If you are interested in working in the food and drink industry, you might be thinking of becoming a chef, a fishmonger, a butcher or a bartender. But have you ever thought about becoming a food photographer? Or a packaging designer? Or a nutritionist? This article looks at some of the more unusual roles within the industry and demonstrates the breadth of opportunities available.

1) Food photographers and stylists

Food photographers and stylists work together to make food look photogenic and stylistic in photographs and videos. The images they create can be used on menus, websites, magazines and social media. There are lots of things for stylists and photographers to think about before they take the photo… the colours, texture, shape, the lighting. They must also be organised and work quickly and efficiently so that they avoid burnt sausages, melted ice cream or flat prosecco!

2) Soil Scientist

Soil scientists use their understanding of physics, chemistry and biology to understand soils.  They can influence agricultural production by assessing the impact of things like pesticides, pollution and climate change on soil. They can also assist with construction projects by investigating drainage requirements.

3) Nutritionist

Nutritionists will undertake and assess scientific research that relates to health and wellbeing. They will give food and drink manufacturers advice on nutritional values of products, labeling requirements and trends in nutrition.

4) Buyer

A buyer will source and buy all the materials that are required to create the final food and drink item. They will ensure that quality materials are sourced and will ensure that they are priced competitively. Buyers will have to ensure that they know each market well, to make sure that they are always buying the best quality and most competitive products. Buyers may have to travel to factories and fields to make sure that the products they are sourced are of the best quality. These visits will also allow them to understand the sustainability of the suppliers production process.

5) Packaging Designer

A packaging designers are responsible for designing packaging for food and drink products. As consumers demand more sustainable packaging options, packaging designers must ensure that their design uses materials that are recyclable.  They must also ensure that their design is eye-catching for consumers but also fits well into standard shop shelves (it can’t be too tall or it won’t fit) and can be dispatched in standard crates and boxes (it can’t be too heavy or be an unusual shape). It’s a creative job but involves balancing lots of different considerations!

6) Marketing manager

Marketing managers play an important role in food and drink businesses. They are responsible for arranging promotional events, updating the company website, creating content for social media and attending exhibitions. It is their role to make sure that consumers know about the brand and its products. Marketing managers are creative people but must also have great analytical skills. They must analyse website data, social media traffic and sales to make sure that their marketing campaigns are working. If they aren’t, it’s back to the drawing board!

7) Product development technologist

Product development technologists are responsible for making sure that products taste good, look good and sell well! They will use their understanding of the food industry to tweak existing recipes and create exciting new ones. They will have to understand their customer base and will also have to be aware of legislative requirements.

8) IT Technician

As food and drink manufacturing becomes more computerised, the role of the IT Technician in factories is becoming increasingly varied and vital to the success of manufacturers. If production stops because of an IT issue, technicians must work hard to fix this problem. They must work well under pressure and must be confident in understanding lots of different IT systems and their relationships with the production line. It is a practical job that ensures the efficient and continuous running of the production floor! 

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