Consumer Insight Senior Researcher – R&D

Job Title: Consumer Insight Senior Researcher – R&D
Contract Type: Permanent
Location: Bedford
Job Published: December 08, 2020 11:44

Job Description

Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of fast-moving consumer goods. Our products are sold in over 190 countries and used by 2 billion consumers every day.  People know us by our brands which include Dove, Lynx, Persil, Flora, Knorr, Lipton and Wall’s ice-cream.

Within Unilever there are two consumer insight functions – one partnering Marketing and one partnering R&D. We have one Consumer Insight role partnering Global R&D at our Colworth site in Bedfordshire UK, focusing on transforming consumer insights into foresight to create, design and deploy amazing products.

Tea is the world’s most popular beverage, and our Lipton brand is the second biggest beverage brand globally. Lipton has a presence in over 100 countries with hot and cold beverages, and a mission to bring consumers positively uplifting and pleasurable experiences, “adding goodness at every step, from tea growers to drinkers”.

Our Tea business houses a portfolio of brands targeting different consumer segments and needs.  Delivering Superior Brand Experiences is at the heart of the category, and R&D has a pivotal role to play in developing impactful global innovations and renovations that delight consumers and provide us with a source of competitive advantage. 

This role presents an exciting opportunity for someone who is passionate about supporting R&D with developing new products and services to better meet consumer needs and drive profitable growth for our Tea business.

If you have a passion for shaping impactful consumer research, enjoy team work, and have an ability to translate insights into new business opportunities – this is a role for you.


The key job role is to work within R&D to help deliver the Tea business ambition in Consumer Insights. This will involve working closely with the CI Director/Leader and CI Manager in order to:

  • Plan and deliver CI research within the Tea global CI programmes to identify new sources of competitive advantage for the business.
  • Work as a team within global CI to ensure smooth implementation of integrated research plans for innovation/renovation projects.  

The Role:

Global CI Programme Delivery

As a lead CI Researcher on global projects you will be responsible for designing and executing integrated research plans for innovation/renovation projects (target definition, qual/quant early stage consumer evaluation of product/ pack prototypes and sensory measurement).  

  • Reviewing historical market, consumer and sensory data to identify opportunities for superior products and claims, and providing the R&D teams with clear guidance on how to deliver these. 
  • Identifying what consumer (quali & quant) or sensory research is needed to deliver project objectives and developing a brief for this. Executing consumer & sensory research according to best practice guidelines, and drawing out clear and actionable insights and recommendations for project teams.
  • Together with Technical Project Leaders (TPLs) and the Nutrition, Regulatory and Legal functions, contributing to the crafting of outstanding claims, ensuring robust consumer and/or sensory evidence is in place to substantiate these where relevant.
  • Together with TPLs developing demos that bring to life the benefits of our innovations & renovations for consumers and customers.
  • Working collaboratively with regional CI teams to inform research plans for global projects, and cascading findings and recommendations. 
  • Partnering closely with Consumer Market Insights (partner to Marketing) to develop integrated consumer insight research plans for projects.

In addition, you will be responsible for:

  • Managing CI support for multiple projects in parallel, taking calls on priorities where needed.
  • Working collaboratively with cross-functional team members, across all regions/countries.
  • Developing new/improved consumer insight approaches through cross-function collaboration and embedding these within projects.
  • Championing specific CI capabilities, developing best practice guidelines, providing regional teams with advice/guidance, and drawing out key learnings globally to guide R&D strategy.
  • Building own knowledge and actively enhancing expertise as needed.

About You:

  • Degree in psychology, marketing, sensory or related science area. 
  • Several years’ experience of CI approaches within industry, as well as experience of working in multi-functional project teams, ideally with a R&D perspective.
  • Experience of multi-country consumer researches ideal, but not essential.
  • Good knowledge and understanding of market, consumer & competitor trends globally.
  • Requires strong influencing skills in order to align team members behind decisions and recommendations.
  • High level of autonomy, and bias for action.

Not afraid to escalate issues and suggest proactive steps to overcome obstacles.