The Senior Manager, Innovation for the Branded Ice Cream Portfolio provides leadership in creating and delivering the innovation strategy and pipeline for Branded Ice Cream Portfolio across Mayfield, Friendly’s, Dean’s Country Fresh and Steve’s ice cream brands, which compete in the packaged frozen dessert (PFD) and frozen novelty (FN) categories in multiple price tiers (Super-Premium, Mainstream Premium, Mainstream Value). Reporting directly to the Senior Director of Innovation, the Senior Manager of Innovation will work closely with the ice cream business leadership team, brand marketing, research partners, R&D, Finance, Sales, Operations, and Manufacturing to identify market trends, key innovation problems to solve based on brand & consumer understanding, competitive advantage, commercialization path and profitability. Successful traits include strong collaboration & influencing skills (up-down-across), thriving in ambiguity, creative problem-solving, resourceful and action-oriented, resiliency & tenacity in the face of business challenges.
In addition, this individual will be responsible for:
- Identify market trends that can be leveraged to continually stock the innovation pipeline and/or be used as the foundation for opportunity analyses
- Develop and deliver the long and short term vision for branded ice cream innovation concepts to deliver on the company’s growth agenda
- In addition to new product development, help facilitate the renovation of existing products and packaging innovation
- Lead the annual innovation and insight plans for ice cream (innovation summit, AOP), which reflect the organization’s long-term strategy and current information needs
- Identify, partner with, and manage external vendors in the execution of research and innovation projects
- Lead the innovation taskforce and partner with cross-functional partners to define, design, develop and deploy the innovation initiatives, from insights through commercialization, for innovation state gate approvals. Commercialization time horizon for initiatives will be 1-3 years.
- Define sales execution framework (Distribution, Shelving, Merchandising, & Pricing) for key innovation initiatives
- Manage multiple time-sensitive projects at a time to deliver actionable results
- Maintain the ice cream innovation budget and ensure adherence to plan
- Use syndicated (Nielsen/IRI data) and proprietary data sources (internal sales data)
- Perform other duties as assigned
- Bachelor’s degree in Marketing, MBA preferred.
- 8 years’ experience working in and leading portfolio innovation across multiple brands.
- Classically trained CPG marketer with experience in turnaround organizations.
- Ice Cream and Frozen Novelty category experience.
- Proven ability building & selling business plans. Firm grasp of total system economics, including P&L drivers and capital plan development.
- Flexible & responsive in a dynamic business environment. Strong organizational and time management skills, able to manage multiple & shifting priorities. Strong project manager. Comfortable engaging/leading cross-functional teams.
- Able to create structure and process where it currently does not exist. Strong entrepreneurial acumen. Able to quickly assess an opportunity with incomplete data, frame a strategy, business case, and action plan; then drive a team to execute in market.
- Familiarity with Nielsen/IRI scanning and panel data metrics
- A successful career progression, with a history of increasing levels of responsibility
- Proficient in MS Office 365 (Excel, Word, Powerpoint), Sharepoint, Teams, Planner.