VP of Product Development and Innovation, Food & Treats
A monthly box of dog goodies
WHO ARE WE?
The BARK Eats team is bringing your dog's sophisticated palate into the 21st century. We're creating the future of every dog's relationship with food. As BARK’s latest venture, we have big goals to serve dogs around the globe - but we have a huge advantage in our relationships with so many awesome dogs already. This is a huge market that's wide open for the innovation we're bringing in both product AND service. We’re adding entrepreneurial, customer-obsessed problem solvers to our team to help bring this big vision to life.
WHO WERE LOOKING FOR:
This year, BARK will send over 5 million tons of food and treats to our customers - that’s 435 thousand times the weight of the average male beagle. We aspire to grow this number rapidly and are looking for a visionary product developer to help BARK become a leader in the food and treats category, building on our existing portfolio and distribution. Reporting to BARK’s SVP of Creative, and a member of the Creative Leadership Team, the VP of Product Development and Innovation, Food and Treats will work with business leads to build and develop BARK’s point of view and strategy, drive the development and launch of new products and oversee the innovation roadmap in the category. As a leader, you will drive our overall ambition level and technical expertise in food and treats, and build a process and team that supports and is accountable for delivering projects on time, within budget and of high quality.
- Manage & build the technical Food Science / Product Development team (retention, growth, training, staffing)
- Encourage and facilitate continuous learning, exploration and innovation of new ingredients, process, techniques, etc.
- Establish partnerships and identify opportunities for M&A that expand our technical capabilities and market share
- Organize Product Development team to execute and deliver projects on time and on budget, in partnership with our business leaders
- Collaborate with and influence product support groups such as sourcing, packaging, merchandising, and operations
- Partner with Marketing, Sourcing and Operations, to maximize performance of product launches
- Establish, track and report on KPIs established with business and product leads - guide team to evaluate and accelerate business opportunities based on results and insights
- Set quality standard for ourselves and our partners and work collaboratively across Sourcing and Operations to review and monitor quality and process improvements and new product development
- Provide quantitative analysis and input to all Innovation decisions and strategy, including preparation of any materials required to advance initiatives
- Strive to be not just a leader in the space within BARK, but represent BARK externally as a pioneer in the space
Product Portfolio and Project Management:
- Develop and collaborate on a technical strategy and project portfolio to deliver business objectives for 2021-2023
- Provide preliminary technical assessment on innovation ideas, including resource constraints & cost-opportunity or prioritization implications
- Identify new product and platform concepts and develop 3 year rolling innovation pipeline
- Assign resources to approved projects, ensuring high value and critical corporate initiatives are prioritized and resourced appropriately
- Direct innovation product development. Develop project portfolio and budget to meet goals, negotiate project objectives and measures, liaise with sourcing and commercial partners to prioritize portfolio, and ensure portfolio delivers revenue targets.
- Develop and manage product development budget
- Provide technical & project management guidance to food scientists (and other teammates) throughout the process. Provide input to project timelines, and challenge contingency plans to project risks & roadblocks.
- Accountable for ensuring the product development process is followed with discipline and deliverables are met on time, within budget, and the work product has the highest quality
- Set standards and accountability for quality and shelf-life that are continuously monitored
- Approve all technical specifications
SKILLS & QUALIFICATIONS:
- Curious and obsessed with learning new processes, ingredients, and human behaviors
- An inspiring leader, who leads by example and action and can lift others up to your ambition level
- Able to clearly communicate your point of view, both verbally and written
- A relationship builder, excited by the opportunity to partner with team members cross-functionally and externally
- A strategic thinker and approach business initiatives with an entrepreneurial spirit
- Ability to communicate effectively with staff at all levels of the organization
- Excellent at planning and prioritization skills with the ability to multi-task and adapt
- Able to demonstrate great judgment when making important decisions for the business
- A willingness to challenge “best practices” and norms to maximize our resources and success
- Analytical and obsessed with tracking both qualitative and quantitative KPI’s
- 15+ years successful experience in product development or R&D in the pet food industry, preferably in the dog category, with at least 10 years in a leadership capacity
- Experience in a high-volume manufacturing environment, preferably in the Consumer Packaged Goods Industry
- Bachelor’s Degree in Food Science or Engineering or related field preferable
- Experience in preparing and managing department budgets
- Experience building a innovation pipeline and prioritizing / resourcing against it
- Strong problem-solving and analytical skills
- Demonstrated ability to work cross functionally with Marketing, Merchandising and Sourcing through effective communication
- Experience working with contract manufacturers, material vendors, new technologies
- Successful track record of project management experience, and taking project from concept to commercialization
This position is a full-time, salaried position. BARK currently has offices in NYC and Columbus, Ohio, but working remotely is also an option. We offer health insurance for both you and your pup, 401k, wonderful team lunches, cold brew on tap, and a dog to pet anytime you wish.
Here at BARK, we love dogs and their people. We’re looking to make all dogs happy throughout the entire world (we’re not kidding). Think Disney for dogs -- we make magic for dogs and their people through our products, events, and experiences.
Our ambition level is high, the opportunity is huge, and our love for dogs is through the roof! We launched in 2011 with BarkBox, a monthly-themed subscription of all-natural treats and clever toys. Since then, we've shipped more than 70 million toys and treats to the dogs across the world and use all of that direct customer feedback to inform new initiatives and ways to make magic between dogs and their people. We’ve since expanded into other offerings as well, as we aim to become THE Dog Company for every family with a four-legged, belly-scratch-loving, interspecies family member.
There are 80 million dogs in the US. Not all of them have their own BarkBox subscriptions…yet. But you can help. BarkBox is hiring, and employees get a spot in their sunny new office and health insurance for employee and pup (no joke).
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