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Opportunity Details

Global R&D Product Innovation Manager

Posted: 2018-12-13
Belgium, Leuven GHQ -floor 05
About the role:

AB InBev is seeking a Global Product Innovation Manager Specialist in Brewing for their Global Innovation & Technology Center (=GITEC), in Belgium. 

GITEC is AB InBev’s Global Research & Development Center, located in its own secure facility at AB InBev’s Global Headquarters in Leuven, Belgium. Within, a diverse team of more than 120 scientists and specialists, pulling from more than 20 nationalities, work diligently to achieve GITEC’s Dream: bringing people together to create and deliver winning innovation and technologies. Of course, the intense R&D work in Belgium is only part of the story.  GITEC’s employees collaborate with multiple partners across the globe to tap relevant expertise and help AB InBev deliver and develop new raw and packaging materials, brew new and innovative products, and deliver them to the consumer in sharply-designed packaging. 

We dream big. We look to the future, not the past. We hire people that can be better than ourselves.

The opportunity is here. Make it yours!

Global R&D Product Innovation Manager - Specialist in Brewing
Location: GITEC & Research Pilot Brewery Leuven

  1. The Global Product Innovation Manager has a significant impact on the business by developing solutions that will drive top-line revenue growth. Most often across multiple geographical zones. The scope and responsibilities of the job are defined as follows:
  • Lead the technical development of new beers & adjacent products in the frame of the Global Product Innovation (working closely with the different zones worldwide)
  • Consistently deliver transformational innovative product solutions and consumer propositions to fully support the “Delivery & Explore Agenda” and drive sustainable, profitable growth for the Company.
  • Pipeline (explore): engage with external resources to ensure a continuous flow of idea to feed our Innovation Pipeline, both technically and commercially
  • Pipeline & delivery: assess the technical feasibility and risk of the mid and longer terms Innovation concepts to support the right prioritization
  • Delivery: engage with internal customers & resources to deliver on time in full
  • Commercial: global insights, global marketing innovations, global commercial priorities
  • Technical: Research Pilot Brewery, Sensory & Consumer Science, Product Technology development, Process technology development, Zone technology development
  • Anticipate, Identify, Track and Understand competitors and adjacent categories product (liquid and pack) launches worldwide.
  • Lead the design and spread of Best Practices in product development. Optimise Zone collaboration and Challenge Zones to apply the right tools and methods in the way of working to gain efficiencies
  • Engage with key consumers to turn the ideas into concepts and into products using state-of-the-art consumer research techniques
  • Support Marketing / Commercial / Innovation / PR / teams to ensure correct utilization of historical and/or technical and/or scientific information about products, brewing process, raw materials, brewing ingredients, and environment in the development of new concepts and also in brand communication, and other external communication (PR)
  • Ensure that ABInBev’s capability for Intellectual Property creation and subsequent value capturing derived from the portfolio is guaranteed throughout all stages of the development cycle and within all pre-commercial external relationships;
Main characteristics:
  • The job requires a project manager with proven leadership skills and capable of working effectively through cross-functional and international project teams.
  • Translate high-level product visions, strategies into specific projects and programs, taking into account all key business constraints (complexity, costs, capital investment, business model)
  • Fully able to both get and build the big picture while mastering the details
  • Able to lead the technical development / implementation of several projects with high complexity and broad scope (e.g. different sites in different countries with diverse complexity within the same zone, global projects in different zones, high technical complexity) often involving important capital expenditures, prioritizing work accordingly, with a high (proven) degree of self-coordination
  • Able to succeed in a targeted-oriented environment in which priorities, project scope and time schedules will be set and adjusted in order to meet often challenging business demands. Able to quickly grasp, define, refine and deliver projects with high uncertainty and risk, gathering data, building realistic scenarios and adapting plan accordingly to always recommend the best solutions for the business
  • Translate key consumer insights and unexpressed needs into technical solutions (liquid) that will deliver added value to the business, taking into account all key business constraints (complexity, costs, capital investment)
  • Put the consumer in the centre of everything to sustain a process to feed relevant areas of development with key information coming from consumer understanding in relation to product consumption aspects (physiology, expectations, perceptions, drivers of likes/dislikes, factors that make consumers “switch on” and “switch off” when they are consuming our products) as well as shopping behaviour and experiences
  • Is a demonstrated team player with a high energy level; have industry, technology, consumer and functional knowledge and edge; with strong negotiating and leadership skills.
  • Able to connect apparently unconnected dots to bring new opportunities for the Company with calculated risk taking
  • Passionate about consumers experiences, product, packaging and innovation;
  • A mindset that embraces change as a natural part of business and demonstrates courage and optimism during times of crisis or change

About the candidate:



  • University technical degree or equivalent (Brewing Science, Food Science, Chemistry,  Biology, Biochemistry, Agronomy, Engineering)
  • Complementary Technical Brewing education is an asset
  • Additional technical & business oriented qualifications are an asset
  • Fluency in English (written/spoken), other language skills constitute an additional asset.
  • Computer skills (Excel, PowerPoint, MS Project, Mind Mapping, ..)
  • Proven Leadership experience. Leading teams and/or big projects.
  • At least 5 years experience with Food Industry and innovation projects.
  • Experience with Innovation strategy (short and long term) and Idea management
  • Proven experience in FMCG product development
  • Experience with Consumer research methodologies
  • Deep understanding of sensory and consumer science,
  • Proven track record of successful delivery and implementation
  • Demonstrated excellence in project management of product development / implementation
  • Relevant experience within the brewing industry is an asset
 Technical competencies (Job related):
  • Proven problem solving skills (Plan Do Check Act structure) and knowledge of creative problem solving tools and techniques (DFSS, TRIZ, others)
  • Proven project management skills
  • Mastery of the process flow involved in  the development / implementation of new products / processes
  • Deep Knowledge in brewing technology, including packaging aspects.
  • Deep knowledge of beer styles and history
  • Deep Knowledge in consumer science and consumer research and capable of extracting technical solutions from commercial needs
  • Strong commercial understanding
  • Strong knowledge of adjacent categories (wine, spirit, cocktails, ciders, soft drinks)
  • Excellent critical, creative and strategic thinking
  • To anticipate market shift, consumer trends and put things in perspective
  • Excellent in platform thinking and scenarios planning
  • Excellent negotiation and persuasive skills
  • To make sure new working methods are put in practice
  • Excellent communication skills (written and verbal)
  • Able to bridge cultural diversity