Sr Food Scientist

ConAgra Foods (
Defense Contracting


  Full Time   Employee

United States

Build your career at ConAgra Foods.  At ConAgra Foods, we make great food — everyday food — in extraordinary ways, which is why we’re creating meaningful career opportunities for the best and the brightest. Whether you’re a recent graduate or an experienced professional, ConAgra Foods provides extraordinary job opportunities for growth with competitive salaries and benefits in an exciting, fast-paced workplace.

Job Summary

Provide technical expertise and leadership on product development activities across all multiple product categories in support of the McDonald’s Business Unit. Carry out strategic initiatives that directly influence the achievement of business objectives. Effectively build and maintain strong relationships with both internal and external partners. This role will be located in Downers Grove, IL however will relocate to an alternate location near the Chicagoland area early next year.

Position Responsibilities

·  Lead and carry out product development activities across multiple product categories including benchtop prototypes, hands on plant testing, scale-up and coordination of all aspects including nutrition information, ingredient statements, packaging and labeling issue, sensory testing, customer required documentation, etc.

·  Support product development activities for secondary categories as needed

·  Work closely with the McDonald’s Culinary Team to translate Gold Standard recipes into commercially viable new products for McDonald’s across the globe.

·  Use influence management skills to lead enterprise Research, Quality & Innovation teams to develop new products and processes or improve existing products and processes.

·  Work with the plants to define quality standards for key attributes, write specifications, and assure that improvement/maintenance issues are handled correctly and within the timeframe required by McDonald’s.

·  Anticipate McDonald’s needs by identifying, testing and implementing continuous improvement, contingency improvement and cost savings opportunities.

·  Support the Field Service team to test and deliver restaurant innovation across all core product areas.

·  Work with MBU Culinary and Insights to proactively develop new products for McDonald’s while adhering to international regulatory requirements and McDonald’s strategic initiatives

·  Occasional customer presentations

·  Lead and partner with product development teams from other suppliers on continuous improvement projects for McDonald’s

·  Support focus groups, central location testing, sensory evaluation testing and market blitzes for new and core products

·  Participate at Regional and Worldwide McDonald’s conventions and meetings as appropriate.

·  Prepare written and oral technical presentations for internal and external customers.

·  Act as a subject matter expert in training management as well as hourly employees on technical issues that will aid in their decision-making and job performance and lead to higher quality products for the customer.

·  Design and improve sensory evaluation procedures for new and core products.

·  Up to 50% travel, primarily domestic

Additional Skills/Competencies:

·  Self-motivated with strong attention to detail

·  Humility

·  Flexibility

·  Customer service mindset

·  Sense of urgency

·  Creative, innovative, and great collaborator

·  Excellent at problem solving

·  Global curiosity

Position Qualifications

·  BS in Food Science or related field with a minimum of 5 years’ experience in product development required, MS preferred

·  Experience with Foodservice product development preferred

·  Excellent understanding of food science and technology principles, and ability to apply them in product development and commercialization

·  Experience with a broad range of product categories

·  Experience in baked goods development and commercialization preferred

·  Understanding of generating nutrition information, ingredient statements, packaging and labeling issues

·  Experience supporting McDonald’s Menu Innovation process and knowledge of McDonald’s restaurant operations around the world strongly preferred

·  Ability to taste and distinguish sensory characteristics of many different types of products

· Ability to think creatively and innovatively with respect to both products, processes and execution at the restaurant level

·  Excellent ability to manage a large number of projects concurrently

·  Ability to influence enterprise RQI team

·  Global regulatory awareness

·  Knowledge of financial aspects of food and restaurant business

·  Strong coordination skills and ability to excel in a fluid, cross-functional team environment

·  Must be well balanced between the strategic view of the work and the executional aspects of the job

·  Excellent communication (verbal and written) and influencing skills

·  Strong presentation skills both to customers and internal contacts

·  Ability to travel up to 50% of the time

Physical Requirements:

·  Exposure to manufacturing processes and equipment for periodic extended workdays

·  Ability to lift up to 60 lbs. on a regular basis

·  Driving a company or rental automobile 4 to 6 hours as needed






This position description is not intended, and should not be construed to be, an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, skills, efforts or working conditions associated with the job.  It is intended, however, to be an accurate reflection of those principal job elements essential for making decisions related to job performance, employee development and compensation.  As such, the incumbent may perform other duties and responsibilities as required.


ConAgra Foods, Inc., is an equal opportunity employer and considers qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, disability, veteran status or any other protected factor under federal, state or local law.

Research and Development

To apply for this job, contact:
Phil Ziolkowski

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