Unilever Product Developer in South Burlington, Vermont

Ben & Jerry's Homemade, Inc.

Job Description

Job Title: Product Developer

Department: R&D

Reports To: Global Product Development Manager

Level: 1B

Prepared Date: 2019

Ben & Jerry’s:

Ben & Jerry's Homemade Inc., started in 1978 in a renovated gas station in Burlington, Vermont, USA, founded by childhood friends and dedicated activists Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield. In 2000 Ben & Jerry’s became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Unilever with the remainder of an independent Board of Directors to provide leadership focused on preserving and expanding Ben & Jerry's social mission, brand integrity, and product quality.

Ben & Jerry’s has an inspiring ambition. We aim to be Unilever’s next billion € brand by 2020. We are expanding rapidly in Europe and in new markets in Asia and Latin America. This translates into a high-paced growth environment married without uncompromising grassroots and activist spirit. That is how we remain a true purpose-led organization with a connected 3-part mission that are reflected in our KPI’s:

Social mission: We initiate innovative ways to improve the quality of life locally, nationally and internationally specifically on Climate Justice and Social Justice, Racial Justice, and Economic Justice Product mission: We make and distribute the finest quality natural ice cream and euphoric concoctions Economic mission: We operate our Company for sustainable, Profitable financial growth

Roles & Responsibilities:



This role is in Ben & Jerry’s global product design team which is part of the broader Foods and Refreshment R&D team in North America.

To ensure Ben & Jerry’s has the best ice cream made in the best possible way, its R&D team plays a key role in delivering renovation, innovation, value improvement and quality improvement throughout the portfolio of Ben & Jerry’s super premium, ice-cream products

The candidate will help create new and exciting flavors while helping to provide materials needed to grow the B&J’s global portfolio. The duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Scoping and development of product ideas, flavors, designs and formulations

  • Preparation and flavor evaluation of laboratory samples and product prototypes

  • Management of product specifications (Interspec/PLM), declarations (nutrition and legal) and certifications ( i.e. fair trade, GMO-free, Kosher and Halal)

  • Organization R&D factory trials in the GDC/RDC lab, in pilot plants and in sourcing units to ensure we have successful product launches.

  • Regularly, reviewing and reporting project status and updates to project technical leader and marketing project leader.

  • Brainstorm with vendors to discuss new product innovations

  • Working with partner manufacturers to prepare and share formulation, regulatory and quality materials to support new product launches.

The role requires the ability to organize and execute 5 or more different projects across multiple formats in parallel and at a fast pace, while still managing everyday tasks and duties to support the R&D department.


Given Ben & Jerry’s unique position within Unilever, the ability to build excellent relationships within both Unilever and Ben & Jerry’s will be essential. We are looking for people who can ultimately leverage the marketing excellence and operational effectiveness that is built by Unilever – while preserving the 3 part mission and community of connectivity within Ben & Jerry’s. Having the right energy and attitude to connect both parts of our organization will be critical for success.

The ideal candidate needs to be passionate about food and excited about identifying new ingredients and new opportunities for differentiating Ben & Jerry’s in the world of ice cream. The ideal candidate would also have the ability to combine those ingredients in creative ways that are both novel and delicious. Prior culinary training would be considered a big plus. Being a “foodie” is equally important.

Other required skills/experiences – hard skills needed for the role :

  • BS/BA in Food Science/Technology/Nutrition or related field

  • Candidates are expected to have a minimum 3 years’ experience in the food industry, preferably in product formulation.

  • Experience in Ice Cream product development would be an advantage but not required.

  • Consumer orientation: would need to reach out to the B&J’s Brand Team to get insights and understanding of the B&J’s consumer and their differences across countries.

  • Proven communication and interpersonal skills, ability to work with cross functional teams.

  • Computer proficiency with a focus on data and specification management is preferred. Ability to use Unilever development tools (Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), Interspec, Innoplan, BLUE etc.) is a bonus.

  • Ability to be proactive in the face of new challenges and changing environments


It is anticipated that the candidate may be required to support factory trials in Vermont and possibly additional factories within the US. Frequency will vary, but usually 6-8 times per year.

Our People Profile

To support out 3-part mission, Ben & Jerry’s also has an outspoken people-mission. We look for people with these characteristics to strengthen our team:

  • Purpose-driven: passion and drive to make a real impact with our social mission agenda

  • Empathy: curious to collaborate with a variety of personalities and styles and to build excellent relationships with internal & external stakeholders

  • Mastery: continuously learn and develop to remain an expert in your functional area

  • Autonomy: dare to make choices and take ownership

  • Activism: interested in bringing about political or social change

  • Equity: recognizing power dynamics and how biases play out in interactions throughout society; this awareness and these skills are necessary so that throughout our business we engage respectfully and make decisions fairly

Unilever is an organization committed to diversity and inclusion to drive our business results and create a better future every day for our diverse employees, global consumers, partners, and communities. We believe a diverse workforce allows us to match our growth ambitions and drive inclusion across the business. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, or protected veteran status and will not be discriminated against on the basis of disability. For more information, please see Equal Employment Opportunity Posters

Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer Minorities/Females/Protected Veterans/Persons with Disabilities

Employment is subject to verification of pre-screening tests, which may include drug screening, background check, credit check and DMV check.

If you are an individual with a disability in need of assistance at any time during our recruitment process, please contact us at 1-855-239-5459 or NAAccommodations@unilever.com at mailto:NAAccommodations@unliever.com . Please note: These lines are reserved for individuals with disabilities in need of assistance and are not a means of inquiry about positions or application statuses.

We are one of the world’s largest consumer goods companies with amazing brands, dynamic people and a sustainable vision. We meet everyday needs for nutrition, hygiene and personal care with brands that help people feel good, look good and get more out of life. If you are ambitious, keen to learn and want lo lead, you have come to the right place. Explore our website and apply to be part of a company with more than 400 brands used by over two billion people everyday. ​