Sr. R&D Manager

Posted 11.3.23


OLIPOP was founded in 2017 by Ben Goodwin and David Lester. Ben and David have been working together for nearly a decade to find accessible solutions to bring the benefits of digestive health to as many consumers as possible.  OLIPOP is a deliciously refreshing tonic that is crafted with prebiotics, botanicals, and natural plant fiber to support your microbiome and benefit digestive health. We’re on a mission to provide an affordable, delicious alternative to soda that delivers leading-edge health benefits to mainstream consumers.


At Olipop our values lead the way we create our products, engage with each other, and interact with our community. While we’re invested in our product, we’re equally invested in personal development. We’re tightly knit, we’re genuine and we’re always pushing the envelope to do a better job than we did the day before. Our team is also fully remote, requiring us to be resourceful, creative and collaborative to support our fast-moving business.

To best serve our diverse community of customers, we also seek to recruit and include people with a diversity of abilities, backgrounds, and cultures.


Working at a start-up can be as much a personal journey as it is a professional one. To succeed at a company like Olipop, you must be comfortable with failing, learning, and adapting. You need to be curious, optimistic, and able to find a way when it seems impossible. You must be confident enough to express your ideas but humble and open to learning from your experiences and from others. If this is the approach you take to life, then we’d love to hear from you.


We have an exciting opportunity to join our team as our Senior Manager Research & Development. In this role, you will be involved with all innovation and new product development efforts at OLIPOP. This role collaborates cross functionally with the Quality Assurance, Commercialization teams, as well as our Co-founder/Formulator. The Sr. Manager R&D will tackle the technical challenges that will help the business grow and improve while maintaining OLIPOP’s efficacy and quality.  You will also be reading the R&D team in their efforts to support the goals of the larger organization.  This role is suited for an individual with effective execution skills and an emphasis on innovation, collaborative leadership and creative problem solving.



  • Partner with the Director of Commercialization to ensure New Product Development projects are completed on time and meet project goals (cost, sensory targets, feasibility, quality)
    • Act as the ultimate internal authority on product and process feasibility
    • Ensure that production recipes, process parameters, test run plans and necessary approvals are accurate and communicated to all stakeholders
    • Lead benchtop formulation and testing processes in partnership with OLIPOP’s Co-Founder/Formulator
    • Manage hand off from development to regular production with manufacturers and OLIPOP Quality Assurance
  • Manage all nutritional analysis and verification programs
    • Utilize Genesis R&D to create nutrition facts panels for new products
    • Assess nutritional impacts of formula/ingredient changes
    • Oversee verification programs to ensure nutritional accuracy for all products throughout shelf-life
    • Select appropriate methods for nutritional testing with partner laboratories
  • Lead process improvement & innovation projects that support business growth
    • Partner with manufacturers to Identify new innovation projects that will increase efficiency, reduce cost and create more consistent product throughout the manufacturing network
    • Ensure OLIPOP’s manufacturing of both finished goods and raw materials represents the best practices in the beverage industry
  • Lead and develop the R&D team
    • Direct R&D technicians daily tasks
    • Set departmental goals and KPIs
    • Manage OLIPOP’s  in-person lab establishing SOPs, training and GMPs for all activities
    • Manager lab budget, supplies and ensure the lab can continue to support OLIPOP’s projected growth
  • Own formula management systems at OLIPOP
    • Serve as the internal process owner for all things process and and formulation of OLIPOP products
    • Ensure that recipes are created and maintained in ERP and other internal systems
    • Work collaboratively with quality assurance to maintain product specification and process requirements
    • Partner with the procurement team to optimize all formulas in terms of cost structure, resource use and quality
  • Evaluate new raw materials in partnership with Quality Assurance, Procurement and Commercialization departments
  • Collaborate with the Sales and Marketing teams for the production of appropriate samples
  • Design and implement sensory tasting program to be utilized internally and with manufacturing partners in the evaluation of OLIPOP products
  • Manage product shelf-life and other on-going verification programs in collaboration with Quality Assurance
  • Partner with the Quality Assurance Manager to
    • Support the Customer Experience team in addressing recipe and other technical questions from customers
    • Direct manufacturers on correct batching and overall processing of OLIPOP products
    • Aid Quality Assurance team in the finished product or raw material investigation and corrective action process
  • Participate in OLIPOP Science & Technology Group as a subject matter expert in both OLIPOP specific processes and overall beverage manufacturing process



  • Bachelor’s Degree in Food Science or related discipline
  • 8-12 years experience managing research & development team (beverage experience strongly preferred)
  • Excellent mathematical and analytical skills
  • Experience with Genesis R&D and FoodLogiq software
  • Experience with GCMS systems
  • Experience in data analytics & reporting where insights led to operational improvements
  • High level of proficiency in Microsoft Excel is required (prior experience with Google Workspace preferred)
  • Strong attention to detail with good follow through to ensure job completion and accuracy
  • Good organizational skills, ability and willingness to help solve complex supply scenarios
  • People oriented nature resulting in a drive to help others; resulting in strong customer service and responsiveness
  • Ability to prioritize and manage multiple high priority objectives


  • 25% travel required to Manufacturers, Suppliers and OLIPOP R&D lab


COMPENSATION: $125-150K base salary plus bonus


REPORTS TO: Director of Quality & R&D


We are proud to be an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.  Olipop does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor. Applicants and employees are protected from discrimination under Federal law. For more information, please see EEO is the Law.

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