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Sr Product Developer - Research, Development & Technology

Lisle, IL · Science/Research

A High Growth, Entrepreneurial Plant-Based Protein Company

Established in 2018, Greenleaf Foods is a leading consumer plant-based protein company committed to shaping the future of plant-based eating.
Our portfolio of plant-based protein brands includes Lightlife Foods and Field Roast Grain Meat Co.  Lightlife products inspire clean, nourishing health with a simple ingredient deck and great taste the entire family will enjoy. Lightlife is proud to make the country’s #1 brand of tempeh the #1 plant-based hot dog. Field Roast is known for bringing food enthusiasts together with globally inspired flavors, whole-food ingredients and innovative processes that make its plant-based meats and cheeses. Together, the brands feature more than 50 products and represent a leading market position in the plant-based protein category.
Are you looking for an opportunity to make an impact on a fast-growing company? Greenleaf Foods is headquartered 20 miles outside of Chicago in Elmhurst, IL and is an independent, wholly owned subsidiary of Maple Leaf Foods, Canada’s leading protein company. We have operations in Seattle, WA; Shelbyville, IN; and Turners Falls, MA. Our 500 associates embrace a strong, values-based culture and take pride in doing what’s right for our consumers, customers and communities.  Each Greenleaf team member has a voice and plays an active role in helping achieve our goals with passion and discipline. We thrive in an engaging, open and fast-paced environment. We support one another to grow professionally and to take on challenging experiences in the spirit of continuous improvement.

Sr Product Developer, Research, Development & Technology – Lisle IL

The Opportunity:

At Greenleaf Foods, we know that accelerating growth in the plant protein category is critical to realizing our vision to become The Most Sustainable Protein Company on Earth. Integrating new food technologies, world-class product designs and winning with best-tasting products, is imperative to achieving this vision as we strive to delight our consumers and strengthen our leadership position.

We are on a journey to hire individuals with great technical and commercial acumen to be part our amazing R&D family who share our passion for food and its impact on our lives and planet. As such, we are seeking a Product Developer to innovate, develop and commercialize great tasting, plant-based protein products. This role will be based out of our brand-new innovation center in Lisle, IL.

The position of Senior Product Developer will appeal to individuals who enjoy the challenge of participating in the creation and execution of new and improved products. The individual will need to be self-motivated, team oriented, enjoy a fast-paced environment, dogged in their pursuit of the end goal and capable of bringing creative approaches to the resolution of the broad array of challenges with which they will be confronted. He or she must also enjoy the 'hands-on' nature of the job that will require involvement in bench, pilot and plant activities. A passion for food science and technology with an ability to use science and technology to problem solve will be important.

  A snap shot of some of the exciting things you will lead and do:

  • Co-ordinate, plan, design and execute product development through all stages of development; concept to bench-top prototype development, pilot plant and full-scale manufacturing in support of the business initiatives.

  • Hands-on pilot plant experience with sound understanding on process conditions and ingredient impact on desired structure, appearance and textural attributes of alternative proteins.

  • Review and document raw ingredients, formulations and final product specifications to maintaining accurate records and to ensure compliance with Company standards.

  • Build SAP RD skills for the creation of labels, regulatory approvals and generation of all product SOP changes.

  • Consult and provide direction to internal customers (i.e. Purchasing/ Marketing/ Manufacturing/ Quality Assurance) by communicating information for product improvements and/or cost savings initiatives.

  • Conduct assessment of problematic product issues and work as part of a team to resolve the technical problems and execute the development/modification of products

  • Consult technical resources (literature, technical papers, academia, suppliers) to further product knowledge and apply the learning to execute projects.

  • Prepare and present technical reports/results, both written and oral, to associates, peers and occasionally to management with business and scientific clarity.

What we have to offer you:

  • Be part of a company with an inspiring and unique vision, with a deep commitment to sustainability and expanding its leadership in sustainable protein across North America

  • Professional and career development opportunities

  • Competitive Health and Pension plans

  • Commitment to Learning – courses, resources and tools provided to all employees


What you will bring:

  • BS, MS or PhD in Food Science, Food Engineering or in appropriate field. Preferably, active academic or industry research & development work in the field of Alternative Proteins

  • Over 5 years of specific experience (includes master’s degree if applicable) in Product Development.

  • Thesis /research work related to alternative proteins is highly considered, particularly on extrusion, texture / fiber creation, extrusion, emerging technologies, current and evolving ingredients, etc.

  • Functionally competent in MS Office programs            

  • Excellent communication skills through written and oral presentation abilities, providing clear and concise explanations of science and technology to technical and non-technical audiences.

  • Demonstrated solid research skills, curiosity and creative / innovative approaches to assess problems and solutions.

  • Proven ability to strategize, design and execute experimental plans. Deliver stretch objectives on time and budget.

  • Proactive, self-driven, results and action oriented, demonstrating passion, strong teamwork spirit, open mind and flexibility.

  • Flexibility of schedule – schedule may require various start times due to plant trials and start ups

About Greenleaf Foods, SPC

Headquartered in Elmhurst, IL, Greenleaf Foods, embraces a strong, values-based culture, where dedicated employees take pride in doing what’s right for consumers, customers and communities. Employees thrive in an engaging, open and inclusive workplace that fosters safety and transparency, along with individual leadership and responsibility. Each Greenleaf team member has a voice and plays an active role in helping all of us achieve our goals with passion and discipline. They support one another to grow professionally, to learn new skills and to take on challenging experiences in the spirit of continuous improvement.
Greenleaf Foods, SPC is committed to shaping the future of plant-based foods. Established in 2018, Greenleaf's portfolio of leading plant-based protein brands includes Lightlife Foods and Field Roast Grain Meat Co. Greenleaf is a wholly-owned, independent subsidiary of Maple Leaf Foods. In Q4 of 2020, Greenleaf is opening an Innovation Center to centralize, support and drive it’s innovation agenda.

Our Leadership Values

Eight core values guide us in everything that we do.

  • Doing What’s Right

  • High Performance

  • Disciplined Decision Making

  • Intense Curiosity

  • Shared Value

  • Diverse and Inclusive Teams

  • Our Accountability

  • Transparency and Humility

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