Innovation and R&D Manager

Birch Benders

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Brand Overview

At Birch Benders, we believe that great food holds the power to bring people together. Our goal is to create a happier world by offering ­products that make it easier to enjoy delicious moments with the ones you love. Since incorporating in 2011 in Boulder, CO, Birch Benders has become the #1 pancake mix brand in the natural channel, and the fastest growing brand across all channels. Birch Benders is available in over 8000 stores nationwide, including Target, Whole Foods, Sprouts, Safeway, and Costco. As we continue to grow and launch new product lines, we remain committed to crafting the most convenient, scrumptious, best-in-class products—products that provide our consumers the opportunity to slow down, enjoy the moment, and reconnect with their inner child. 

Job Overview

The Innovation and R&D Manager is responsible for leading the processes of planning, coordinating, and implementing new product development, product quality improvement, and cost reduction initiatives, while identifying new opportunities within and beyond existing brands/categories. The role will report directly to the VP of Operations, but also must be comfortable working across multiple channels—including but not limited to: Quality Assurance, Sales, Marketing, Production, Accounting, and Supply Chain—to ensure all product formulations, processes, and specifications meet defined standards. The candidate must additionally be willing and able to take on tasks and assignments that might be otherwise considered outside of their normal job description. The candidate must not only excel at the technical side of the job, but also be a good cultural fit with the hardworking, fun, and dynamic people that make up the Birch Benders team. This position will be based out of our office in the LoHi neighborhood of Denver, CO.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Act as the single point of ownership for all new product innovation projects
  • Develop differentiated products of unrivaled taste, quality, creativity and innovation within our current categories, as well as in new categories
  • Work with senior management to establish and execute a robust innovation growth pipeline, including developing new flavors, new product lines, and product line extensions
  • Work on improving flavor profiles and margin health of new and existing SKUs 
  • Lead the development of new testing protocol/methodology
  • Manage project experiments including bench-top, pilot plant and production plant trials, and make adjustments as required during production
  • Keep abreast of new ingredients, functionalities, technologies, food issues, and trends relevant to core products and potential new products, and educate team as appropriate
  • Manage new products from ideation to R&D to supply chain to commercialization, and maintain all technical documentation and records
  • Assist marketing and operations in resolution of consumer complaints via recipe reformulations, and maintain accurate records of recipe changes
  • Manage and adjust formulations as needed to guarantee product stability and quality and maximize shelf-life
  • Prepare and manage annual R&D budget
  • Work with operations to research and qualify vendors through facilitation, training, and vendor audit programs
  • Manage rapid prototype projects and consumer testing projects

Job Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in Food Science (or closely related discipline) is required
  • Technical competency in food science innovation across all segments (shelf stable, perishable, frozen, ready-to-eat, etc.)
  • Minimum 3 years of experience at a food manufacturing facility or leading branded food company with the R&D/innovation team
  • Culinary/technical/regulatory experience with non-gmo, organic, gluten free, paleo, kosher, and/or clean-label food design
  • Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources
  • Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods
  • Strong level of energy and commitment to an entrepreneurial and fast-paced culture
  • Ability to independently manage many projects with tight and variable deadlines simultaneously, and execute these projects in an accurate, proficient, and timely manner
  • Positive, enthusiastic, hardworking, persistent, and dependable
  • Extremely well organized, resourceful, and detail-oriented
  • Ability to thrive a fast-paced start-up environment


  • Competitive salary plus benefits

To Apply

Please email your resume and cover letter to 

In your cover letter, please tell us more about yourself and why you’d like to be a part of this company (we want to get a sense of your personality!).

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