Q4 2020. That will consist of a circa 5000sq ft space, lots of fun hardware, and an amazing team to run it all.

Key Responsibilities

  • Manage and lead the innovation pipeline for the business. This involves developing, maintaining and aligning the pipeline with the overall business ambitions - revenue, brand fit, competitive advantage and margin (to name a few!).
  • Lead the technical project team (5 reports and growing) of the innovation function delivering to the market new, industry-defining, plant-based products for THIS.
  • Oversee projects from concept to launch; through ideation, concept-building, feasibility, development, scale-up, and commercialisation. Manage these projects through stage gates, ensuring they align with the brief and business ambition.
  • Build the consumer insights function within the business, embedding this into the innovation pipeline and projects. Keeping a close eye on market trends and analysis and continually updating the business.
  • Drive quality and sustainability within all workstreams, compromising nowhere.
  • Oversee all work around incrementally improving the company’s existing products.
  • Taking on numerous external stakeholder relationships, to leverage the world’s best flavour, texture, processing, and ingredients expertise.
  • Additionally, work with Supply Chain partners including third-party manufacturers, co-packers, and packaging suppliers.
  • Co-ordinating and working cross-functionally with Operations, Supply Chain, Marketing & Business Development teams.
  • Establishing best practice procedures for the company around project management, risk management, and portfolio management.
  • Work with the Head of Innovation in building up the innovation team moving forwards.

Prerequisites

  • Someone with a deep, end-to-end understanding of the food innovation process, from idea conception to launching a product to market.
  • Degree in Food Science, Engineering, Chemistry, or equivalent.
  • >5 years experience within the FMCG area (other relevant industries acceptable).
  • >3 year experience in project management.
  • Previous experience managing innovation projects and project managers.
  • Experience in innovation strategy, consumer insights, risk management, and project network management.
  • A problem solver, someone who gets excited by challenging projects and tasks.
  • Experience in managing stakeholders and external partners (eg: suppliers)
  • A HUSTLER. This person will need to get sh*t done in a major way and knock through what will seem like brick walls. We are leading the category in terms of product, and for us to stay there, you will need to have a relentlessness that isn’t in everybody.
  • Previous people management experience is a must.
  • Positive attitude, proactivity and a tenacious character: things in our business can change very quickly, so being comfortable reacting quickly to unexpected opportunities and challenges is super important too!
  • Ability and interest to work cross-functionally, we’re a small team and believe that strong collaboration will take us further than working in silos
  • Honesty & integrity - a conviction in your work to improve your small patch of the world for yourself and for others
  • Team player: we’re colleagues but also mates (unless we're playing table tennis)

Benefits

  • A competitive salary that fairly recognises your experience and potential.
  • We are offering share-options in our company to everyone who joins us at this early stage
  • 25 days paid holiday plus bank-holidays – we care about our team’s wellbeing, so we make sure you have time to fully switch off, rest, and recharge.
  • Flexible working hours – We're not a 9-5. No-one will tap their watch if you prefer to start late and finish late because you like to go to the gym before work.
  • Our focus is on your ability to deliver for the business, not your ability to keep strict working hours.
  • We do really care about our team’s wellbeing so we give everyone a wellness allowance every year to spend on things that will improve their wellness like gym memberships, fitness classes, counselling, physio, meditation apps, and more.
  • Everyone has the opportunity to work from home a day a month, should they fancy it.
  • A values-led working environment that encourages putting people first, honesty, curiosity, and leadership.
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