• Food Sector Jobs

    Posted on 25-08-21 by Jack Woolsey

    Food forms an important part of the FMCG sector. Along with drinks, food is considered to be one of the biggest manufacturing sectors within the UK. As a result, it is a sector that is always ripe with opportunities, regardless of what you specialise in. Examples of products in the food sector would include fruit and vegetables, meat, dairy products, bread and baked goods or confectionery. Products in this sector, as with other consumer goods, are normally sold in high volumes at low prices and consumed quickly. 

    Due to the small profit margins made on food and the short shelf life, food sector companies must strive to sell as many units as possible, quickly and consistently. To make this happen, all aspects of the business play an important role. Whether that is marketing the goods to consumers or vendors or by maintaining the quality of the product. 

    Most FMCG businesses are considered essential for a good standard of living in the developed world. Examples of businesses in the food sector include Mondelez, Mars, Nestlé and Kraft who market and sell a vast array of different products and brands. 

    As with all consumer goods businesses, a job in the food sector will provide you with an exciting and ever-evolving work environment as you shape and change the way people consume food from their favourite brands and categories. Everyone needs to buy food, so working in the food industry can be considered a good, stable career move. Companies like those mentioned above are always needed to deliver food and are unlikely to dip in the marketplace. 

    Large scale businesses such as those in the food industry require a more defined structure and strongly established processes in order for each department to operate smoothly and in harmony with others. As a result, employees in the food industry can expect a clearer understanding of their career progression too and where their current role can take them. Depending on the business, there is often the opportunity to move sideways into other functions, provided you have enough history with the business or brand you’re working for. Many businesses will also offer the opportunity for you to keep learning and gain professional qualifications related to your field or role.   

    Due to the scale of the food sector businesses (like Mondelez or Nestlé for example) and the requirement for multiple functions and departments needed to run smoothly, there is a wide range of career opportunities if you are ready to take the next step in your career. Below are just a few areas in which Clear Edge Search and Selection can help.

    Food production jobs are a crucial element for the company. Without production, there’s no product to sell, market or review. There are many different roles available in food production and you could find yourself working within an office and or factory environment. 

    Food Production Jobs

    The overall aim of a manufacturing division is to ensure that production operates continually, efficiently and with as few disruptions as possible. Tasks within this could involve management of a factory team, overseeing production flow, meeting production targets or even organising rotas and shifts. 

    Requirements for a food production job will depend on the role itself but any experience in an FMCG business or fast-paced production environment will be beneficial.  

    Food Manufacturing Jobs

    Food manufacturing jobs are concerned with converting processed ingredients into finished products. For example, a food manufacturer will acquire tomato paste (previously processed from tomatoes) and use this ingredient, along with others to manufacture a pasta sauce. 

    As with food production jobs, your role in food manufacturing will revolve around this process. Your role will contribute to meeting manufacturing targets and potentially managing the resources and labour for this.  

    Requirements for food manufacturing jobs will depend on the role itself, so we recommend checking the job description. Experience in an FMCG business or fast-paced production environment will be beneficial. 

    Food Safety and Technical Jobs

    Jobs in food safety for a consumer goods company will likely involve ensuring that the FMCG company meets all of its regulatory and ethical obligations and is legally compliant. These rules are legally in place to ensure that food is always safe for the consumer. 

    You will define or follow policies and processes within the company to ensure that all food and edible products are safe. Your expert knowledge and background in food safety will prove useful as it will allow you to advise and guide the operations of the team or even the business as a whole. 

    You may also play a part in quality control, reviewing complaints, product recalls and any accidents or near misses. As a result of these, company processes may need changes. 

    Ideal candidates for food safety jobs will be passionate about safety in order to drive significant change and promote a strong safety culture. They will be well-organised, have sufficient knowledge of food safety standards and be capable of communicating across functions. 

    Fresh Produce Jobs

    Fresh produce jobs refer to roles that work with food such as fruit and vegetables. There are many roles within the fresh produce jobs industry, but the focus is heavier on supply and distribution. Unlike other products that require more processing and branded packaging, for example, chocolate bars, fresh produce goes from farm to table as quickly as possible. 

    In a fresh produce role, you’ll have seasonality to consider and perhaps a more diverse range of locations and people to source your produce. There are a number of challenges in the fresh produce industry, such as sustainability and the environmental impacts of sourcing products from around the world. The market is also very competitive. 

    Food Technology Jobs

    Whereas fresh produce jobs are mainly concerned with products that come straight from the earth, food technology jobs focus on creating something using a combination of ingredients. Much like food product development, food technology is all about food that is created beyond basic ingredients. 

    This could involve determining the best recipes by modifying the ingredients or finding new ones. You could be responsible for obtaining and testing samples and determining the suitability for new products. The ingredients may be used to change or improve the flavour, act as preservatives or help the businesses meet legislative requirements. 

    You’ll likely have communication with the marketing department who will be responsible for communicating the product benefits and features to the target market. 

    Food Product Development Jobs

    A job in food product development allows you to work on bringing new innovative products to the market, be that conceptualising, planning or launching. You could work anywhere from start to finish on a new product.  

