The Food Industry Job Glossary

Thinking of a role in the food and drink industry, but unsure about what it would entail exactly? Whether you’re interested in engineering, procurement or NPD, you can find out all this and more in our glossary. If you can’t see a specific term, get in touch with our team and we’d be more than happy to talk you through it.

  • Operations/Production

    Operation Manager, Production Manager, Head of Manufacturing, Operations Director – there are numerous opportunities within this area. Professionals are tasked with overseeing production, planning, quality control and maintenance. Responsibilities can include scheduling shifts and projects according to production needs, monitoring timescales and working with various departments to fulfil project timescales. Learn more
  • Technical

    Technical Managers make all the difference in a food and drink manufacturing business. Responsibilities include looking after any customer complaints, ensuring every audit is passed and having the capability to guarantee that benchmarks are met, including BRCGS’ Standards. They are usually supported by a team of Technical Assistants and Technical Supervisors. Learn more
  • Engineering

    Engineering is crucial in ensuring food and drink manufacturers remain ahead of the competition and can complete projects on time. Engineering Managers and Supervisors ensure the smooth running of equipment and are responsible for overseeing key projects and engineering duties - managing people, budget, and relationships. It’s a fast-paced role that requires innovation, quick thinking and accuracy - but it’s also highly rewarding. Learn more
  • NPD/Food Technology

    Also known as new product development, NPD professionals lead products through innovation and research - focusing on flavour, sustainability or health benefits. As one of the most exciting areas within food manufacturing, roles are split into Food Technologists, NPD Managers, Process Technologists and Specifications Technologist. It’s not just about trying new tastes and pitching them to retailers either. You need to have an eye for consumer trends, an awareness of flavours and not be afraid to take risks. Learn more
  • Supply Chain/Logistics/Inventory

    A Supply Chain Manager in the food and beverage industry is responsible for overseeing and managing the company’s supply chain and logistics strategy with the aim of improving the process and increasing efficiency and productivity. They will be required to develop and maintain strong relationships with suppliers and distributors. Those in logistics will be tasked with overseeing P&L, leading projects and identifying cost-saving exercises. Driven by targets and numbers, it’s an incredibly important position for a company’s success.
  • CI/Process

    Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD) is the process of setting certain principles and practices that allow teams to work together reliably. A CI Manager, for example, will ensure that continuous improvement underlines everything a business does. Professionals will be responsible for driving efficiencies, recognising ways to improve and make the most profit. Not every manufacturing business has this role but it’s still a critical part of the process.  Learn more
  • GM/Site Manager

    General Managers, Site Managers and Factory Managers have a range of responsibilities to maintain effective operation of the department or facility they run. From overseeing daily operations and health and safety requirements to managing people and working practices, the role requires skills in task delegation, problem-solving and a strong attention to detail.  Learn more
  • H&S Hygiene

    Potentially one of the most important roles within the food industry, Health and Safety and Hygiene professionals ensure a company and its people are working in accordance with government regulations - protecting the brand reputation as well as public health. Hygiene Managers are in charge of the Health and Safety practices within the food manufacturing process - identifying areas for risk, ensuring that all regulations are complied with and responding to any complaints. They also educate workers on safe working practices and how to maintain cleanliness. Other duties include: stock control, pest control, water testing and waste management. They will often be supported by a Hygiene Supervisor. Learn more
  • HR - Human Resources

    Designed to maximise the employee experience and therefore their performance, HR departments oversee the strategic management of people within a company. Roles are typically broken down into a HR Assistant and HR Managers - as well as HRBPs. Typical responsibilities include dealing with all internal and external HR-related requests, serving as a point of contact, helping to coordinate training sessions and assisting in staff inductions and disciplinary hearings. HR are also responsible for creating the company culture and policies that govern the way the business is run. In short, HR ensure the company is running effectively from both a legal and ethical perspective.
  • Packaging

    From signing off packaging artwork to approving costs, packaging professionals are required to work with lots of different teams to ensure that the finished product not only looks nice but meets a number of requirements. Roles are typically split up into Packaging Managers and Packaging Technologists, and project management experience is usually required. In short, packaging teams take an idea to creation.
  • Project Management

    Project Managers have a huge role on their hands – overseeing everything from core decisions to crucial negotiations. Typical responsibilities include coordinating the entire project, scheduling tasks, monitoring compliance, ensuring quality control and prioritising workload. If any challenges do arise that may impact the delivery of the project, it will be down to this department to solve it. Learn more
  • Purchasing/Procurement

    From identifying preferred suppliers to agreeing payment terms, purchasing and procurement professionals are required to research potential vendors, negotiate, analyse costs, and track important financial information. Successful candidates will be able to build and maintain good relationships with suppliers, forecast levels of demand for both products and services, and effectively process payments and invoices.
  • Quality Assurance/Control

    Every company needs to ensure quality across the board if they want to be successful. This department is usually split up into QA Assistants, QA Technicians, QA Managers, Auditors and QA Supervisors. Responsibilities include carrying out regulation tests, monitoring operations, creating quality assurance procedures and identifying areas for improvement.
  • R&D - Research and Development 

    An incredibly exciting arm of food manufacturing, roles in this area are tasked with managing new product development projects, providing input on manufacturing processes, having an awareness of popular products and ingredients, developing budgets for new endeavours and monitoring performance. Professionals need to keep up with what’s hot in the market and have a keen eye for future trends.
  • Shift Manager

    Shift Managers do just that. They manage specific shifts, the workers, project and any timescales for a particular ongoing project. You could say they’re the beating heart of a factory. Suitable candidates need to have project management experience, be equipped to make decisions and be able to think on their feet. It’s challenging but very rewarding. Learn more