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Research & Development Manager

Houston, TX

Commensurate with experience

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Company Description

Sunny Sky Products is the leading manufacturer and distributor of specialty beverage concentrates and beverage enhancers. Our premium beverage products reach an array of customers including convenience stores, restaurants, concessions, and institutional facilities.  Sunny Sky’s state-of-the-art manufacturing facility and corporate office is located in Houston, TX, where we produce a variety of thirst appealing beverages. These beverages include fountain soft drinks, fountain flavors, tea, tea sweeteners, frozen beverages, juices, Hispanic beverages, cappuccino powders and coffee toppings and flavoring syrups.

Position Description

We are looking for an experienced Research & Development Manager to lead our development team and work closely with sales and marketing and plant operations in developing new flavors and products to meet constantly changing customer demands.  The R&D Manager is a balance on hands on product development and project management, group leadership and customer facing activities.  An essential element of our corporate identity is rapid response to customer needs making this position critical to our success.

Essential Functions
  • Work in a hands-on environment supervising and leading a team in the development of new products and flavors.
  • Lead the R&D department with a continuous improvement approach to all existing products and SOP’s.
  • Establish effective product specifications and parameters to enable effective manufacturing and QA efforts.
  • Develop and manage cross functional relationships with all other departments and team members.
  • Represent the R&D function externally, acting as the project manager and technical relationship manager with our key customers.
  • Ensure all development projects operate inside of the predetermined cost structure.
Ideal Requirements
  • Bachelor’s degree or higher in food science or related field.
  • 10+ years’ experience in product development, preferably in beverages.
  • Previous Supervisory/Management experience is required.
  • Adept understanding of sensory, consumer, analytical and physical testing methods.
  • Strong analytical and organizational skills, able to strategically prioritize responsibilities.
  • Self-motivated and detail oriented with strategic orientation and global vision.
  • Ability to lead and develop a multifunctional team.
Supervisory Responsibility

The R&D Manager will be responsible for managing a diverse team of Beverage Scientist and Technical Supports professionals.

Work Environment

This job generally operates in a professional office/lab environment but may involve time spent in the manufacturing plant as projects dictate.

Position Type/Expected Hours of Work

This is a full-time position. Days and hours of work are Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. or as agreed upon. Occasional evening and weekend work may be required as job duties demand.


Less than 10% travel is expected for this position.


Health Insurance, Life Insurance, Cafeteria Plans, 401K and Vacation.