    At the concept stage, your food product development job could see you in conjunction with a category and or commercial team researching market trends and analysing them to determine what sort of new products to develop. 

    You could be tasked with sourcing new materials for a product in development and through testing, determining which ones are best. At this stage you’ll also need to work out costs and ensure that materials acquired are within the current legislation guidelines.  

    In a senior management role in food product development, you could be responsible for overseeing the entire product development team. 

    You will need to have relevant qualifications and background in food technology. 

    Food Marketing Jobs

    Marketing jobs in the food industry will involve the promotion of branded food products to the FMCG business’s customers. 

    Within the food sector, there are two types of customers. Either you will work on marketing products to the consumer who buys the food from the shelves, or to the vendors and supermarkets that will sell the food on. Since there are different motives for purchasing your product, you will likely use different marketing methods for each.  

    There are so many different customer touchpoints in the food industry, so working in a food marketing job could see you participate in various different marketing functions.

    Regardless ofwhether you work in B2C, B2B or a mixture of both, it will be important for you to identify and analyse the ideal customers for the food product you’re marketing. Although food can be consumed by anyone, it’s crucial to understand the brand and determine who the product will appeal to the most. Some food might be marketed as a luxury product, others might be marketed specifically to vegans or flexitarians for example. 

    As a marketing team, you will contribute to designing or developing a strong brand image and then position it so that the food product takes up a permanent place in consumer’s minds. It will be your responsibility to attract more customers and raise brand awareness through marketing campaigns. As food is everywhere, it can be difficult to stand out in the market, but this is a challenge you’ll be happy to take on. At the end of the day, there needs to be a good return on any investments you make.  

    Food marketing jobs are a great place to combine your creative and analytical skills. Creativity helps to bring new ideas to implement into your campaigns whilst data interpretation helps you to make more informed decisions. A good commercial awareness will mean that you’re always looking out for new opportunities to promote the business. 

    Communication skills are crucial, as this is effectively what marketing is all about. You’ll be confident in communicating with your audience in a variety of ways. Not only that, you will need to speak with internal stakeholders for collaborative work and regarding performance. 

    If you plan to work in a management role, you’ll need a good and broad understanding of marketing as a whole as well as leadership skills. 

    Food Sector Sales Jobs

    Consistent relationships with other businesses are important for selling food products. This is because a manufacturer relies heavily on vendors to sell the food. This is where the sales role comes in, to create and maintain these partnerships for the mutual benefit of both parties.

    If you’re working in a food sales job for a large manufacturer, you can expect to be working closely with existing and new retail partners, to grow the relationship and ensure that the products bring profit to both businesses. Your work may be office-based or home-based, however, the work will likely involve visits to clients and attending trade exhibitions. 

    You will be required to meet sales targets and continually review sales performance. Adverts for sales roles in the food industry will usually display a salary that includes ‘on-target earnings’ (OTE). Some businesses may also offer commission schemes.  

    In the food industry, sales are not focused on a quick one-off sale. After-sales services to your ongoing clients will be a crucial part of your role in developing and maintaining relationships for continued success. Clients may come to you directly for any queries or issues, such as pricing, delivery schedules or upcoming promotions. 

    To be successful in a food sales job, you’ll need to be confident in your negotiation and communication skills, as you’ll spend time talking to existing and potential clients trying to get the best deal for your brand. You’ll need to confidently persuade buyers that the product you are selling is the best one for the limited shelf space. You’ll need to be a self-starter with commercial awareness and leadership skills.

    Food Procurement Jobs 

    For the food sector, efficient procurement of materials and ingredients is key. The production lines need a consistent supply. In a food procurement role, you’ll be creating or working within the company’s sourcing strategies. This involves liaising with new and existing suppliers with your company’s best interests in mind. You’ll want to ensure due diligence has been carried out and that you’re as cost-efficient as you can be. You’ll be confident about stock management and planning incoming materials and ingredients. A balance is required as production needs to continue but food items can be perishable. 

    A food procurement role requires an individual with great communication and negotiation skills as well as attention to detail. A track record of successful procurement or planning is highly advantageous. 

    Food Category Management Jobs

    Category managers are what bring all the other departments together around a product. They will work with marketing, research companies, supply chain and commercial departments to ensure a common strategy is understood and implemented. Their overall aim is to drive business growth but their day-to-day responsibilities can be very diverse. 

    Food category managers could find themselves analysing data and consumer trends, meeting with suppliers or retailers, briefing research companies, working on NPD and promotions, updating category reports and more. The job description will usually include a full list of all your responsibilities. 

    As a category management role is typically very broad and varied, requirements and responsibilities may vary from company to company. Previous experience in category management is highly advantageous and you will likely need a solid understanding of marketing and sales principles. You’ll be highly organised and be comfortable with people management and communication. 

    Food sector opportunities

    Clear Edge Search and Selection specialises in placing candidates for jobs in the food sector, including sales, marketing, manufacturing, safety and more. If you’re looking for your next big career move in the food industry, we can help you out with our dedicated team of expert consultants. Get in touch today to discuss your requirements.

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