PB Careers: Ahold Delhaize, Manager Product Innovation

PB Careers: Ahold Delhaize, Manager Product Innovation

Company Location Scarborough, Maine, United States

Position Summary:
Responsible for owning, identifying, creating and delivering break-through product development, innovation, differentiation and renovation across the assigned Private Brands (PB) portfolio of products working in conjunction with PB Product Managers and Categories. Interpreting and defining business innovation ideas/concepts and leveraging Culinary Center team to bring these concepts to life. Execute guardrails and processes of product development in order to ensure full alignment with brand standards and become famous for Private Brands.

Principle Duties and Responsibilities:

Product Development & Innovation

Drive for innovation and differentiation to become famous for Private Brands

  • Acts as lead Product Innovation Manager for a specific local Brand with expertise in assigned portfolios
  • Works with Private Brand Managers to implement the category development strategies to strengthen suppliers, quality and innovation for Private Brand’s products in line with the required timelines.
  • Identifies and implements product portfolio opportunities through innovation and competitor analysis in assigned categories.
  • Develops, executes, and initiates development with vendors, Private Brand Managers and Category teams in assigned category areas.
  • Oversees and maintains brand integrity of Product Development in the portfolio, from concept through production.
  • Ensures product lines are appropriate for the designated customer segment to make us Famous for Private Brands.
  • Help identify category product development priorities and timetables consistent with the priorities and needs of Private Brands and assess and manage the balance between workload and available time.
  • Manages the integrity of all Private Brands products consistent with the brand definition and strategy. Ensures product lines are appropriate for the designated customer segment.
  • Works with Culinary Center team to bring ideas to life.
  • Exudes a high degree of credibility and the ability to work with and through all levels of management (including Category Management leadership)

Product Improvement

Establishes new/existing product development as a competitive advantage from financial and consumer perspectives with a focus on renovation

  • Continually seeks opportunities, in conjunction with suppliers, Private Brand Managers, and Category Managers, to drive renovation, reduce overall costs and improve quality of product (as appropriate) in assigned categories.
  • Identifies and works with ingredient suppliers and manufacturers to bring innovative ingredients to aid renovation efforts. Works with Product Renovation leads and Culinary Center team as relevant.
  • Drives financial results by providing product development options that differentiate the brand from other products in the marketplace or equally preferred to national brand items but with higher margins in assigned categories.
  • Works closely with manufacturers, Private Brand Managers and Merchandising teams involving product by category, quality concerns and overall aesthetics of the product in assigned categories.
  • Defines continuously improves and manages the overall product development process including new products, product improvements and gross margin improvements; encompassing product formulation for assigned categories.

Consumer Insights

Shows relentless effort to understand the customer

  • Responsible for understanding consumer trends and delivering new and innovative products that meet our customer needs within assigned categories.
  • Identifies unique product attributes and benefits to achieve brand differentiation related to seasonal products, platforms, key business shifts and new product concepts within assigned categories.
  • In conjunction with Culinary Center Team responsible for gathering, analyzing and interpreting market data and consumer research to identify emerging trends and consumer needs and/or behaviors that provide insights leading to product innovation, renovation and differentiation within assigned categories.
  • Maintain knowledge of niche products, ingredients and competitor products though competitor store visits, Trade Shows, trade and consumer media as well restaurant, food service and consumer shows/events leveraging the culinary center team.
  • Keeps categories informed regarding industry and consumer trends.
  • Leads and manages the team feedback, sensory guidance and technical direction between Consumer Insights and the product vendor and or other external technical resources for assigned categories.
  • Develops and maintains strong internal and external partnerships.

Basic Requirements:

Education: Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education and related work experience

Experience: 5+ years of related experience

Skills and Responsibilities:

  • Presentation skills
  • Strong analytical & problem skills
  • Oral and written communication skills
  • Negotiation skills
  • Consumer (Food or Non-Food) product development; with minimum of 2 years in a cross-functional (formula, package and process) role
  • Knowledge of sensory testing and guidance and consumer product testing
  • Success in product innovation and new product development and commercialization
  • Substantial experience with product improvements and product lifecycle management
  • Expertise in consumer food/non-food trends and the ability to identify and define key product quality and sensory attributes
  • Solid understanding of consumer products brand management
  • Strong merchant knowledge
  • Understanding of the private label retail food business environment and metrics
  • Culinary experience or combination of Food Science/Culinary arts

Seniority Level: Mid-Senior level
Retail Supermarkets
Employment Type: 
Job Functions: 
Product Management, Research


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Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.