COOP: Head of Product Development

Manchester, Lancashire, United Kingdom


  1. Head of Product Development
  2. £80,000 – £90,000 plus benefits (Work Level 4)
  3. Manchester city centre

We’re now working in a hybrid way, with colleagues dividing their time between home/remote working and the office. You can find out more about our hybrid working policy at

We’re looking for a passionate and dynamic head of product development to join our delicious food team and help us to set and drive our product development strategy across all own-brand food at Co-op. We’re always exploring new ways to keep up with the ever-changing needs of our customers and are proud of our delicious and convenient ranges. You’ll be joining us at a time where having the right balance of quality, value, health, sustainability, and product innovation is vital to deliver our own brand growth ambitions. We’ll need you to use your expert food and market knowledge and great commercial acumen to stay one step ahead of the market, and drive quality and innovation across our key customer missions.

As a head of product development, you’ll look at the performance of existing products and also explore potential new offerings, continuing to drive profitable growth within our own brand. It’ll be up to you to recognize what our customers need now, whilst also looking forwards to understand what products and propositions we can offer to best serve them in the future. You’ll be an expert at using data to inform decisions and will identify new and exciting opportunities to share with colleagues across the Food business. This incredibly exciting role offers a rare opportunity for you to use your retail expertise and passion for delicious food to transform the landscape of our future customer offering.

What you’ll do

  • lead, empower and encourage a team of colleagues
  • work collaboratively across our commercial, own brand, policy, range, and technical teams
  • take responsibility for shaping and driving the product development strategy for all own-brand food at Co-op
  • drive future thinking, identify new potential offerings and build the platform that allows us to innovate
  • focus on continuous improvement, reviewing current processes, and crafting new ways of working to bring teams together and enable managers to deliver the new strategy
  • develop our supplier base, building strong working relationships and a culture that supports quality and innovation
  • become a subject matter expert in terms of food trends and customer needs and present confidently to the Co-op board and executives where required
  • explore new multi-channel options for future offerings

This role would suit people who have

  • previous experience of working in a senior position in a food product development or innovation role
  • a background in retail, or extensive experience within a senior role in manufacturing
  • outstanding relationship-building skills and the ability to engage with and influence internal and external partners at all levels
  • a strong and empowering leadership style with the ability to lead, motivate and inspire a team of colleagues
  • a genuine passion for new, innovative food trends and quality food
  • expert knowledge of the food and convenience market and interpreting consumer insight
  • the ability to network and build relationships within the external food industry and with our supplier base
  • a future-focused approach and a natural ability to innovative and spot new opportunities

Why Co-op?

Here you’ll do work that matters. We’re a commercial organization with a purpose beyond profit, you’ll have an opportunity to help us build a stronger Co-op and stronger communities. You’ll also get a package that includes:

  • competitive salary
  • company car or car allowance
  • private healthcare
  • coaching, training and support to help you develop
  • pension with up to 10% employer contributions
  • annual incentive scheme
  • 28 days holiday (rising to 32 in line with service)
  • discounts on Co-op products and services

Building an inclusive work environment

We’re actively building diverse teams and welcome applications from everyone. But simply having a diverse workforce is not enough. We aim to build an inclusive environment, where everyone can contribute their best work and develop to their full potential. We celebrate our differences and recognize the importance of teams reflecting the communities they serve.

We can make adjustments to our interview process according to your needs. And we offer a flexible working environment so you can adjust your hours to suit your personal circumstances. You can find out more about Co-op people policies at

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By Published On: September 22nd, 2022Tags:

About the Author: Christopher Durham

Christopher Durham is the president of the Velocity Institute. Prior to this he founded the groundbreaking site My Private Brand. He is the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He began his retail career building brands at Food Lion and Lowe’s Home Improvement. Durham has worked with retailers around the world, including Albertsons, Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro Canada. Durham has published seven definitive books on private brands, including Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project and Vanguard: Vintage Originals.