New Product Development Careers

What is a New Product Development Role? 

New products are vital to the future success of any business. Your role as a product developer will involve supporting product development technologists and managers to get their jobs done effectively. You will also be coordinating and working with other departments within the business as well as other businesses and customers. With this, you will be making sure everything goes smoothly and accordingly throughout the process. 

You will make sure that specifications are drawn up correctly and review these within the lines of any legislation necessary that may affect the company. You may also be involved in tasting panels for new products. All in all, this is a very important role in any food production company. 

Routes Into A New Product Development Role:

  • High-level / higher-level apprenticeship 
  • Applying directly
  • University degree
  • Training with a professional body such as MDS

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Skills and Knowledge

Within the new product development sector, the skills you will need can be broken down into soft and hard skills. Soft skills are more transferable skills, whereas hard skills focus more on technical ability. There are many kinds of soft and hard skills but we will break down the most common ones. 

NPD Soft Skills

  • Coordination
  • Teamwork
  • Analytical
  • Organised
  • An interest in trends and consumer trends
  • A passion for food and cooking

NPD Hard Skills

  • Machine learning
  • Economics
  • Prioritisation
  • Proficiency
  • Data analysis and consumer insights analysis

What You Will Be Doing:

This depends on the size of the new product department you will be working in. However, there will be specific tasks you will be doing such as: 

  • Working on the development of new products for various projects
  • Ensuring that all projects are completed on time and are in line with the agreed specifications and procedures
  • Completing all project-related documentation correctly
  • Organising schedules for production and testing panels etc
  • Organising when test samples will be going out to customers
  • Ensuring that production lines are up to date, very well cleaned in line with hygiene rules and equipment is properly maintained
  • Contacting and working with other company departments ensuring good dialogue and smooth information flows
  • Ensuring that all incoming ingredients and supplies are delivered on time and accordingly to agreed specifications
  • Operating as a  key member of the new product development team

Career Options

There are a lot of career prospects in NPD and you can be employed across a variety of areas. These include but are not limited to:

  • Senior Brand Manager
  • Product Marketing Manager
  • Consultant/Project Manager
  • District Sales Manager
  • Development Chef
  • Development Technologist
  • New Product Development Manager
  • Nutritionist

Examples of member companies that provide opportunities.

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