Central Garden & Pet Company

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Food Scientist, Pet Specialty

at Central Garden & Pet Company

Posted: 1/6/2020
Job Reference #: 6082
Keywords: food

Job Description

Do you have a passion for creating products that nourish and improve the quality of life for small animals - guinea pigs, hamsters, rabbits, gerbils, pet birds and other furry friends? If so, we have a fantastic job opportunity in our Central Specialty Pet business for a Food Scientist!  Supporting our businesses across the Chilton and Franklin, WI facilities, the Food Scientist conducts research and product development activities on pet products for the Kaytee branded categories. He/she will bring key skills and knowledge in new product ideas/concepts and troubleshooting and will be able to initiate product and/or processing concepts from product concept to final production startup and commercialization. Our Food Scientist will spearhead new technology development and its application to extruded products. And he/she will be instrumental in developing and implementing productivity and continuous improvement projects.

Central Garden & Pet Company (NASDAQ:CENT and CENTA), is a leading innovator, marketer and producer of quality branded products for the pet and lawn and garden supplies markets.  Here at Central Specialty Pet, a strategic business unit of Central, we work in a casual office environment where jeans are allowed every day! And we love animals so much, that our office employees can have caged pets at work: fish, hamsters, guinea pigs and lizards are all part of the team!

Our offices are conveniently located in the Franklin, WI Business Park within minutes of local restaurants and stores. In addition to great pay and work environment, employees are eligible for discounts on pet products, Verizon and AT&T cell phone discounts, yearly gym membership reimbursement, medical, dental and vision insurance and a 401k with match!  You will also receive free life and disability coverage and discounts on movie tickets, sporting events, travel and more. Please see our website at www.central.com for additional company information or visit our branded site at www.kaytee.com to learn more about our great products and the furry friends we love!

*Position can be located in Chilton or Franklin, WI.



  • Work directly with sales, marketing and regulatory in developing product concepts including potential claims.
  • Collaborate with Operations, Quality and Regulatory to commercialize products, develop product specifications; assure regulatory compliance.
  • Collaborate cross-functionally with marketing/sales, plant and vendors as the R&D project leader to drive execution across multiple projects.
  • Review packaging proof for package weight, ingredients, guarantee analysis, claims and participate in package review process.
  • Coordinate experimental design, shelf life, palatability testing to make claims on products.
  • Source raw materials based on requirements and develop ingredient specifications.
  • Develop formulas and prototypes with ability to assist in scaling to full production.
  • Compile documentation needed for compliance with applicable regulations and company policies.
  • Conduct product testing to ensure product safety, quality and regulatory compliance is met.
  • Contribute to key product improvements, cost reductions, new products, development, knowledge building or other technically based business driven objectives.
  • Ensure best practices are being followed in compliance with regulations and company policies.
  • Keep current, identify and communicate to management pet food industry trends and the impact to the business as it relates to ingredients or technology. 
  • Ability to adapt existing manufacturing processes in other industries to create innovative new pet products.
  • Possess a basic knowledge of testing methodology including nutrient analysis, microbial testing, toxin screening and product attribute testing.
  • Identify critical process control points and develop/analyze processing parameters.


  • B.S. or advanced level degree in Pet Food Extrusion / Food Science or Food Technology
  • Minimum of 3-5 years product development experience in the pet food industry preferred
  • In-depth experience of extrusion processing with knowledge of ingredient functionality in extruded food matrices and extruder configurations for a variety of process applications.
  • Experience in grain processing, milling and pellet mill operation.
  • Working knowledge of FDA, USDA, AAFCO and related regulations.
  • Experience using Design of Experiments, statistical analysis and ability to interpret results.
  • Ability to work in a constant state of alertness and in a safe manner.
  • Must be detail oriented and organized.
  • Must have excellent communication and computer skills.

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other characteristic protected by law.


All successful applicants should expect to undergo a screening for prohibited levels of drugs prior to beginning employment.