This position is responsible for developing new propriety-branded pet food products to drive customer loyalty, increase profitability, create competitive differentiation, and address merchandising assortment needs. This position leads product development for a specific area of PetSmart's fast growing dry, wet and treat proprietary brands business (es), driving to achieve corporate and departmental goals as well as developing key category strategies along with their Brand Dev and Buying partner(s). This role will develop and mentor one or more Associate Product Developers to build organizational bench strength, as well as recognize and cultivate talent.ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
include, but are not limited to:
- Manages assigned associate(s) while coaching, motivating, & conducting performance evaluations; identifies development & growth opportunities.
- Committed to developing themselves by going above & beyond from everyday tasks, to high level cross-departmental projects.
- Identifies and communicates best practice processes and procedures for the team and the department.
- Requires strong and concise communication skills, both verbal and written. Must be able to clearly communicate with sourcing offices and vendors.
- Must have strong customer service skills to build & maintain productive professional relationships with internal stakeholders / be an effective team player.
- Encourages diversity of thought & actions as well as holding themselves & others accountable.
- Must be able to work in a fast paced, high growth environment where priorities can change quickly while managing several projects & issues simultaneously.
- Ability to spot food trends, analyze competitive product and white space. Understands category pricing, & leverages customer needs to create winning strategies from ideation through commercialization.
- Responsible for product development project timelines & driving the process, ensuring all key milestones are met.
- Proactively follows up with vendors on project statuses, communicates any changes, additional details and/or risks to Director.
- Leads all efforts to cost engineer products to achieve or exceed margin requirements provided by Brand Dev and Buyer; also maximizes profits in existing products.
- Negotiates costing based on knowledge of production processes & raw materials.
- Responsible for the development of product in assigned area including assortment sheet and sample management.
- Coordinates & creates materials for various meetings, from team concept brainstorming to cross-functional presentations.
- Create developmental specifications including formulation during initial Product Development.
- Define Food Safety parameters and oversee initial Research & Development Test Runs.
- Review and approve all claim substantiation and maintain a claims library for all products and consumable brands.
- Conduct and manage ongoing studies to ensure products meet or exceed expectations to validate palatability and digestibility.
- Verify product names, ingredients, claims and GA values to meet AAFCO requirements during the packaging label review process.
- Create draft specifications with product attributes and tolerances defined during the final product development stages.
- Manage full production start-up for product launches and partner with QA for on-going manufacturing and compliance product needs.
- Maintain and manage formulation changes and specifications for key proprietary ingredients.
Supervises 1 or 2 Associates.EDUCATION and/or EXPERIENCE
Bachelor's degree in Food Science, Engineering or a related degree such as Food Manufacturing or Food Microbiology. Requires proficiency typically obtained with 3+ years' experience including 2+ years demonstrated leadership in retail product sourcing, development, merchandising and/or buying a plus.
A little about us:
If you're a devoted pet parent or an animal lover, you'll find a company that truly supports its associates and empowers them to succeed. Join us to help create a better world for pets and our pet parents.