Basic American Foods
  • Research and Development
  • Kankakee, IL, USA
  • DOE
  • Salary
  • Full Time
  • Salaried

Full Benefits· PTO · 401k

R&D Leader - Extruded Foods -- Kankakee IL


Are you an extrusion food developer looking to have an impact you can actually see in an environment that feels like a start-up, but has the financial backing of a larger company?


What BAF is Like

As a relatively flat organization, you have a voice from your first day, along with opportunities to explore, learn, and develop new skills with challenging and rewarding work. We're focused on your success, both professionally and personally, and we are committed to offering competitive salaries and a comprehensive benefits package. We are a family-owned, family-friendly company that empowers and supports our employees. We live out our company values and expect all team members to do the same.

The R&D team creates our food innovations, providing our consumers and customers with new convenient and delicious meals that deliver on our Food Philosophy.

We are looking to hire an R&D Extrusion leader who is passionate about working together to build our portfolio of extruded-plant based foods.


What a "Day in the Life" is Like

A typical day for the Manager, Extrusion Innovation will consist of new food development with a cross-functional team, leading the design and execution of the technical requirements of the project. This position will design test plans, supervise technical team, and leverage the pilot plant to create food prototypes. This position will also scale-up products in the production environment, taking responsibility of the food performance from concept to commercialization.


Do You Have the Ingredients to Become a Basic American Foods Hero?

We're Looking for Someone With:

  • Must have 5-7 years of experience working with extrusion technologies in the food or pet food industry, with direct experience in an R&D team. Experience in high pressure/high heat extrusion - both single and twin-screw extruders strongly preferred.


Additional Traits That Set You Apart:

  • Complete understanding of the R&D process, from concept to commercialization.
  • Demonstrates the ability to collaborate cross-functionally, within the Growth team to inform extrusion-directed product development and goals; actively engage in stage-gate processes
  • Demonstrates technical leadership, functioning as a technical thought leader in project teams, taking accountability for overall product results including taste, texture, and manufacturability.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking and problem-solving skills, with an ability to utilize scientific principles to develop new products, processes and formulations.
  • Strong business acumen, with an understanding of product costing, P&L's, and how process and formulations impact financial results.
  • Has significant experience with processing equipment (use and operation) and has ability to perform analytical tests accurately and efficiently for product evaluation. Operation of process equipment is required. (extruders, dryers, mixers etc.)
  • Have flexibility to work beyond normal workday hours, shift work, and some weekends. Travel is required for this position.
  • Must have strong communication and presentation skills.
  • Resourcefulness and problem solving are a must.
  • Detail orientated, with a sense of urgency to complete tasks and move projects forward. 

Where We Are

At our Heartland Harvest plant in Kankakee IL, we make great-tasting plant-based foods and snacks accessible to all always delicious, always nutritious, and always free from allergens. We are a small but mighty & committed team dedicated to bringing good-for-you ingredient products into the world. Located in the quaint town of Kankakee, IL, our location gives us a peaceful, rural community while still having access to big city benefits the best of both worlds!


You'll Love Working Here if You:

  • Love what you do, and it shows. Our employees are passionate about what they do and enjoy challenging work.
  • Are knowledgeable and confident, but never boastful. While we are proud of our company, our team and the products we create, we are humble and down-to-earth at our core.
  • Are guided by a deep belief in integrity & personal values. This is a part of our employees' personal value systems as much as it is the organization's.
  • Hold yourself and others accountable, while always maintaining dignity and respect for yourself and those around you.
  • Believe in professional development for ourselves, as well as support the development of others.


At BAF, we are an equal opportunity employer. We value diversity and strive to create a supportive and inclusive community of individuals committed to helping each other and our company thrive.


Basic American Foods
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