What’s it all about then?
As a New Product Technologist you’ll be involved in the development of packaging, products, equipment and processes – and the delivery of projects to the Company standards across different categories on new product design and innovation projects.
What might I be doing?
New Product Technologists have a varied remit as they work to create new food products that are safe and attractive to customers – and profitable for businesses.
Jobs could include:
- Modifying current products and processes and developing new ones
- Continually researching markets and technologies to develop new product concepts
- Selecting raw materials and other ingredients from suppliers
- Preparing product costings to ensure profitable products
- Auditing suppliers or managing internal audits from customers
- Co-ordinating launches of new products or running trials
- Dealing with any customer complaint investigations or product issues
- Drawing up product specifications and ensuring new products can be manufactured profitably and safely
- Working with range of colleagues within the company to ensure that your products will have a successful launch and manufacturing life
- Developing the ability to repeat processes to ensure consistency and safety
- Working with official food inspection and hygiene agencies
- Working with engineering/production to develop solutions to production issues whilst maintaining food safety
What will be expected of me?
You’ll obviously need to have an interest in the chemistry of foods and the science of food preparation, and its application to the food development process.
The job involves paying a lot of attention to detail and you’ll also need to have good written and verbal skills to prepare reports and present ideas internally and to customers.
You’ll be enthusiastic about food and know loads about what’s happening in your company’s markets.
As a new product technologist, you will be expected to keep right on top of any changes in food-related legislation and possible impacts on your company – and you should also be a stickler for food safety and hygiene.
What can I expect?
You’ll be dealing with lots of people in this role, so you’ll definitely need to be the sort of person who enjoys meeting others and discussing new ideas.
You’ll need to work alongside experts from right across the business, including marketing, sales, operations and engineering.
What about the pay?
It’s a fun and challenging role, and the pay is pretty good too. You can expect to start at around £22K – but with the right qualification and experience, this could quickly rise to around £35K. With the UK food and drink industry’s skills shortage, you can expect starting salaries to be higher than in other industries. And with the right experience, there’s no telling where your career could go.
What qualifications do I need to get in?
You will often need a food-related degree as the preferred entry qualification for the job of product development technologist.Of course, relevant science subjects such as chemistry and microbiology will also help. The EDEN Dairy Technology apprenticeship, as a first or second degree, is also an excellent starting point as it provides you with excellent Dairy technology knowledge combined with strong operational experience which is often lacking in a new graduate.
You could also have worked in other areas in the Company such as having started as a development assistant. This means meaning you started after completing A-levels or a further education course so will need to prove your product technologist skills.
What about further training?
Postgraduate degrees are available in lots of different areas that will complement your role and enhance your career development.
You might also consider membership of a professional organisation such as the Institute of Food Science and Technology and this will be useful in a number of ways including networking opportunities, news of new developments, and demonstration of your commitment to your career through continuing professional development.
Anything else I might need to know?
It’s common for food technologists to move to other business areas where their specialist knowledge is be a real advantage.
Also, whilst larger companies offer more opportunity for cross-functional moves, small and medium-sized companies generally offer greater responsibility earlier and the chance to gain skills and experience across the range of business areas quickly.