R&D Tea Expertise Manager, Pepsi Lipton Global

  • Company: Unilever
  • Location: Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
  • Posted: January 26, 2017
  • Reference ID: 170000EE

Pepsi Lipton is a Joint Venture formed between Unilever and Pepsico in order to capitalise on the continuing growth of the Ready-to-Drink Tea market. It is a global business worth USD 2.8 billion and growing fast. Its vision is to double the size of the business in the next 5 years. PL JV operates globally with three distinct brands Lipton, Brisk and Pure Leaf. The business is supported by 3 main R&D centers: Colworth UK, Valhalla US and Shanghai China.

We are looking for a passionate Tea professional, who brings to the table a mix of Tea expertise and flair - combining excellence in product design as well as in market activation of innovation. This is a unique and challenging opportunity to partner with 2 multi-national companies, and also to join a dynamic team with an unquenchable thirst for drinks that brings vitality to life for consumers through novel drinks propositions.

Candidates would be expected to have a sound appreciation of tea origins, tea tasting, sourcing, sustainability, recipe innovation & renovation. Essentially, a holistic understanding of not just Product Design (quality, quality, cost, sustainability, seasonality, regulatory), but equally, of being able to creatively & passionately selling this to stakeholders (e.g. retail customers, food service customers) through compelling storytelling.

There are some of the responsibilities of the job:

  • Identify opportunities to feed into the innovation funnel, based on an understanding of category trends and markets insights. This would be underpinned by understanding the key drivers of preference for various product segments and formats, and fit to brand,
  • Be the 1st point of contact for all things ingredient-related. Provide in-depth knowledge of tea ingredients & derivatives from a chemical & production lens. Write and manage ingredient specifications. Act as technical consultant for factories & suppliers. Have strong regulatory/FSMA/pesticides & contaminants knowledge and problem solving skills to supporting Quality teams
  • Support the product developers and inspire product development briefs by developing winning recipes and prototypes for innovations and renovations
  • Build in (upfront) storytelling aspects into proposed prototypes, at Design stage itself - so that such ammunition is ready, when deploying winning mixes into Customers/market
  • Support PR (roadshow-type promotional) activity, or ‘concept’ stores – by showcasing deep tea credentials around provenance & blend selection, and to engagingly tell these stories (behind our brands)
  • Connect with key suppliers to build capability and knowledge which is relevant across PL JV brands.

  • University Degree qualification – either in human sciences or business (e.g. Economics, Sociology, Marketing) or in Agronomy/food science/Gastronomy (e.g. Plant science, nutrition, food technology)
  • Tea Trained (taster, sommelier, blender, buyer) with a minimum work experience of 3-5 years in R&D (product development) or Supply Chain (Quality, Procurement)
  • Previous product development experience in Beverages and/or a knowledge of RTD/Tea would be highly desirable
  • Robust ‘bush-to-brand understanding of the end-to-end Tea value chain (ranging from where tea comes from, on one hand, to where/how its drunk, on the other)
  • A mix of analytical creative thinking (identifying patterns in trends, to eke out new ideas)
  • Strong communicator, articulate speaker, inspirational storyteller
  • Technical specification and supply chain support experience
  • Ability to build cross-functional relationships and work as a strong team-player
  • A ‘self-starter’ with good time and project management skills, ability to work independently
  • Demonstrable Science & technology and/or business & marketing experience appreciation
Please note: as part of the job application, you may be asked to complete pre-screening questions. Completion of the pre-screening questions are mandatory in order to be considered. Please allow yourself plenty of time to complete both the application and pre-screening questions. If the pre-screening questions are partially answered or not at all, it will adversely affect the progress of your application. Please be aware that you will have to complete the pre-screening questions at once as you will be unable to return to it later.

Unilever is an organization committed to diversity and inclusion to drive our business results and create a better future every day for our diverse employees, global consumers, partners, and communities. We believe a diverse workforce allows us to match our growth ambitions and drive inclusion across the business.
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