50 Whiterock Rd, Killinchy, Newtownards, BT23 6PT

NPD Customer Relations Manager

Location: Head Office Killinchy

Reporting to: NPD Innovation Centre Manager

Department: NPD


Willowbrook Foods is a privately owned leading fresh, frozen and cooked vegetable and salad food
manufacturer based in Killinchy, with a further product site in Newtownards delivering to clients across the
UK and ROI. The business is now seeking to appoint a New Customer Relations Manager.


The role of NPD Customer Relations Manager is to work directly with customers in Product Development, be at the forefront of innovation in FMCG category, conduct benchmarking & utilise meaningful Market Data to aid in a successful product launch & longevity. The candidate will help in ensuring the NPD process is running smoothly for any new products and to help to keep site documents/records up to date, alongside customer management.

You will research market data, development products within agreed timescales ensuring it is commercially viable, record recipe data following successful kitchen trials, lead NPD launches on products including EPD of current lines, liaise with suppliers on new ingredients & packaging, calculate nutritional data and complete finished product specifications, carry out sensory analysis, complete costings and prepare samples for presentation & despatch.


Key Accountabilities:

  • Developing innovative products for both NPD and EPD – from Kitchen development through to factory trials,
    concept to launch.
  • Research current consumer markets and latest technologies to develop new product concepts.
  • Direct Point of contact for key customers in NPD and EPD, as well as managing information required for yearly tenders and business.
  • Production of samples that meet the requirements of the NPD brief and are technically and financially feasible.
  • Ensure products can be repeated in production processes to ensure consistency and safety.
  • Work on Internal Costing Models to ensure most cost effective end product.
  • Strong presentation skills for internal and external customer meetings.
  • Working closely with Technical for the production of samples for shelf life and nutritional analyses, In house organoleptic testing on trialled products.
  • Support the on-site technical team in generating internal and external customer documentation, specs etc.
  • Work on packaging innovation and technology.
  • Undertake long-term projects with other departments, such as reducing waste by improving efficiency.
  • Build relationships with suppliers and customers.

Team Work

  • Liaising with NPD, Technical, Procurement & Production teams as well as suppliers to ensure raw materials, packaging, artwork and specifications are completed to the correct standards.
  • Working closely with the Production & NPD teams to make efficient, profitable products for Sale with retailers, food service & food manufacturers.

Continuous Improvement:

  • Bring a strong knowledge and experience base to the business and communicate ideas and suggestions about workplace improvements.
  • Promote a culture of continuous improvement to ensure operational efficiencies.
  • Ensuring engagement and consultation with other team members, seek the involvement of and suggestions from other team members as appropriate, review suggestions or issues raised and provide feedback as necessary.
  • Support and co-operate with any related changes identified and implement these changes within the Department or as appropriate.


  • All staff is responsible for identifying their own job-related training and development needs, and for raising these needs through the appropriate channels, that is, by speaking to their immediate Manager or through Performance Appraisal / Personal Development Plan opportunities.

As and when considered necessary or appropriate the post-holder must be prepared to transfer to or undertake other duties in order to meet fluctuations or priorities in work demands at their immediate Manager’s discretion within reason and competence. This job description may be subject to change in accordance with changing customer requirements or business needs. The post-holder is expected to co-operate with such changes to support the continued success of the business.

Essential Criteria

Qualifications / Experience & Requirements:

  • 3 years experience in New Product Development
    within a Food Manufacturing environment.
  • Ability to communicate and present your ideas in a clear and positive approach internally and in customer meetings.
  • Qualifications (Degree or HND of one of the
    o Food science/technology
    o Food nutrition and health
    o Food safety and quality management
  • Driving License.
  • Excellent IT skills.

Skills & Competencies Attributes:

  • Meticulous attention to detail, especially with
    regard to food hygiene and safety.
  • Able to work to tight deadlines.
  • Critical thinking and negotiation skills.
  • Strong communication skills, both written and
  • Flexibility and Adaptability in approach and sourcing.
  • Relationship building
  • Good team player
  • Proactive and motivated approach
  • Innovative thinking ability to make changes for improvement

Application Details

To apply please send a CV demonstrating how you meet the required criteria for job success.

Email: recruitment@willowbrookfoods.co.uk

Close Date and Time: CV’s must be received by no later than 17 th March 2023.

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