Manager, Trademark Excellence Sensory Insights

Full Time
Fond du Lac


Grande Cheese Company is a family owned enterprise built on a tradition, quality and outstanding performance. We are dedicated to our cultural pride, professional excellence and to the dignity and respect of our Associates.

Job Summary

Responsible for leading, developing and applying sensory science, and product knowledge to integrate into innovative and new product development, product improvement, process improvement and quality programs. Responsible for managing and developing scientists and/or technicians in support of  Sensory, Innovation, New Product Development and Trademark Excellence initiatives. Coordinates and supervises the daily activities of the team and sets priorities. Responsible for participating in or leading activities that define and perpetuate Sensory, Innovation, Research and Development.

Job Duties & Responsibilities

1. Talent Management

  • Advocates for effective execution of the performance management process by collaborating with direct report/s to set clear objectives, goals and expectations.  Conducts regular coaching and constructive feedback discussions to review performance and goal progress, assist with challenges, and identify strengths and development areas, all to support Associate professional and career development, while increasing engagement and motivation.
  • Supports workforce planning and talent acquisition strategies by effectively staffing and hiring diverse talent for the organization. 
  • Addresses Associate relations and performance issues in a timely manner and/or makes appropriate decisions relative to performance challenges. 


2.    Sensory Leadership and Trademark Excellence Integration

  • Calibrates in accordance with Sr. Flavor Architect and VP of R&D on product standards, peak performance and ideal cheese criteria for flavor, texture, appearance and  functionality for all cheeses. Aligns with and demonstrates Trademark principles through guidance provided to new product and improvement and quality judgments and recommendations.
  • Lead, maintain and apply sensory science to new product, product improvement achievement, Trademark Advancement and process improvement programs.
  • Plan and implement Trademark Advancement Projects utilizing sensory analysis and insights.
  • Support development of product using descriptive analysis panel and focus panel (DTS) which includes quality control /cheesemakers, product category expert while being highly connected to Sr. Flavor Architect and Chief Flavor Architect.
  • Provide guidance to team in interpreting and approving product/process improvement changes from a Trademark Excellence and sensory science perspective.
  • Assist in developing and approving product identity for new products.
  • Makes product disposition decisions when needed.
  • Interprets Product Survey sensory data and data from other quality programs and makes recommendations on product quality and improvement.
  • Provide expert knowledge and advice as required. 
  • Maintains a scientific knowledge base and capability in cheese technology and sensory science.
  • Maintains and understands key scientific competencies for sensory science; is recognized for sensory science expertise.
  • Provides scientific information and perspectives for other departments (Procurement, Operations, Quality Assurance, Technical Services, Starter Culture, Quality Control, New Product Development, Sales, and Marketing).
  • Teach and train sensory science and product insight to other Associates in the business.
  • Particpiation in VOC and POC studies with S&M


3.     Innovation, New Product Development Support and Research Activities

  • Performs complex work utilizing established methods and techniques; follows procedures within framework of applied technology. Authority within established precedents or well defined policy with some managerial direction and review.
  • Link Trademark Excellence Product insight and sensory to new product development and collaborate effectively with the rest of the NPD team to influence, develop, streamline, commercialize, and launch new products and processes.
  • Be a technical asset for NPD and other cross functional departments in the development of new products.
  • Maintain a strong level of expertise in NPD.
  • In partnership with the NPD project manager, provide insights, expertise, and knowledge as needed.
  • In partnership with Sales & Marketing provide key sensory, product, and innovative insights to strategically influence direction of NPD strategy. 
  • Occasionally spend time in the marketplace understanding Grande, Competitive product, and New Product innovation to influence strategic thought.
  • Provide scientific and sensory innovation to new product development.


4.    Trademark Excellence Integration and Research Activities

  • Performs and manages projects and activities for R&D and Foodservice Business Unit and in partnership with the Sr. Flavor Architect. This includes sensory evaluation for Quality Assurance programs, product surveys, and sensory verification of improvement research projects. Sensory and Innovation scientists also participate in exploratory new product research and projects to define cheese product identity and performance standards.
  • Actively participates on Grande project teams, including sensory panels, new product development and product improvement; may lead projects of appropriate scope
  • Accountable for on-time delivery of projects or support for other functional groups.
  • Maintains and ensures the scientific quality of project data; ensures that proper scientific protocols are used.
  • Ensures project and portfolio management processes are used and documented.
  • Provides technical support and guidance for Technical Service, Quality Assurance, NPD, Starter Culture and other groups when necessary.
  • Analyzes and interprets scientific data; makes conclusions and recommendations that are scientifically sound.
  • Responsibility for assets and quality.
  • Some responsibility for product quality, but minimal responsibility for customer relations and equipment.
  • Makes product disposition decisions based on sensory evaluation for selected cheeses and programs.
  • Frequent internal contact with other departments on technical and quality issues.


5.  Other Duties as Assigned

  • Lead by example and perform in accordance with the Grande Core Values to provide communication, strategic insight, and scientific leadership.
  • Provides training material and contributes to product training for other functional groups in Technology as well as other departments.
  • Sales and Marketing, Executive Training, Quality Control, Manufacturing, New Associates, etc.
  • May be involved in external product training or technical support with customers or vendors.
  • Maintains a sound scientific knowledge base and capability.
  • Maintains external scientific contacts and resources; attends key scientific meetings; participates in scientific organizations; is recognized as a scientific resource.
  • Keeps abreast of current scientific literature and patents; communicates relevant scientific information to other groups.
  • Interface with the new technologies group as required.

The above list reflects the general details necessary to describe the principle and essential functions of the position and shall not be construed as the only duties that maybe assigned.

Qualifications & Requirements

Bachelors Degree in Food Science, Sensory, or related field required

Master’s degree in Food Science or Sensory preferred

Experience & Training

• Bachelor’s degree and seven (7) or more years’ experience in dairy product research and sensory science or evaluation; or

• Master’s degree and three (3) or more years’ experience in dairy product research and sensory science or evaluation; or

• PhD and experience in dairy product research and sensory science or evaluation preferred.

• At least three (3) years of team leader experience

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities

• Requires specialized sensory evaluation capability

• Broad-base scientific skills and knowledge (microbiology, chemistry, statistics, biology, sensory science, food science, dairy science, biochemistry)

• Statistical methodologies for data analysis

• Effective writing, presentation, interpersonal and communication skills

• Ability to communicate technical information in oral and written form

• Good computer skills in MS Office Suite

• Performance and personnel management


• A mobile phone is required for this position.



Bachelors Degree or better in Food Science.


Masters Degree or better in Food Science.


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