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Pet Nutrition Associate Principal Scientist - Consumer Technical Insights in Franklin, Tennessee

Mars Pet Nutrition NA – Associate Principal Scientist Consumer Technical Insights (CTI)

Job Description

This role is an exciting opportunity to join MARS Pet Nutrition Research & Development team as an Associate Principal Scientist on the Consumer Technical Insights R&D team. The Consumer Technical Insight team executes consumer research and translates the resulting insights into competitive innovation and product design strategies for Mars Pet Nutrition North America (PNNA).

This position will work across R&D, Insights, and Marketing to deliver superior product experiences by ensuring the pet parent voice is embedded into our products. The candidate must be comfortable with ambiguity and be a North Star voice who builds and leads actionable strategies to ensure we pursue consumer-centric product design by orchestrating across all disciplines.

The ideal candidate will have a background that includes R&D experience in a strong technical leadership role, such as product development or engineering, with experience leading on cross-functional teams. They are passionate about all things concerning consumer experience and have navigated their career to become a product-centric consumer research expert. They will be responsible for understanding consumers’ needs and translating them into measurable technical requirements and consumer models to drive business impact. They will leverage technical thinking skills to bring together consumer needs and product possibilities into winning innovation.

This is the perfect opportunity for someone with a professional, self-starting, can-do mentality, who likes to lead.

What are we looking for?

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Science (Food Science, Chemistry, Animal/Nutritional, etc.) or Engineering (Chemical, Biochemical, Food, etc.).

  • Minimum of 10 years of experience in R&D/consumer research/manufacturing. Includes previous experience in a strong technical leadership role, such as product development or engineering.

  • A candidate that demonstrates key strengths in consumer empathy, innovation management, strategic agility, business acumen, and a drive for results.

  • Must have demonstrated experience in qualitative and quantitative consumer product research methods, as well as expertise in translating learnings into consumer models, measurable technical requirements, and actionable plans & strategies. Must be adept at bridging technical data and consumer criteria.

  • Strong team orientation and ability to lead projects effectively across regions and with cross functional partners - must possess excellent interpersonal skills.

  • Must possess the ability to communicate effectively with technical and non-technical team members as it relates back to the business.

  • Experience in consumer research in both Upstream/Front End and Product Development/Qualification/Launch

  • Experience coaching others in product-focused consumer research.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Advanced degree

  • CPG/Food Industry experience

  • Pet food experience

  • Strong data science/statistics knowledge.

What will be your key responsibilities?

  • Advocate for Pet and Pet Parent Needs: You will be a research-driven advocate for the pets and pet parents that we serve. Lifelong relationships with consumers are hard to earn and easy to lose. You will consistently seek to understand and satisfy their needs and deliver outstanding reliable usage experiences.

  • Translate Consumer Needs: Understand consumers’ needs and lead translation of consumers’ ‘what’s needed’ to technical requirements within consumer models built through research and understanding of our products and nutrition.

  • Consumer Technical Insights (CTI) Leadership: Define and guide CTI methods and activities for consumer understanding, product development and project qualification, ensuring tool adoption and quality consistency. Provide R&D leadership in consumer and product understanding to peers and cross functional partners (global and regional) to embed capabilities that ensure consumer-centricity of our propositions.

  • Research Management: Lead end to end research using both quantitative and qualitative consumer methods. This will include working with internal stakeholders to define the problem to be solved, creating a learning plan, designing studies, selecting vendors, creating questionnaires, moderating interviews, analyzing and interpreting findings and influencing through findings. You will be accountable for CTI research deliverables in technical project reviews.

  • Cross-Functional Collaboration: Work closely with the Insights team, other R&D disciplines and global teams, fostering partnerships across departments to drive success. This will require the ability to prioritize relationships, to translate technical learnings into actionable reports, and to be adaptable in achieving prioritized business goals.

  • Culture: This candidate will embrace and live the Mars culture by leading with The Five Principles.

What can you expect from Mars?

  • Work with over 130,000 diverse and talented Associates, all guided by the Five Principles.

  • Join a purpose driven company, where we're striving to build the world we want tomorrow, today.

  • Best-in-class learning and development support from day one, including access to our in-house Mars University.

  • An industry competitive salary and benefits package, including company bonus.



Qualifications Decision Quality; Tech Savvy; Collaborates; Manages Complexity; Ensures Accountability; Nimble Learning

Req ID R97689