My food & drink job: Amy Harris, junior development technologist, Higgidy | Profiles and Q&As

My food & drink job: Amy Harris, junior development technologist, Higgidy | Profiles and Q&As
My food & drink job: Amy Harris, junior development technologist, Higgidy | Profiles and Q&As

Name: Amy Harris

Age: 24

Job title: Junior growth technologist 

Company & location: Higgidy in Shoreham-by-Sea 

Education: Bath Spa University for human diet 

Why did you determine to go for a profession in meals? I’ve all the time been an absolute foodie – I learnt to cooked from scratch from a younger age and my mum and grandparents all the time inspired me to become involved within the kitchen. I excelled in meals and diet in class and initially needed to be a dietitian, nonetheless, I went on to do human diet at college and, in my third 12 months, I found you can develop a ardour for meals right into a job.

After graduating I accomplished a summer season placement at Yeo Valley, the place I discovered my absolute ardour for brand spanking new product growth and the meals trade! Food brings a lot happiness to everybody and I battle to consider somebody can be towards working within the meals trade. Therefore, the place at Higgidy is good for me. I quickly picked up the method of growth in addition to shortly relating what I had learnt at college and utilizing that data to repair issues or to assume technically to seek out options. 

Explain your job to us in a sentence (or two): I analysis new flavours and developments, and determine gaps available in the market. I then relate this to new product growth and get artistic within the kitchen. I make up ideas to current at weekly NPD conferences and when a product is appreciated, I oversee the method from kitchen idea to grocery store cabinets. I must value the idea, run feasibility conferences and if profitable, hand it over to the method workforce who scale up the recipe and run the product on a a lot bigger scale. I work intently with course of and help trials the place wanted and with procurement, to transient new components I need to use in growth. I additionally work on the dietary points of our vary and determine methods through which we are able to make enhancements. Due to diet being my background, I actually get pleasure from this space and dealing on any option to make savoury pastry ‘higher for you’.

What does a typical day appear to be for you? This is a tough query as my days differ a lot! I in all probability spend 60% of my time within the kitchen and 40% within the workplace, but it surely actually does differ week by week. Every week you’ve a strong plan of what you have to do on a Monday, nonetheless, as a result of nature of NPD, it will all the time change once we get last-minute requests.

I normally begin the day within the workplace, atone for something I must, analysis developments after which head all the way down to the kitchen to work on probably the most pressing growth. It isn’t nearly making a scrumptious recipe however about ensuring each product has its personal Higgidy twist. I’ve days the place I’m on my ft all day, then others the place I must get my head down and deal with initiatives that are office-based (costings, feasibilities, shows, nutritionals, uncooked supplies or very often many recipes want a paper train first to technically work out what is likely to be going mistaken). We have a number of tasting periods every week to strive NPD, benchmark towards opponents, or simply strive new and thrilling flavour mixtures. You by no means go hungry! Every from time to time I get to go to suppliers to develop both a brand new ingredient we’d like, or to simply see how their manufacturing facility works and if we need to use them as a provider. I all the time get pleasure from seeing how completely different merchandise are created.

 “Finally seeing a product you’ve developed on the cabinets within the grocery store is a proud second”

Tell us the way you went about making use of in your job: After realising I needed to work in meals growth, I all the time had my eye on Higgidy as an organization. It was throughout Covid once I observed a job turned out there which had similarities to my work placement at Yeo Valley. It appeared too good to be true and I attempted to not get my hopes up however, earlier than I knew it, I had the job! First, I had a phone interview which requested me basic questions and detailed what the job consisted of, then for the second interview I used to be invited to the bakery. I needed to make vegetable samosas out of the Higgidy founder’s cookbook. It was fascinating – on the time I used to be residing at my mother and father, and so they have been having their kitchen redone. They bought the electrician to reconnect the hob for the night and I needed to borrow the neighbour’s masher to get the job achieved!

What’s the perfect half about working for a meals firm? Working so exhausting on a product, bringing it to life the place possible and benefiting the enterprise’ development. Finally seeing a product you’ve developed on the cabinets within the grocery store is a proud second, particularly if you people-watch and see prospects popping it into their basket. 

There isn’t a boring day right here at Higgidy with regards to meals, whether or not it’s tasting our merchandise, exploring new idea concepts, or benchmarking towards opponents within the class – there are all the time treats floating across the workplace. It’s additionally nice to work with such an on-trend, top-quality model that has an amazing fame. People typically say to me how a lot they love Higgidy and that makes me proud to work right here. The model additionally has goal and desires to do good, not solely with regards to meals however for communities and the planet too, which permits me to become involved with many issues exterior of my job position which align with my values, like charity days, combating meals waste and speaking to kids in class about diet.

I really like that my days simply fly by, and I’m by no means counting the clock with my broad number of hands-on kitchen work and office-based work. This additionally permits me to attach with many extra individuals than the same old workplace employee.

And what’s the most important false impression individuals have about working in meals & drink? Food is so relatable to every of us and that makes my job simple to speak to individuals about, however I do consider individuals don’t actually perceive the processes concerned in getting a product onto a grocery store shelf. People typically ask if my job is simply consuming meals, and though there’s a whole lot of consuming, it’s additionally a tough course of with so many variables which have an effect on if a product will be taken to the subsequent stage or not. Producing meals on a bigger scale may be very completely different to cooking within the kitchen at residence.

What recommendation would you give to different younger individuals seeking to get into the meals & drink trade? Take any alternative for expertise which you can! Even should you don’t assume it’s the proper one, it’s going to assist you realise precisely what you get pleasure from and need to do. You will study a lot. Food is extraordinarily subjective so by no means take individuals’s suggestions to coronary heart. I wish to current ideas I’ve labored on as if they’ve been developed by another person. Also, arrange your LinkedIn good and early and slowly construct your connections with everybody you meet.

What’s your final profession dream? Ideally, I need to work my means up inside the meals NPD workforce. I need to proceed to develop my technical data and create new and thrilling merchandise for individuals to get pleasure from. I need to really feel like I have an effect on the enterprise and the way we develop. And with my diet background, I’d additionally wish to proceed having extra time to analysis and mold our future dietary plans. I’d additionally like to mix my love of meals with my love for journey. I really like attempting completely different cuisines and native specialities from anyplace I am going as a result of this will then be utilized to growth work and concepts for now or the longer term.

Interested in finding out more about food & drink careers? Check out GrocerJobs for the latest vacancies

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