Director of Product Development

Title: Director of Product Development
Location: Niles, IL
Reports to: VP of R&D

The Company:

Imbibe is a leading innovator in the beverage industry. Our clients benefit from our holistic approach to product development where we engineer every beverage from the bottom up. We design custom components, such as ingredient blends, flavors and finished beverages for every project. Imbibe combines a powerful synergy of innovation, technical expertise and dedication to ensure our clients never settle for anything but the best. To learn more about us, check out our website at

The Position:

Imbibe is seeking an experienced, dynamic R&D leader to serve our talented team of 15 beverage scientists as the Director of Product Development.  The ideal candidate must possess:

  • The knowledge & experience to provide technical mentorship and career coaching to the PD team members
  • The expertise to provide leadership and guidance to project teams to enable successful development and commercialization of beverage products across a wide range of technical platforms
  • The project management and organizational skills to effectively manage a large and diverse project portfolio with constantly changing priorities
  • The leadership and communication skills to drive a positive, high energy and collaborative work culture.

The ideal candidate will have a proven track record of technical achievement in beverage including extensive experience taking products from benchtop development through plant-scale commercialization.  This candidate must also possess experience leading and managing people as well as a demonstrated ability to identify improvement opportunities and then implement positive changes in work processes.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Work with customers, sales and VP of R&D to properly scope new projects to enable successful delivery of project objectives while still meeting/exceeding customer expectations
  • Assign new project work to team balancing the needs of the business with the need for team members to learn and grow
  • Constantly manage work load of team when priorities change and new projects or revision requests arise being sure to, again, balance the needs of the business with those of the PD team members and customers
  • Provide technical mentorship and career coaching to team members to ensure continued growth & development
  • Provide guidance to project teams to ensure successful development and commercialization of new beverage products
  • Proactively identify opportunity areas in work policies & processes and collaborate to develop and implement solutions
  • Work with sales & marketing to drive business growth through interaction with customers, networking at trade shows, public speaking engagements, etc.

Qualifications and Requirements:

  • Minimum Bachelor’s Degree in Food Science, Chemistry, Food or Chemical Engineering or related field
  • Minimum of 10 years of food and/or beverage industry experience
  • Substantial experience in the development and launch of beverage products beyond simple prototypes. Must understand the impact of plant processing on beverages and be able to design formulations accordingly
  • Three or more years of experience leading technical teams of 5 or more people
  • Self-motivated with the ability to lead project teams, programs and other initiatives with minimal guidance from leadership
  • Ability to adapt to the changing needs of the R&D team and company
  • Deep knowledge of food & beverage ingredients, formulation, processing, scale-up, etc.
  • Strong communication skills. Must have the ability to confidently communicate complex technical information to customers, colleagues and other industry professionals
  • Ability to successfully handle high work load in a fast paced environment with quickly changing priorities

 Hours and Compensation:

8:00 – 5:00 at Imbibe’s Headquarters
Compensation will vary based on experience & skill level

How to apply:
Please send e-mail titled “Director of Product Development” to

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