Sensory Scientist – Global Descriptive Panel Lead

  • Location: US - Watsonville, California
  • Job Family: Research & Development
  • Time Type: Full time
  • Job Requisition ID: R0003039
  • Experience Years: 3-5 Years of Experience
  • Employee Type: Regular

About the Opportunity

The role of the Sensory Scientist - Global Descriptive Panel Lead is to identify berry attribute characteristics and intensities (objective data) that are essential to delight Driscoll’s customers and link it to consumer acceptance (subjective) and additional analytical data (presence and concentration). It is imperative that we can provide concrete direction to our breeding team so they can develop and select optimal berry varieties that results in the premium berry experience.


  • Implement and innovate sensory methodologies to evaluate Global R&D’s products for both immediate and long-terms objectives (ranging from traditional discrimination and affective to descriptive and novel methodologies).
  • Design sensory tests (on-site and in-home) to generate sensory profiles or fingerprints of products based on variable conditions (i.e., product type, variety, seasonal period, and growing location, etc.).
  • Evaluate flavors of Global R&D’s products/genetics compared to other breeding programs.
  • Help recruit and maintain trained panels (from internal employees and outside consumers) to evaluate product attributes prior to increased consumer testing, to safeguard QA/QC while monitoring potential post-harvest sensory changes, and to define sensory properties of targeted Global R&D products.
  • Analyze and interpret quantitative and qualitative data using conventional and novel statistical tests and models (i.e., M/ANOVA, landscape segment analysis, preference mapping, correspondence analysis, penalty-lift analysis, canonical variate analysis, etc.).
  • Collaborate with other departments (including Breeding, Chemistry, Post-Harvest, QA, Marketing, and Production) to fully understand flavors of Global R&D’s products and their global impact on consumer preferences and financial goals.
  • Provide sensory education to stakeholders to improve communications between Driscoll’s, Customers, Consumers, and Growers.
  • Expand sensory and consumer product knowledge to analyze respective consumer trends and financial strategies.
  • Provide technical perspective to collaborating teams (including Breeding and Chemistry) to strengthen product markets and business relationships.
  • Recognize current and new drivers of market trends in consumer and sensory research and Global R&D’s product categories.
  • Other duties as needed.

Candidate Profile

  • PhD/M.S. in a technical field, with preferred consumer and sensory science focus.
  • 3-6 years’ work experience in sensory and consumer science, data analysis, and statistical modeling.
  • 1-3 years’ work experience in project managing, financing, and budgeting.
  • Knowledgeable in data analysis and structuring, statistics, and interpretation.
  • Ability to work independently and manage multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Proficient in problem-solving and critical thinking to drive actionable solutions.
  • Experienced in story telling with data.
  • Ability to effectively present information in one-on-one and small group situations to other employees of the organization.
  • Valid U.S. Driver’s License.
  • Hold valid passport with the ability to travel internationally without restrictions.
  • Non-smoker - Smoking has been shown to effect sensory perception; it may skew the results of a descriptive panel. A descriptive panel (typically) consists of folks with high sensory acuity (smell, taste, touch, etc.) the aroma that a smoker carries post-smoking may impact the way a panelist perceives the product they are tasting.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Bilingual (English/Spanish) capabilities are a plus.

About Driscolls

Driscoll's is the global market leader for fresh strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. With more than 100 years of farming heritage and hundreds of independent growers around the world, Driscoll's is passionate about growing fresh, beautiful and delicious berries. Our values of humility, passion and trustworthiness have guided our mission to delight consumers around the world.

Driscoll's exclusive patented berry varieties are developed through years of research using only natural breeding methods – meaning, no GMOs. From farm-to-table, we focus on delivering a high quality, premium berry experience with our many supply chain partners.

Driscoll's is the trusted brand for Only the Finest Berries™.

Driscoll's es el proveedor líder en la comercialización de Fresas, Frambuesas, Zarzamoras y Arándanos Azules en el mundo. Con más de 100 años de herencia en agricultura y cientos de productores independiente alrededor del mundo, Driscoll's es una compañía apasionada por cultivar Berries frescas, hermosas y deliciosas. Nuestros valores de humildad, pasión y confianza han guiado nuestra misión de deleitar a los consumidores en el mundo.

Las variedades exclusivas de Driscoll's han sido desarrolladas a través de años de investigación usando sólo métodos de mejoramiento natural. De la granja a la mesa, nos enfocamos en ofrecer una experiencia de alta calidad con apoyo de nuestros socios de la cadena de suministro.

Driscoll's es la marca de confianza de sólo las mejores Berries.