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At Premier Nutrition, we’re a team cheering on our customers every step of the way. Maybe it’s in the PowerBar right before a marathon. Or in a post-workout bottle of Joint Juice. So many athletes count on us for healthy and transparent energy products, and that’s why we need a team that’s dedicated to building the future of nutrition. So come take the first step toward a career built on winning.

Sr. Manager of Innovation, R&D

Research & Development


Job Details


Premier Nutrition Corporation (PNC) distributes nutritional food products to the health-conscious consumer under the brand names Premier Protein, PowerBar, Supreme Protein, and Joint Juice. With its people first culture, PNC treats employees with positivity and empathy and embraces new and innovative ideas that spark passion, personal growth, and a healthy dose of fun around the office. Bringing dogs to work, company-wide volunteer days, philanthropy and sustainability programs, in-office massages, walking meetings and workouts at the adjacent City Sports Club gym are just a few ways we help you increase your own good energy.

What’s it like to work here? Picture the scrappy culture of a start-up, the innovativeness of a tech company, with the resources and systems of a respected consumer brand under the Post Holdings umbrella, and you should have a sense of what it feels like to work at PNC. You’ll walk into the brand-new Emeryville office each Monday morning and find a hundred of your colleagues sitting on sofas, overstuffed pillows, the floor, or beanbags talking through the week ahead and learning about each other.

PNC seeks individuals who will thrive in this collaborative work environment and will help build our high-growth company. Our leadership principles capture the behaviors we aspire to and celebrate here—from ‘embodying a strategic mindset’ to ‘building people up’, each is a valuable tool in practicing leadership consistent with our values. We are Builders – looking for ways to challenge the status quo; Champions of Positive Nutrition - taking our role as health and nutrition seriously; Better Together – because we know that success is only achievable through our collective efforts; and we Ring the Bell, by celebrating big and small wins.

PNC is part of the Active Nutrition segment and is operated by its own senior leadership team, with publicly traded Post Holdings, Inc. (FY 2018 sales of $6.3 billion) as a parent company acting in a “private equity” capacity. Post Holdings’ Active Nutrition segment is a leader in providing innovative products that support healthy, active lifestyles with over $800 million in sales. Premier Nutrition utilizes a third-party network for manufacturing, warehousing, and distribution. Post Holdings is comprised of the Active Nutrition portfolio, which includes PNC, Dymatize, ­­­and Active Nutrition International (protein bars, shakes and powder products), Post Consumer Brands (cereals), Michael Foods (eggs, potato, cheese, and pasta), Weetabix (cereals), private label business groups, and Bob Evans Farms (a leader in frozen breakfast meats and vegetables).


This is a senior-level R&D position (manager/technical expert). This position will lead a team of 4 food scientists and provide technical leadership, product and process development expertise and oversight to various innovation projects from ideation through commercialization. This position will demonstrate joint accountability (with marketing lead and project manager) for project success, by building strong partnerships with internal stakeholders and external resources to drive projects successfully to completion.


R&D People leadership and culture: 30% of TIME

  • Create, contribute and maintain a positive and enthusiastic environment of technical excellence, innovation know-how, consumer insight, and entrepreneurial spirit, all within high trust and integrity. Facilitates R&D driven innovation ideas.
  • Inspire and engage talent; Embody situation leadership based on skillset of team members and embrace coaching with radical candor; Identify stretch opportunities for RD staff and set up safety net so that failing forward is part of mindset. Responsible for technical and professional development based on skillset of team members.
  • Lead R&D staff to ensure successful completion of projects, balance workload and allocation of R&D staff, external partners and R&D Test Kitchen/lab/pilot line activities. Monitors activities against budget.
  • Critical thinking and technical leadership: 25% of TIME

  • Responsible for execution of all assigned projects and alignment with project brief, stage gate process, business strategies, standards and practices. Responsible for product compliance (food safety, ingredient usage, NLEA information, product claims) against internal and external standards (FDA, USDA, and third-party certification) through collaboration with regulatory, QA, marketing and other parties.
  • Takes active role in high risk projects to help mitigate risks, remove barriers, help define contingency plans and provide support/mentorship to scientist.
  • Identifies area for continuous improvement and puts action plan in place.
  • Provides technical expertise to solve problems on ingredients, formulations, processing, sensory and consumer testing. Maintain up to date knowledge of ingredients and technology.
  • Innovation mind set and skill set: 25% of TIME

  • Stays on top of relevant trends through professional network, seminars, individual research. Ability to leverage suppliers and vendors.
  • Provides strategic insight to long term R&D plans and/or pipeline –e.g. input on resources, skill gaps, equipment needs and facility upgrades.
  • Identify opportunities to leverage new tools and processes.
  • Influence and leadership skills: 20% of time

  • Ability to influence LT, ELT and co-workers across organization.
  • Lead cross-functional initiatives and build cross-functional partnerships.
  • Represents R&D function, advocates for R&D resources and provides insights, solutions and critical thinking as necessary.


  • Required: BS Food Science, Food Engineering, Biological Sciences, Chemical Engineering or similar disciplines.
  • Preferred: Advanced degree in a related field.
  • Experience:

  • 10+ years of experience in Food industry (CPG), aseptic formulation, processing and packaging:
  • formulation expertise in dairy (milk and dairy proteins), gums, stabilizers, clean label and non-GMO
  • commercialization of products at co-manufacturing facilities
  • collaboration with vendors/suppliers
  • technical troubleshooting
  • Analytical and shelf life testing
  • 5+ years people management
  • Skills:

  • Required:
  • Demonstrated ability to work effective in team environment through excellent interpersonal, influencing and communication skills (both written and verbal)
  • Ability to excel in dynamic fast paced business environment, demonstrated ability to self-motivate and manage multiple priorities
  • Communicate technical details to business (effective translation of technical info to business language) to drive decision making
  • Demonstrated presentation skills to ensure understanding at various levels of organization, including LT and ELT.
  • Travel up to 20%
  • Preferred:
  • Demonstrated product development in high protein nutritional products
  • Post Holdings provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, status as a covered veteran and any other category protected under applicable federal, state, provincial and local laws.


    Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities

    The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor’s legal duty to furnish information.

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