PB Careers: Ahold Delhaize RBS – VP Private Brands Product Development and Innovation

Company Name: Retail Business Services 
Company Location: Quincy, Massachusetts, United States

Position Summary:
Lead new product development, innovation, and renovation for the Private Brands portfolio of products in order to ensure full alignment with brand standards and become famous for Private Brands. This role is responsible for owning all product and packaging innovations and monitoring product and packaging trends. This role will oversee and operate a culinary test kitchen.

Principle Duties and Responsibilities:

1. Product Development & Innovation

  • Drive for innovation and differentiation to become famous for Private Brands
  • Implements the category development strategies to strengthen suppliers, quality and innovation for all Private Brands products.
  • Develops, executes, and initiates development with vendors, PB Product Managers and Category teams.
  • Oversees and maintains brand integrity of Product Development in portfolio, from concept through production.
  • Ensures product lines are appropriate for the designated customer segment to make us Famous for Private Brands.
  • Helps identify product development priorities and timetables consistent with the priorities and needs of Private Brands and assesses and manages the balance between workload and development resources.
  • 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.
  • Develops the strategic plans for the Private Brands culinary center
  • Responsible to oversee the Private Brands culinary center and plays the role of liaison with the rest of the organization to promote and maximize the use of it to create famous innovative and breakthrough products
  • Responsible to develop the Private Brands product packaging strategy (i.e. functionality, sustainability and aesthetics)
  • Product Improvement
  • Establishes new product development as a competitive advantage from financial and consumer perspectives with a focus on renovation
  • Continually seeks opportunities, often in conjunction with suppliers, PB Product Managers and Category Managers, to drive renovation, reduce overall costs and improve quality of product (as appropriate).
  • 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. Works closely with manufacturers, PB Product Managers and Merchandising teams involving product by category, quality concerns and overall aesthetics of the product.
  • Defines, continuously improve and manages the overall product development process including new products, product improvements, and gross margin improvements; encompassing product formulation and packaging innovations.
  • 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.

3. Consumer Insights

  • Shows relentless effort to understand the customer and delivering unbeatable value
  • Responsible for understanding consumer trends and delivering new and innovative products that meet our customer needs.
  • Leads and manages the team feedback, sensory guidance and technical direction between Consumer Insights and the product vendor and or other external technical resources.
  • Participates in the development of department budgets and manages expenses effectively. Identifies unique product attributes and benefits to achieve brand differentiation related to seasonal products, platforms, key business shifts and new product concepts.
  • Develops and maintains strong internal and external partnerships. Leads and manages the team feedback, sensory guidance and technical direction between Consumer Insights and the product vendor and or other external technical resources.

4. Talent Development & Leadership

  • Leads the Private Brands Product Development team at RBS USA
  • Responsible for the development, talent planning, career guidance, and performance management of Our Brands associates at RBS
  • Influences organizational alignment across multiple areas at RBS and the Brands (Our Brands evangelist at RBS and the Brands)
  • Exudes a high degree of credibility and the ability to work with and through all levels of management (including Category Management leadership)
  • Creates a positive work environment and has the ability to inspire and motivate others
  • Delivers intentional and authentic on-going feedback

Basic Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education and related work experience
  • 10+ years of related experience
    Minimum of four years of management experience

Skills and Abilities:

  • Supervisory/leadership skills
  • Presentation skills
  • Strong analytical & problem skills
  • Oral and written communication skills
  • Negotiation skills
  • Ability to analyze, interpret and take appropriate action on information.
  • Consumer food product development; with a minimum of 3 years in a cross-functional (formula, package, and process) leadership role strategic planning
  • Success in product innovation and new product development and commercialization
  • Expertise in sensory testing and guidance and consumer product testing
  • Ability to critically evaluate multiple aspects of food products
  • Significant experience with product improvements and product lifecycle management
  • Creativity, culinary aptitude and a passion for working with food
  • Expertise in consumer food trends and the ability to identify and define key product quality and sensory attributes
  • Solid understanding of consumer food products brand management
  • Strong merchant knowledge
  • Understanding of the private label retail food business environment and metrics
  • Influence/communicate cross-functionally
  • Customer focus Initiative
  • Ability to adapt and drive change
  • Ability to inspire and motivate others
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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.