For our most recent installment of Frito-Lay Snack Masters, in which we profile the accomplishments and careers of our fabulous employees and the incredible work they're doing as true masters of their crafts, I had the chance to interview Alexa Williams, senior manager of sensory science for Frito-Lay Research and Development. As a part of our R&D team, Alexa has played a pivotal role in the development of a variety of your favorite dips, salsas and chips including Tostitos Scoops! tortilla chips.
Check out a few quick facts on Alexa below then be sure to listen to the podcast to get Alexa's thoughts on sensory science, why it's better to "fail faster" and the importance of teamwork:
- On the role sensory science plays in product development: Sensory science helps us make products that delight our consumers, but our real strength is the ability to connect the product developers with the consumers to make tastier and better products faster. With sensory science, we're able to work with our consumers every step of the way in the product development process to make sure we are able to provide what they want.
- On the importance of communication: It's all about social connections. Many times when you have a lot of project demands, you think "I don't have the time to talk with people," but, in the end, that time staying connected helps you move faster and be more productive.
- Advice for beginning a career in product development: A balance of education, experience and a passion for the work is critical. A master's degree or Ph.D. is a lot of hard work, but will really pay off in the end as will a wealth of experience in the form of internships. However, at the end of the day, loving the job is what really matters.