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Head of R&I Product Design

  • Posted: 7 Jul 2023
  • Research & Innovation
  • Zoetemeer
  • Netherlands

About the job

Head of R&I Product Design 

(Zoetermeer, full-time, hybrid)


You love purposeful & emotional brands winning on the market - We love winning & creative spirit! Become part of Danone Benelux R&I team (based in Netherland) and participate to the growth of beautiful brands like Alpro, Hipro, Danoontje, Danio, Actimel, Olvarit.


About the role

This role is part of the R&I Benelux team which encompasses Product Design, User Experience and Nutrition and Science communication. The team is focusing on Danone FMCG (Dairy, PLant Based, Waters & First Diet) products design including the understanding of the local consumers needs and competitive landscape.

This role, despite having full focus on the Benelux CBUs, is fully integrated within the European R&I team, which includes key product and packaging design and development centers in Europe. This role has a critical accountability to drive product superiority, health and sustainability and cost competitiveness in reformulation.

You will work in a cross-functional environment to deliver superior, accretive and sustainable product innovations and renovations to the market. You will be the Research & Innovation (R&I) voice within the CBU (Netherland) (ex: R&I representative during the LIMs) and within the plant based category and first diet category for Benelux. You will belong to the EU R&I Extended Leadership Team to drive the R&I at European level. You will manage a product designer focused on Dairy. You will work with a high variety of stakeholders ranging from BNL R&I UX, Nutrition & Health, Marketing, General Secretary, Quality, Operations, Sales to European R&I, Marketing teams.



  • Be a strategic partner with the NL and Benelux for Alpro & Olvarit, business stakeholders to drive the innovation, renovation and reformulation pipeline.
  • Master the products portfolio (health, composition, taste, cost, superiority roadmap, packaging etc..) , the competitive landscape and the consumers needs of your CBU and your brands.
  • Ensure the superiority, the accretiveness and the sustainability of the products of your CBU and your brands
  • Drive the Explore & Define phases of projects process for R&I side and accountable for the brief definition and validation for the NL CBU and BNL plant based & First diet categories.
  • Be consulted as head of R&I from develop when require a R&I local on specific projects phase and accountable that the delivery answer the brief.
  • Be Accountable for good tasting and labelling sheet of the project of the brand in scope.
  • Ensure generation of ideas & co-define the 2 years calendar of the innovations, renovations and reformulations of your brands
  • Animate NL InnoCo committe
  • Be Sparing partner with R&I EU (IDDC), MKT, Sales, Quality Ops for daily projects, activities, crisis focused on your CBU and Alpro for BNL.
  • Supervise your team and manage your resources (people and budget)

About you

About you

  • 10+ years experience in Food & Beverage industry, ideally with experiences in plant based category
  • Required experience/background: Engineering, Sciences, Food - University studies (End of Master Degree)
  • Experienced in past positions in Product and pack Development and knowledgeable in Project Management
  • Team management
  • Industry and types of companies: FMCG.
  • Types of jobs: R&I/R&D Product Designers with experienced proven in business partnership in CBU, innovation management in R&I.


You possess the following qualities:

  • Passion for R&I to contribute to a great consumer experience and the building of strong brands through innovation
  • Personal initiative, self-starter, able to quickly understand objectives and independently manage the delivery of results
  • Languages: fluency in English mandatory, fluency in Dutch an advantage

Leadership Skills

  • Able to jump from doer role to highly strategic
  • Excellent communication skills, in particular the ability to listen and translate
  • Team player & business partner with a natural ability and predisposition to take the lead where/when needed
  • Ability to adapt well to new environments and resilience / leadership to manage change
  • Ability to focus on target and delivery
  • Results and Solutions oriented
  • Demonstrated experience in team leadership/facilitation, decision-making, process management, analytical skills, negotiating and conflict-management skills, risk management, and excellence in structured written and oral communication

About us

About us

Working here you’ll need to enjoy a fast-pace, complexity and it can get a little challenging. But it’s packed with opportunities. You’ll work with some of the best-known brands in the world, such as Evian, Nutricia, Activia and Nutrilon and we absolutely guarantee that you can just be yourself. Be innovative and entrepreneurial and the impact you could make might just amaze you. Join our movement for a healthier world. One Planet One Health BY YOU.


We are proud to be an equal employer. We are convinced our differences make the difference and that an inclusive working environment will drive our growth as a business, as teams and as individuals. We will therefore consider all applicants for employment* fostering an inclusive working culture that is accessible for all.


Did you know that as a B-Corp certified company, Danone Benelux meets the highest verified standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability?


We Offer

At Danone, we offer a complete package of benefits, with a competitive primary salary and yearly bonus, but also benefits like a premium free pension, 30 days annual leave and several discounts on a collective health insurance and even on some of our products. In the Netherlands we also offer a hybrid working environment which enables each team to meet our people's desire for flexibility. Across our 3 office hubs in Hoofddorp, Zoetermeer and Utrecht this helps us create better opportunities for connection & synergies across our entities, teams, functions and categories.


What’s next?

Hit the “apply now” button. After your application deadline first feedback will follow within 2 weeks. In case you are invited to the selection process you should expect to receive feedback 2 weeks after each step of the process

To comply with GDPR regulations, we cannot process your personal data without given consent. Therefore, we strongly recommend applying directly via our website.


Need more information? Please contact Valerija Usova, Talent Manager via valerija.usova@danone.com.


* all applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran or disability status.

Application procedure

  • Resume and Cover letter

  • Interview #1

  • Interview #2

  • Welcome