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What you can expect from food industry jobs in the UK

8 min read
AUTHOR: Food Matters Live
supply chain manager checking stock

The food industry is a constantly evolving one which has a reach across the globe. Businesses in this industry generate high levels of revenue and operate at a massive scale with cross-country departments. 

This means that there’s a huge number of opportunities available around the world for those looking to launch their career with a food industry job, especially for those prepared to put in the hard work. 

Jobs you can expect in the food industry

Jobs in the food industry aren’t all about working on production lines and wearing hairnets. Depending on your chosen food industry job, you could have the opportunity to travel all over the world, providing insights into the latest innovations and developments in products or technology. 

Food industry careers are hugely multifaceted, requiring the skills of scientists, artists, and everything in between. Because of this, the industry can offer appetising jobs for those who work more meticulously and those who take a more creative approach to their work. 

No matter where your skills lie, there’s a high chance you’ll discover an exciting career within the food industry that’s perfectly suited to your unique skill set and career goals. 

Food Technologist

A highly varied and versatile job role, food technologists could be developing recipes on one day and modifying manufacturing processes the next. 

As a food technologist, your primary duties will involve working on the development of recipes and production processes behind the very latest food and beverage products to hit the shelves. 

Your primary goal will be to ensure that these products are safe for consumption, made in an efficient and sustainable way, and developed to the specific standards required for each product. 

You may also have the opportunity to work on existing and newly-discovered ingredients to invent innovative and never-before-seen products and concepts, however, staying on top of the latest and ever-changing regulations and legislation within the industry is also a core part of this career. 

Typical responsibilities include: 

  • Modifying existing products and processes whilst developing new ones
  • Checking and improving upon current safety and quality control processes 
  • Researching the latest consumer trends for product concepts
  • Running trials of new products
  • Coordinating launches of the latest food and beverage products
  • Undertaking long-term cross-department projects
  • Developing new packaging technologies
  • Building relationships with suppliers and customers

Product Quality Controller

Quality controllers are responsible for ensuring food and beverage products are fit for purpose, legally compliant, meet consumer expectations and, most importantly, are safe for consumption. 

Sometimes called quality assurance managers, quality controllers coordinate the activities required for meeting the highest quality standards across the food and beverage industry. 

This means guaranteeing that the quality across all your products is consistent and that they meet a number of requirements set by your company and by the law. 

The role of a quality controller involves monitoring and advising on the performance of the current quality management system in your company. You will also be required to produce data, report on the performance of your workers, and measure metrics against set standards. 

Typical responsibilities include: 

  • Devising and establishing new or current quality procedures and standards for a company
  • Ensuring customer standards are being met
  • Setting standards for quality, health, and safety
  • Ensuring manufacturing and production processes meet international and national requirements
  • Developing ways to increase efficiency and reduce waste
  • Monitoring performance by gathering relevant data and producing reports

Product Manager

Food product managers work with the people who make a product, those who use a product, and those who manage a business, to ensure that said product is meeting the requirements of both the consumer and the law. 

Product managers need knowledge of business, marketing, data analysis, and technology in addition to having excellent communication and organisational skills, in order to ensure their job is completed to the highest standards possible. 

Ensuring their product is being made efficiently and that the people manufacturing it have access to the latest technologies and techniques is a key aspect of this role. Food product managers also need to listen to their audience, gathering feedback and satisfaction data to make critical decisions about the future of their latest product. 

Typical responsibilities include: 

  • Taking overall responsibility for the success or failure of your product
  • Contributing towards product strategy and vision
  • Collecting consumer feedback and using this to further develop a product
  • Creating timelines and roadmaps for product development
  • Implementing or supporting marketing campaigns
  • Researching competitors and similar products for a competitive advantage

Production Operations Manager

As a food production operations manager, you’ll be the one to make sure food and beverage products are produced safely, cost-effectively, and punctually. You are also the person to guarantee each product meets the required quality and safety standards to ensure they are fit for sale. 

