Product Development Lead
What is THIS?
THIS is a high-growth, VC-backed emerging leader in producing plant-based food. Meat-alternatives, to be exact. In fact if we’re being reallllly exact – our products are at the leading-edge of the plant-based sector in terms of taste, texture and appearance. Here’s our insta, for a quick stalk - https://www.instagram.com/this.uk
It’s worth mentioning that since our launch in June 2019, the company has experienced extremely significant growth in revenue – 188% in the last year. We have strong aspirations to continue this growth trajectory as we aim to be the no.1 plant based brand in the UK and beyond and we believe we have the team (70 plus and growing) and investment to do achieve this.
Why are we doing THIS?
We’re Andy and Pete - co-founders of THIS. Our last job entailed selling tonnes (literally tonnes) of meat. Then we felt bad. Also, we felt like meat-alternatives weren't realllllly for people who love the taste of meat. We felt like they were for people who like sandals and socks. So we've basically ended up making THIS for ourselves, but we'd love other meat-lovers to nom nom it too. THIS is a game-changer.
At our core, we believe:
- Stereotypes around plant-based food need to be bulldozed
- Guilt-trips don’t make people hungry
- Plant-based food should mean zero-compromise - this is how we can recruit more meat reducers to the category
What’s with this role?
The successful candidate will lead the core & renovation function for the innovation team; that means they’ll be responsible for launching kickass ideas to market and renovating to ensure we stay ahead of the competition.
What will you be getting up to?
- Manage and lead the core & renovation pipeline for the business. This involves developing, maintaining and aligning the pipeline with the business Stage & Gate process - from navigation through to post launch evaluation. This includes retail and food service ranges.
- Core includes our world leading streaky bacon that will knock your socks off and our best in class sausages that just taste exactly like the real thing. Renovation is about ensuring we continuously improve our portfolio to always stay ahead of our amazing competition.
- We have successfully launched into some new categories that are non-core and growing. Your role will be to maintain and launch simple line extensions to these ranges.
- As a scale-up business we need to build on the amazing innovation we have launched with increased profitability from the portfolio. You will lead the margin workstream for the innovation team.
- Packaging is fundamental to our business from a consumer experience, a food safety and a sustainability point of view. The packaging function will sit under Core & Renovation and your job will be to help shape the packaging strategy for 2023 and beyond.
- THIS is fully established in the UK market, there are ambitions to launch internationally in 2023 and you will be the innovation lead to enable this.
- You will help build and maintain the strategy for the Core & Renovation area of the business working directly with the Head of Innovation to do so.
- Drive quality and sustainability within all workstreams, compromising nowhere.
- Direct line management of 3 people and indirect of 2 people.
- Work with the Head of Innovation in hiring and building up the innovation team moving forwards.
Hello… Is it you we’re looking for...
- Someone with a deep, end-to-end understanding of the food innovation process, from idea conception to launching a product to market.
- Degree (Master’s preferred) in Food Science, Engineering, Chemistry, or equivalent.
- >7 years experience within the FMCG area (other relevant industries acceptable).
- >3 year experience in project management.
- Previous experience managing R&D or innovation projects and project managers.
- Experience in innovation strategy, consumer insights, risk management and project network management.
- A problem solver, someone who gets excited by challenging projects and tasks.
- Experience in managing stakeholders and external partners (eg: suppliers, co-mans)
- A HUSTLER. This person will need to get sh*t done in a major way and knock through what will seem like brick walls. We are leading the category in terms of product, and for us to stay there, you will need to have a relentlessness that isn’t in everybody.
- Previous people management experience is a must.
- Positive attitude, proactivity and a tenacious character: things in our business can change very quickly, so being comfortable reacting quickly to unexpected opportunities and challenges is super important too!
- Ability and interest to work cross-functionally, we’re a small team and believe that strong collaboration will take us further than working in silos
- Honesty & integrity - a conviction in your work to improve your small patch of the world for yourself and for others
- Team player: we’re colleagues but also mates (unless we're playing table tennis)
As a fast growing business, everyone who joins us needs to be ready to roll up their sleeves and carry out tasks away from their core focus because - they just need to get done. That could be helping to prepare samples for a customer meeting, trying new products and giving tasting notes, packing cold bags into boxes or a lot of other random stuff that comes up. They're not always the most glamorous jobs, but from the founders down, the whole team gets involved!
From our side
- A competitive salary that fairly recognises your experience and potential.
- We are offering share-options in our company to everyone who joins us at this early stage
- 25 days paid holiday plus bank-holidays – we care about our team’s wellbeing, so we make sure you have time to fully switch off, rest, and recharge.
- Flexible working hours – We're not a 9-5. No-one will tap their watch if you prefer to start late and finish late because you like to go to the gym before work. Our focus is on your ability to deliver for the business, not your ability to keep strict working hours.
- You’ll have a £500 wellness allowance every year (pro-rata) to spend on things that will improve your physical and mental wellness like gym memberships, fitness classes, counselling, dentistry, physio, meditation apps and more.
- To further support mental health, the company pays for Spill, a mental health wellness provider that gives everyone access to qualified therapists and mental health resources.
- A values-led working environment that encourages putting people first, honesty, curiosity and leadership.
The chance to have a meaningful impact
As a relatively small, albeit growing, team you'll be exposed to - and have the chance to contribute towards - challenges and projects at all levels and in all areas of the business. A good idea is a good idea, regardless of the experience or seniority of who came up with it.
We'd love to hear from you, so feel free to apply with your CV and cover letter and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can!