Dole Packaged Foods

Innovation Project Leader

Job Location US-CA-Westlake Village
New Products & Packaging Development
Regular Full-Time


Dole Packaged Foods is a purpose led nutrition and wellness organization that “champions a more equitable world.” A world where everyone has the right to nutrition from the goodness of the earth and we reduce these gaps, one action at a time.


The Innovation Project Leader is responsible for delivering innovation that will contribute to volume growth in all potential channels and that will help us realize our mission of providing access to health and nutrition for more than one billion people.

All our innovations are based on two principles:
·         Increasing access to nutrition and reducing waste of nutrition.
·         We promise to use zero processed sugar, have zero fruit loss, and zero plastic as by2025.

The innovation funnel will include a combination of projects designed to sustain growth of our “core” products (ingredients, beverages, frozen etc) but may also include expanding into new categories, identified as “white space” opportunities by the business.


This role provides flexibility to work in a hybrid environment of home and our Westlake Village, CA office. Relocation assistance available!


  • Deliver the innovation pipeline in partnership with a cross-functional team 
  • Responsible for managing all innovation projects (L1-L3) through the project management/stage-gate process 
  • Provide guidance to the project team if a product can be developed and manufactured internally (make) or externally (buy) ; scout for and manage 3rd party product development partners (where necessary) to develop, evaluate, and test products.
  • Work with procurement to determine the appropriate 3rd party manufacturing partner
  • Design and test structural packaging components that will maintain integrity throughout the Supply Chain while meeting consumer needs.
  • Ensure that Product & Packaging Development briefs are provided for all projects, including clear (and agreed) cost of goods (COGs) targets
  • Ensure that consumer-usability of packaging has been fully tested according to the appropriate criteria set by the briefs
  • Attend manufacturing trials and provide guidance on formulation, structural packaging, and/or process changes.
  • Support the Marketing team in consumer research activities 
  • Identify and implement cost savings projects aligned to the global cost savings agenda
  • Other duties as assigned


Experience, Knowledge, & Skills You Bring:

  • 4-6 years experience in R&D/Innovation/technical project management and/or similar roles
  • Proficient in the following areas:
    • Product development (formulating, ingredient selection, stability testing, )
    • Process development (manufacturing capabilities/technologies, equipment selection, contract manufacturing)
    • Packaging development (design, testing, consumer-usability/acceptability)
  • Proven track record in delivery and implementation of innovation into the marketplace
  • Basic knowledge of finance and COGs development
  • Able to analyze and leverage consumer insight data to drive development of innovation for new consumers, customers or channels
  • Knowledge of innovation management tools (e.g. Design Thinking is a bonus)
  • Able to work within a global footprint and cross-functionally among factories and co-packers, marketing managers, sales team, supply chain and customer services teams to deliver the innovation funnel
  • Leading edge project management and organizational skills, able to manage multiple projects, prioritize and manage complexity effectively
  • Robust time management skills, ability to prioritize and meet deadlines
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills ; able to manage stakeholders effectively


What You’ll Need to Succeed:

  • Passionate about a purpose driven career in nutrition and wellness
  • Ability to build and maintain strong working relationships
  • Ability to identify realistic solutions, solve issues efficiently and in a timely manner
  • Technically curious and driven by finding creative solutions to deliver innovations
  • Able to work effectively in a networked, fluid and agile environment, with multiple stakeholders
  • Strong innovation and entrepreneurial mindset, demonstrated through being a self-starter
  • Adaptability: adapt to changing environments and overcome challenges ; feel comfortable working with a certain degree of ambiguity and in a fluid and agile environment
  • Creativity: able to identify consumer and customer needs and deliver creative solutions to meet those needs
  • Analytical thinking : able to synthesize large volumes of data to solves problems efficiently
  • Organization : able to balance your time, energy, resilience and mental capacity to deliver effectively and efficiently the innovation goals.

Education & Certification:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Food Science, Food Technology, Engineering or science-based equivalent is required

Physical Requirements:

  • Ability to sit and use the computer for extended periods of time; ability to answer phones and use a variety of office equipment; ability to lift 15 pounds and reach overhead.

Travel Requirements:

  • Occasional travel required


All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, sex, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, protected veteran status, or on the basis of disability.


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