The scope of this role will depend on your chosen sector within the food and beverage industry, as different types of product manufacture can vastly increase the complexity of the role. 

In most cases, however, you will be responsible for both human and material resources during the production of food and beverage items.

Typical responsibilities include: 

  • Planning and drawing-up production schedules
  • Deciding and ordering the resources required for production
  • Setting quality standards
  • Ensuring cost-effective production and agreeing on budgets with clients and managers
  • Ensuring strict health and safety guidelines are being followed at all times
  • Ensuring food and beverage products are completed on time, on budget, and that they adhere to the highest standards

Sensory Technician

Sensory technicians, also known as sensory technologists and sensory scientists, are the ones to spearhead product development for food and beverage companies.

Not only will you be conducting research and rigorous testing to gauge what your target customers are drawn to in the market of today, but this data will also be used to inform the development of new products and the improvement of current products to make them healthier whilst maintaining flavour for example. 

Sensory technicians are an invaluable part of a food and beverage production team, conducting research and ensuring high-quality results are achieved from the data collected.

Typical responsibilities include:

  • The preparation of ingredients, packaging, equipment, and products for routine supervised sensory tests
  • Serving taste panels and ensuring all testing is carried out error-free
  • Compliance with appropriate legislation, SOPs, methods, and established policies and procedures
  • Ensuring all safety guidelines are being followed strictly

Food Marketer

Although the goal of food marketing to promote sales remains the same throughout the industry, the means of how this is achieved can be vastly different across companies. 

This role involves everything from building relationships with customers and raising brand awareness and scope, to the development of new products and their promotion via advertising, and even paying for premium shelf space in supermarkets. 

Food marketers have the opportunity to develop and execute marketing campaigns for a wide range of food brands and products, and the job involves analysing target markets and conducting consumer research to target the correct audience with relevant messaging. 

Typical responsibilities include:

  • The development and implementation of marketing and branding strategies to increase the sale of food products or increase brand awareness
  • Conducting consumer research to ensure messaging is as accurate as possible
  • The creation of marketing materials such as promotional emails, social media posts, adverts for broadcast and print, and more
  • Assisting in the creation of pricing strategies to increase company profit

Supply Chain Manager

Supply chain managers oversee and manage every single stage of the production flow. From purchasing raw materials for use in production to the delivery of the finalised product, supply chain management requires people to source the right products in the right timeframe and at the right costs. 

You will ensure the right amount of product is being made just when they’re needed, and you’ll even coordinate how the product is stored after production. This includes organising the movement of goods from warehouses to your customers, whilst also forecasting trends and managing inventories for periods of high sales. 

Typical responsibilities include:

  • Working with procurement managers and buyers to obtain the right products
  • Negotiating contracts with suppliers and buyers
  • Controlling the manufacturing and delivery processes
  • Planning and implementing logistical strategies to ensure targets are achieved
  • Overseeing how your products are stored, handled, and distributed

Development Chef

A development chef will specialise in the development and innovation of the latest food products. 

From testing different recipes for current products which maintain flavour, appearance, and texture after processing, to developing new products with brand-new ingredients, development chefs have an extremely varied job role. 

Development chefs work closely with other members of the product development team, collaborating on research into new products and their target audiences to ensure their latest creations are hits. 

Typical responsibilities include: 

  • Formulating new recipes and improving upon existing ones
  • Transforming concepts into viable products
  • Liaising with team members across departments
  • Communicating with suppliers to ensure your company is aware of the latest ingredients
  • Identifying market niches for brand new products

Find out about roles in the food sectors, and get tips and information about the career of your future with Food Matters Live’s free Inspiring Careers in Food guide.

The Inspiring Careers in Food Guide offers an unmissable opportunity to reach your target audience. Improve your Employer Brand Awareness, promote your opportunities to the future talent of the F&B industry, and spotlight the fantastic career pathways available with your business.


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