Innovation Manager

Wichita, KS:Minneapolis, MN:
Jan 11, 2017
Mar 30, 2017
Contract Type
Full Time

Innovation Manager-WIC03519 Working at Cargill is an opportunity to thrive—a place to develop your career to the fullest while engaging in meaningful work that makes a positive impact around the globe. You will be proud to work for a company with a strong history of ethics and a purpose of nourishing people. We offer a diverse, supportive environment where you will grow personally and professionally as you learn from some of the most talented people in your field. With 150 years of experience Cargill provides food, agriculture, financial and industrial products and services to the world. We have 150,000 employees in 70 countries who are committed to feeding the world in a responsible way, reducing environmental impact and improving the communities where we live and work. Learn more at


Cargill Protein is a leader at delivering primary processed and value added proteins into the Foodservice, Retail and Manufacturing market channels. It operates several food processing facilities located in the US and Canada. Our customers in Foodservice are comprised of large national restaurant chain operators, contract feeding companies and both national and regional foodservice distributors. Our Retail customers are comprised of primarily large national grocery retailers and warehouse clubs. Our Manufacturing customers are comprised of large branded manufacturers of retail consumer packaged goods. The customers from these channels are attracted to working with Cargill because of our demonstrated leadership in delivering innovative products, integrity, operational excellence, food safety and risk management.

Cargill's Protein Group has an opportunity available for a US based Innovation Manager. This role is accountable for driving the Cargill Protein Group Retail and Protein Ingredient Channel's H2 Innovation efforts across all protein types. The role will use consumer insights, industry information, and category data to fill the H2 innovation pipeline to drive bottom line growth for the business. The H2 Innovation Manager at Cargill Protein Group is expected to: 1) Lead the businesses H2 innovation projects, 2) Develop pre-charter opportunities to create an ongoing innovation pipeline of new products and services that meets the growth objectives of the Retail and Protein Ingredient Channels, 3) Act as a business partner across functions in the Retail and Protein Ingredient Channels to identify and prioritize new product opportunities and next generation customer solutions, 4) Collaborate across Cargill on high value opportunities, identify larger opportunities for Cargill Protein Group innovation within the scope of an overall Cargill Protein Group strategy, and 5) Partner with operations, procurement, supply chain, and regulatory in managing projects and products throughout their respective lifecycles. The ideal candidate will possess high integrity, courage, and character as personal traits.


50% Identify, develop and conduct work on high value H2 innovation opportunities for Cargill Protein Group. Focus is on front end innovation research to drive growth through H2 Innovation in the Retail and Protein Ingredient Channels. This will include the design and development of methodologies, tools, and processes for conducting complex projects, as well as knowledge of existing Cargill Protein Group equipment, capabilities and product portfolios. The successful candidate will have in depth experience in conducting research, risk analysis, and scalability.

20% Prioritize new product offerings and product improvement projects based on business objectives. Work with Channel Marketing, Consumer Insights and Business Leads on consumer insights and/or customer insights led innovation through the use of consumer and marketplace insights & trends, unmet industry needs, and future capability needs. Produce a multi-year H2 innovation pipeline that meets consumer, customer, and business objectives. Value will be measured on success rate projects through the innovation pipeline as well as AOE from new products delivered annually.

20% Acting H2 Innovation Champion for Cargill Protein Group Retail and Protein Ingredient Channels, input into Retail and Protein Ingredient Innovation R&D strategy.

10% Strategic collaboration across channels: Collaborate with other channels and Cargill business areas for value added protein innovation and creative consumer and/or customer solutions.



    • BA/BS degree in food science or related field
    • 6 years combined professional experience in R&D
    • A minimum of 3 years of experience with project or portfolio management
    • Demonstrated experience in project management
    • Demonstrated proficiency in working with ambiguous direction
    • Proven ability to turn ideas into commercialized products - technical acumen
    • Experience working successfully in a matrix organization
    • Design of Experiments
    • Demonstrated financial and business acumen
    • This position requires a high level of proficiency using Microsoft Office tools and business reporting systems
    • Strong organizational and accuracy skills
    • Experience working with cross-functional teams (marketing, insights, sales, ops, FSQR, multiple proteins)
    • Ability to manage multiple complex projects simultaneously
    • Excellent communication and conflict management skills required
    • Good decision-making; ability to prioritize goals and work
    • Strategic thinker with ability to build effective plans to support strategic initiatives
    • Must be tech-savvy and comfortable with evolving business-critical technology
    • Occasional travel; up to 30%

    Preferred Qualifications

    • Advanced degree (MS or PhD) in meat science, food science or related field

    • Experience leading teams

    • Operations experience

Equal Opportunity Employer, including Disability/Vet.

Job Research and Development

Primary Location US-KS-Wichita

Other Locations US-MN-Minneapolis

Schedule Full-time

Job Type Standard

Shift Day Job