• What is an NPD Technologist?

    • In this blog, we are putting the spotlight on NPD Technologists and why they are a critical part of any food manufacturer's NPD Team. If you are a food graduate seeking more info on this challenging yet rewarding career path, we have all the essential info you need right here.

      NPD Technologist Job Word Cloud

      What does NPD stand for in business?

      In businesses and marketing, NPD stands for new product development. This is the entire process from the idea generation through to the product launch, with many steps in between. It is also sometimes referred to as NPI (New Product Introduction). 

      What is NPD in food manufacturing?

      The new product development process in food manufacturing is where a new or existing product is researched, developed, tested, and launched. 

      In food manufacturing NPD there are specific tasks that will be carried out such as ingredient testing, supplier research, food production line trials, taste panels, shelf-life testing, packaging trials, and consumer research (both pre and post-development). 

      Why is NPD important?

      The NPD process is critical for business growth, as consumer tastes and trends are constantly evolving along with new technology. 

      For food manufacturers to expand or retain their market share in this fiercely competitive sector, they need to ensure that new products are continuously developed and launched or redevelop their existing products.

      What does an NPD Technologist do?

      The NPD Technologist is usually involved at each stage of the development process (sometimes referred to as gate stages in larger businesses) to ensure products meet the required brief, specifications, and food safety requirements.

      A typical NPD Technologist job description may look like this: 

      • Develop and innovate new products and processes from the concept stage through to launch ensuring that all products meet commercial, technical and customer requirements 

      • Reformulate existing products to make improvements such as quality, cost, process etc. 

      • Monitoring and benchmarking of product quality of new and existing products 

      • Effectively transfer products from kitchen to factory, managing factory trials and process development for the successful launch of new products 

      • Develop effective relationships with customers and suppliers regarding the development of products 

      • Record all required information to generate an accurate costing for new products 

      How do the NPD Team know which products to make?

      The new product development team will usually work to a concept brief, which is a detailed document outlining the product requirement, cost limitation, ingredient restrictions (i.e. Gluten Free, Vegan, Nut Free etc.) and other specifications. 

      The briefs will usually be supplied internally by the Sales or Marketing team or externally by a customer. These customers could be either food retailers looking to launch a specific product, or other food manufacturers looking for ingredients or components to use within their own food development. 

      What makes a good NPD Technologist?

      Perhaps a bit obvious, but an absolute love for all things food! An NPD Technologist will be a keen foodie, with excellent knowledge of food and consumer trends, ingredients and products currently available on the market. 

      Other key skills include: 

      • Creative 

      • Excellent Attention to Detail 

      • Problem Solving Ability 

      • Organisation / Project Management Skills 

      • Methodical Approach 

      What qualifications does an NPD Technologist need? 

      For an entry level role, companies mostly require a Degree or at least a HND level qualification in Food Science, Food Technology, or Nutrition. 

      A degree with a new product development food industry placement is an excellent foundation to starting an NPD career. 

      Sometimes people with culinary related qualifications/training can successfully transition into an NPD role, however often, knowledge of the scientific element of ingredients, chemicals and ingredient functionality is required. 

      What is a typical career path for an NPD Technologist? 

      Every business and team structure is different, however an example NPD career path may look like this:

      • Entry Level – Junior / NPD Assistant / NPD Technologist 

      • 2 - 5 Years – NPD Technologist 

      • 5 - 8 Years – Senior NPD Technologist 

      • 8 - 15 Years – NPD Manager 

      • 15 Years+ - Head of Product Development / NPD Controller

      What salary does an NPD Technologist earn in the UK? 

      In 2022, the average salary for an NPD Technologist in the UK was £28,969 (this is according to b3 jobs own vacancy data combined with external figures). 

      The average for a Senior NPD Technologist was £36,198. 

      All our salary data can be found on our UK Food Manufacturing Jobs Salary Report 2022

      How can a food graduate find an NPD job? 

      When you graduate, be sure to speak with your tutors and the careers team at your university as they will be able to provide excellent resources. 

      There are many online job boards including food manufacturing specific ones e.g. FoodManJobs – here you will find positions advertised directly by food manufacturers and recruitment agencies. 

      As a food industry specialist agency, b3 jobs regularly have entry-level NPD jobs for food industry graduates all across the UK.  

      Be sure to see our current food NPD jobs, and to be notified of new roles in the future – register your CV – we can then discuss what you are looking for and help you kickstart your food NPD career!

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