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Principal Packaging Engineer, Consumables

Location Phoenix, Arizona ID PD-18-6425 Apply Now
Job Responsibilities

The candidate will develop and execute technical packaging projects to meet business initiatives focused on New Product Development. This includes designing and executing material tests, analyzing data, documenting and communicating results. Key focus will be on commercializing new products. The candidate will need to be comfortable working across all packaging formats (flexible, rigid, corrugate, cans, cups, glass, etc). Communication and teamwork skills are essential in this role, which operates in a dynamic and cross-functional environment with partners in Brand, Product Development, Product Integrity, Sourcing, Project Management, Packaging Design, external packaging suppliers, contact manufacturers and business partners. The candidate must have a technical background in packaging development, understand the packaging development process from concepting to commercialization and be able to apply prior learning or scientific principles to new situations.

This position requires an individual to manage multiple assignments/ tasks concurrently and demonstrate the ability to complete work with minimal guidance. The candidate is expected to lead his or her projects and exhibit a collaborative mindset to apply innovative solutions. The position will focus on packaging for consumables, but also work on hard goods and specialty packaging projects when needed.

This candidate will have direct project responsibility as well as manage other Packaging Engineers in the future as we continue to evaluate and build this department within PetSmart.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES include, but are not limited to:

  • Increase Innovation for Improved customer experience- Understanding consumers’ needs and translating them into technical packaging requirements to drive business impact
  • Reduce complexity to manage and consolidate die lines for on-shelf consistent presentation
  • Develop frustration free packaging (better seal, function, ergonomics, reduced headspace, etc.)
  • Explore and partner with suppliers on bringing sustainable packaging film to market
  • Extend shelf-life of products and reduced damage from proper venting, film thickness, sizing and polymer selection.
  • Lead technical packaging development projects from concept to commercialization in close partnership with product development.
  • Work closely with cross functional teams, acting as packaging lead to drive execution across multiple projects while maintaining and achieving timelines to ensure speed to market
  • Manage multiple projects with complex scope concurrently
  • Support general brand maintenance to ensure business continuity across multiple categories as needed.
  • Manage technical packaging timelines, provide clear and timely communication, raise issues and risks, and develop contingency plans leveraging project management skills
  • Assess IP opportunities
  • Conduct packaging tests within manufacturing facilities to optimize product and/or process.
  • Write specifications, with attention to detail, that deliver consistent, high-quality products.
  • Determine palletization patterns in close collaboration with suppliers and supply chain operations.
  • Create dielines, technical drawings, and 3d CAD models of packaging.
  • Identify cost savings initiatives for the organization.


  • BS/MS - Packaging, Chemical Engineering, Material Science, Mechanical engineering, or related fields
  • Minimum 4-8 years of packaging experience is required
  • Experience in flexible packaging with perishables is preferred
  • Previous commercialization experience in packaging development for consumer food product industry desirable
  • Ability to work effectively in a team environment
  • Expert understanding of packaging material interactions/functionality and shelf-life .
  • Highly motivated problem solver and the drive to deliver objectives in a complex environment.
  • Ability to plan, put together well thought out design of experiments, anticipate next steps and incorporate course corrections when hurdles appear.
  • Executional excellence, personal leadership and prioritization skills
  • Ability to learn new materials and processes quickly
  • Willing to travel up to 30%. Travel could include (but not limited to): within United States, Canada, Mexico and Thailand to contract manufacturers and suppliers

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  • What we do

    It's no surprise people are passionate about the health and happiness of their pets. So when it comes to the products and solutions they use, every detail counts. From creating and supplying the best assortment of pet accessories to ensuring our stores are fully stocked with a wide array of brands to choose from, our incredible teams of merchandising associates have everything covered – from head to tail!

  • Buying

    From keeping up with the top trends to developing new, innovative solutions, our buyers help ensure every pet parent can find exactly what their pet needs at PetSmart. Join our team, and show your love for pets by creating products as special as pets themselves!

    Our Stores Have:

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    Success in our stores comes from having the right product, in the right place, at the right price — and that’s where our planning and allocation team comes in. This highly strategic and analytical team ensures that all 1,500 stores are fully stocked with over 11,000 products from seven distribution centers.

    Our Team Includes:

  • Product Development

    As the leading pet specialty retailer, innovative product development is a major key to our success. Ideas for new toys and tasty treats are continually being created by our product development team to support our future strategic needs. Interestingly enough, some of our most fun ideas are inspired by our own associates and their pets!

I love to see the product & assortment that our teams create come to life and see it on other dogs in stores, restaurants and dog parks. Brings a big smile to my face!


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