Product Development Specialist

Located in Burlington Ontario, Health First Network (HFN) is Canada’s only non-profit buying and marketing group for independent health & wellness retailers. With more than 130 Member stores, and growing, from coast to coast, HFN’s mission is to keep its Members competitive and independent. Helping Canadians have access to natural health products and respect the environment is the main drive in the pursuit of our cause.

The Product Development Specialist is a diverse and challenging position, and a great opportunity to play a significant role in the growth and evolution of our company. This can be achieved using a mix of experience, product formulation, strategic thinking, and an overall passion for the health of Canadians. The Product Development Specialist is plays the lead role in the spearheading of ideas for new products with full accountability for advancing the offerings and quality of our product line.

Reporting to the Director of Operations and other Managers, you will be responsible for:

  • Leading the formulation, development, and support for the HFN product line
  • Establishing connections and forums with Membership to directly obtain their input and feedback on product strategies and takes action
  • Assessing challenges with the product line, and works in a collaborative environment with the Membership and Executive Management team to formulate strategic plans, while taking action when required
  • Assessing product and production performance, and solving any issues that may arise
  • Establishing and maintaining relationships with key third party manufacturers and vendors to execute new ideas and improvements to existing formulas and packaging, as it relates to the product line
  • Providing recommendations for product line support, drive, or discontinuation
  • Collaborating with Member Relations and Training, and Marketing management to be a key resource for product related training and support, and design of key product materials and communications
  • Identifying emerging natural health categories and find ways to promote and differentiate HFN products ahead of competitors
  • Acting as the lead for the HFN Brand Product Taskforce, and ensuring appropriate meetings, communications, and progress occur
  • Attending trade and supply shows throughout North America, to stay abreast to the most upcoming Natural Health Product trends
  • Answering consumer inquiries regarding HFN products and formulation
  • Acting as a key communication point between HFN and Member Stores, and taking input regarding product development, challenges, issues, and providing support
  • Growing the HFN product line and executing strategy that aligns and supports HFN’s vision and objectives
  • Representing HFN Members’ best interests in all facets of product development and business conduct, while supporting and contributing to HFN program success

The successful candidate will have:

  • A Post-Secondary education (B.Sc, and/or M.Sc) with a focus in Nutrition or other relevant discipline
  • Excellent knowledge of Natural Health Product formulations and a solid understanding and awareness of raw materials
  • Strong interpersonal skills, with the ability to work well in a small, team-oriented and collaborative organization
  • Excellent business acumen, and the ability to qualify ideas and confidently progress the business
  • The ability to work with data and manage numbers confidently
  • Experience working with Health Canada and other affiliated health organizations
  • Strategic thinking, analyzing, and planning capabilities, and the aptitude to create solid business cases with attention to detail
  • A valid G class license, as travel is required for the role

If you are looking for a fun, strong, and collaborative team to join, we want to hear from you! You will participate in taking a rapidly growing industry, and be directly involved in taking Health First Network to the next level as a key provider in the Natural Health Products sector.

All applicants are to submit a cover letter, including salary expectations, and resume. We appreciate all who express interest; however, please be advised that only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

In accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the Ontario Human Rights Code, Health First Network will provide accommodations to applicants with disabilities throughout the recruitment, selection and/or assessment process. Please inform us of the nature of any accommodation(s) that you may require.

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