MarketPro has partnered with one of the fastest growing brands in the fast casual segment in search of a Product Innovation Manager. With almost 700 restaurants (and growing) throughout the US, this brand is refining fast dining by providing fresh and healthy foods that doesn’t compromise on taste. This privately held, nimble organization based out of Atlanta has a strong market position promoting a healthy living lifestyle creating great products and is now in need of a great Manager of Product Innovation.

In this marketing executive search, the Product Innovation Manager’s primary responsibility is to provide support to the Sr. Director of Brand Marketing in planning and executing strategic marketing initiatives that impacts national marketing calendar and product development & innovation. As part of the product development responsibilities, this role will identify food trends and how to incorporate those trends in new product offerings. He/She drives product innovation from concept to launch to fill the product pipeline in conjunction with culinary team.

Responsibilities:

The Product Innovation Manager will build & maintain a robust pipeline and bench of consumer-tested new product and offers for activation and/or deployment to the national marketing calendar. To Include:

Product Innovation:

  • Work with culinary, BI & Cross Functional Team to bring new, brand-relevant food products from concept to launch (or bench) in order to drive National and Test calendars, as well as enhancing brand’s menu system-wide:
    o Execute against our menu & product development strategy and test calendar to deliver a robust pipeline of purposefully innovative new food products
    o Identify, align, successfully build out, and manage testing process in order to keep the product pipeline full of proven and ready to promote products for the national calendar through refined product development process
    o Lead Test Calendar efforts and strategically plan the testing of new products and menu promotions as they move through the pipeline
    o Assist culinary team on targeted ideation sessions with broader cross-functional participation to generate new product ideas
    o Responsible for the operation of product tests including test market selections, establishing success criteria, product forecasting, POS programming, activation, TMAPs, leading test webinars and exit plans for test markets
    o Work with marketing research firm or leverage loyalty app to consumer validate concepts & provide insights to aid product development pipeline decisions
    o Develop, lead and manage test timelines to ensure successful test execution in conjunction with Sr. Manager, Beverage
  • Partner with BI team to evaluate new product/offer performance to determine consumer, financial and operations viability for future promotions
  • Identify necessary sales data required to properly assess test market performance
  • Works closely with culinary & insights/analytics team to identify critical growth opportunities, gather and prioritize new product/offer requirements and guest preferences via product development process
    o Leverage Datassentials and/or other research tools/avenues to identify menu trends, screen new menu ideas and benchmark against other real-world menu items
  • Lead communication efforts for new products and “sell-in” key benefits to necessary stakeholders including field team and franchisees
  • Leverage network of vendor partners to access relevant syndicated research to get additional insights to fuel product innovation and identify growth opportunities
  • Conduct competitive analysis on a regular basis to understand the competitive marketplace when developing new products

Marketing Calendar/National Promotion Planning & Execution:

  • Assist in identifying strategic opportunities to innovate against calendar needs that align with brand strategy goals & objectives
  • Provides promotional planning support to deliver against system-wide calendar implementation for food features
  • Assists in gathering all sales & promotional data including food cost & pricing to plan and implement national campaigns
  • Works with Sr. Director of Marketing to ensure 360 activation of national promotions, including LSM
  • Manage national timelines to ensure deadlines are met to ensure flawless cross functional execution
  • Provide relevant content related to national and test initiatives for various communication channels including Brand Update, webinars, etc.

Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing or a related field required
  • 5+ years in Food Production Innovation/ Category Marketing Management experience within the CPG industry (food & beverage categories preferred), or QSR (quick service restaurants)
  • Proven track record of success driving product innovation from start to finish including product testing
  • 3+ years of experience in a role leading the development of new or existing products or strategies from conception to implementation
  • Advance knowledge of Microsoft Office (Outlook, Excel, Word, etc.)
  • Ability to analyze business trends and financial metrics, including sales, return on investments, and profit and loss
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This is a full-time direct hire.