• Consumer Insights/Sensory Research Director - Food Solutions

    Job Location(s) US-DC-Washington
    Job Number
    Job Category
    Product Development- Food
    Position Type
  • Job Overview

    Play a pivotal role as an industry leading expert in designing and applying food product research and ensuring client success.

    Are you interested in making a positive impact on the world through your everyday work? Are you passionate about advancing your career while making a difference in the quality of today's foods? Do you love to manage projects and thrive in a dynamic, high-paced environment?


    If you said yes to these questions and you are looking for a place where you can explore a multitude of career paths, consider working at Covance as a Consumer Insights/Sensory Research Project Director in our Food Solutions division. This is a permanent, full time position based onsite in Arlington, VA.


    Covance Food Solutions’ best-in-class consumer and sensory research capabilities are the result of the acquisition and combination of two long-standing and respected organizations, the former Food Perspectives, Inc. and National Food Lab. Using a variety of quantitative, qualitative consumer and sensory research techniques we evaluate help our clients make products consumers love. We help our clients:

    • Develop new product ideas
    • Optimize an existing product
    • Re-energize a well-established product
    • Assess product-concept fit or packaging effectiveness
    • Understand the product, brand and category competitive landscapes
    • Support capital investment decisions thru gauging consumer interests
    • Present objective results to management

    This position represents Covance Food Solutions (CFS) as the key contact with the client. The Consumer Insights/Sensory Research Project Director is expected to work on-site at the Arlington, VA headquarters, cultivate client relationships, design and recommend research and provide best in class service. This team member will also be supporting client teams at their Ohio location. Travel to this location will be required on occasion as well.


    Covance Consumer Insights/Sensory Research Project Directors are accountable for the successful delivery of their assigned studies and this individual will need to be a contributing member of the Covance Food Solutions Consumer Research team as well. It is expected that this individual will apply commitment and loyalty to CFS at large and will strive to continuously improve CFS processes, deliverables, and value.


    Additionally in this position, you will be responsible for the following:

    • The specific accountabilities assigned to this position are numerous and varied but six areas are of particular focus

    • Build and maintain superior customer relationships for loyalty and business growth.

    • Serve as a fully integrated member of client’s cross-functional team by attending planning meetings, collaborating across work teams, recommending research programs, and presenting results and implications.

    • Design and recommend customized research solutions using Covance tools and capabilities. Collaborate with other Nestle research vendors, as appropriate, to deliver the best research approach.

    • Provide Covance support teams with the design specifications necessary for efficient development of quality test materials, field work, and analysis.

    • Interpret research results, write Power Point reports, and present insights and implications to the client.

    • Monitor project scope changes and communicate cost implications to the client in a clear and timely manner.

    • Proactively identify trends across the body of client product research, develop hypotheses and collaborate with Covance statistics to conduct meta-analysis to continuously improve research methods and advance the contributions of client’s Product Research team.

    What we’re looking for in you:

    Do you have the following education, experience, and personal attributes?

    • Bachelor degree in a business, marketing, scientific, business or related field (or equivalent work experience) with advanced degrees in sensory science preferred
    • 5+ years of experience in a related field, including sensory or marketing research and new product development (preferably with advanced sensory science experience with both consumers and trained panelists)
    • Track record of applying research to develop new products, maintain the quality of current products, and influence business decisions
    • Ability to thrive in a fast-moving environment with oft-changing priorities
    • Driver mentality, capable of handling several projects at once, and highly resilient
    • Ability to help clients work through situations with fuzzy objectives and incomplete information to develop a clear problem statement and study design
    • Initiative and skill at establishing new relationships and creating consultative partnerships
    • Ability to collaborate with internal teams and delegate appropriate tasks to ensure the clients’ research goals, budgets and scheduling parameters are adhered to as outlined in the RFP while still balancing Covance financial targets
    • Ability to see the story in data, take a stand, and tell a clear story both written and orally
    • Creative thinker and problem solver. Energized by opportunities to apply training and experience in new and agile ways
    • Proficient in Microsoft Outlook, WORD, EXCEL, and POWERPOINT

    Why People choose to work at Covance

    "At Covance, it’s our people that make us great – it’s what our clients, our partners and, most importantly, what our employees say. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to work with extraordinary people with diverse viewpoints. You’ll discover your own outstanding potential as we build an even stronger organization with industry leaders from early development to the clinic and beyond."

    Get to know Covance

    Covance Food Solutions is a division within Covance. Covance, the drug development business of LabCorp, is the world’s most comprehensive drug development services company. Because of our broad experience, from early research to commercialization, our more than 20,000 employees from across the globe are in a unique position to supply insights that go above and beyond testing. Our team’s impact on healthcare is remarkable. Through their everyday work they’ve supported 100% of the top 50 drugs on the market and all the oncology drugs approved in 2016. Even though we span multiple businesses, we operate as one, sharing our knowledge to improve our efficiency and deliver on the promise of a healthier world.


    The Covance team is driven by an energized purpose to improve health and improve lives across the globe. Here, you’ll work alongside exceptional people who each play an important role in bringing new scientific discoveries and therapeutic area advancements to life. And, because we span the drug development spectrum, you’ll directly impact a wide-range of initiatives as you explore unique career paths and discover your extraordinary potential.


    Get ready to make a difference as we speed the delivery of groundbreaking therapies and improve lives of countless individuals.

    EEO Statement

    Covance is committed to diversity in the workplace and is an equal opportunity employer (Minority/Female/Individual with Disability/Veteran/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity). Your confidentiality and privacy are important to us.


    • Bachelor degree in a marketing, scientific, business or related field (or equivalent work experience).
    • Advanced degrees preferred.


    Minimum Required:

    • Five + years of experience in a related field, including sensory or marketing research and new food product development.
    • Preferred candidate would have 5+ years of consumer research experience with a major food manufacturer and marketer.


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