Matt Mays

Matt Mays

Innovation Manager, Sealord

In a nutshell: Managing a team of food technologists to develop innovative new fish products.

Why? "I love working with food and there's nothing like walking into a supermarket and seeing your product there on the shelf or seeing friends using the food you've been involved in developing."

Pathway: Pakuranga College, final year subjects: Biology, Calculus, Chemistry, Physics, Statistics
Massey University - Palmerston North: Bachelor of Food Technology

Earning: $100,000+

I always liked Chemistry and was good at it, so I looked for a career that would use those skills but didn't involve working in a lab.

Luckily my mother worked with a food technologist who explained to me how the job is about chemistry and food. You have to be able to do science, although you don't have to be brilliant at it, and you need to love food. That's what decided it for me.

At Sealord it's my job to find new ideas for seafood. These ideas can then be developed into products for sale around the world, either in our factories or in partnership with companies in other countries.

I've previously worked at Hubbards Foods, where I managed a team of three food technologists who come up with the recipes for all the new cereals, and at Heinz Wattie's, where I developed new dips and pâté.

Before that I worked in London, where we did this project that involved researching what sausages were like 100 years ago, then converting the recipes so that they worked with modern ingredients and processes. It took 18 months but the 'London Banger' won our company the British Manufacturer of the Year Award.

I enjoy the team work and creativity in developing food products. We all have our own individual projects to work on but we're always there to help each other out. And I'm not stuck in a lab or office – I like being out in the factory and talking to people.

It's a hard job but it's really rewarding – it's challenging and worth every minute. You can see the results of your work on the shelves in the supermarket, and you know you're doing a good job when the sales go up.

Food technologists can work in lots of different areas of the food industry, including marketing, operations, quality control and packaging.

Updated March 2014

Follow this pathway:

Degree in Food Science or Technology

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Food Technologist: People who work in this role

  • Kerryn James

    Production and Project Manager, Kerryn James at work

    Ethan Dodds

    R&D Junior Manager, Ethan Dodds at work

    Elise Waddell

    Food Technologist, Elise Waddell at work

    Nazanin Rafati

    Research & Development Technologist , Nazanin Rafati at work
  • Amber Wang

    Food Tech, Amber Wang at work

    Stephanie Rigter

    Sales and Management Cadet, Stephanie Rigter at work

    Lana Philcox

    New Product Development Manager, Lana Philcox at work

    Vivvek Gargi

    Product Development Technologist , Vivvek Gargi at work
  • EeLaine Yeoh

    R&D Technologist, EeLaine Yeoh at work

    Jo Madden

    NPD and Beverage Technologist, Jo Madden at work

    Marianna McEwan

    Technical Graduate, Marianna McEwan at work

    Katie Gollan

    Product Development Technologist, Katie Gollan at work
  • Tracey Jaques

    Graduate Technologist, Tracey Jaques at work

    Michael Gin

    Food Scientist & Marketing Advisor, Michael Gin at work

    Abigayl Ayo

    Food Technologist, Abigayl Ayo at work

    Esraa El Shall

    Research and Development Technologist, Esraa El  Shall at work
  • Hayden Pohio

    Founder, Hayden Pohio at work

    Alex Allan

    Senior Product Development Technologist , Alex Allan at work

    Dudley Haines

    Food Technologist , Dudley Haines at work

    Neala Ye

    Technical Support Technologist - FBI Contractor, Neala Ye at work
  • Troy Brownlie

    New Product Development Technologist, Troy Brownlie at work

    Janine Taylor

    Junior Food Technologist, Janine Taylor at work

    Tessa Tietjen

    Materials Technologist, Tessa Tietjen at work

    Pamella Ariestia

    Product Development Technologist, Pamella Ariestia at work
  • Manfred Chun

    Product Development Technologist, Manfred Chun at work

    Amie Duan

    Product Evaluator, Amie Duan at work

    Steffen Friedrich

    Food Technologist, Steffen Friedrich at work

    Jay Tombleson

    Product Development Technologist, Jay Tombleson  at work
  • Anna Radich

    R&D Technologist, Anna Radich at work

    Caitlin Ide

    Development Technologist, Caitlin Ide at work

    Alice Crawford

    R&D Technologist, Alice Crawford at work

    Toby Gundesen

    Confectionery Process Specialist, Toby Gundesen at work
  • Samuel Richardson

    Product Development Technologist, Samuel Richardson at work

    Emma Mostert (née Shannon)

    Product Development Technologist, Emma Mostert (née Shannon) at work

    Nick Devcich

    Product Development Technologist, Nick Devcich at work

    David Kay

    Operations Improvement Manager, David Kay at work
  • Emma Alexander

    Product Development Technologist, Emma Alexander  at work

    Anna Horgan

    Food Technologist, Anna Horgan at work

    Matt Mays

    Innovation Manager, Matt Mays at work

    Owen Fisher

    Product Development Technologist, Owen Fisher at work

Food Technologist: Companies that employ people in this job role

  • Ministry for Primary Industries
    Ministry for Primary Industries
    Dairy Goat Cooperative
    Dairy Goat Cooperative
  • Constantia Foods
    Constantia Foods
    Silver Fern Farms
    Silver Fern Farms
  • Frucor
    McCain Foods (NZ)
    McCain Foods (NZ)
    Heinz Wattie's
    Heinz Wattie's
    Cerebos Gregg's
    Cerebos Gregg's
  • Fonterra
    Tasti Products
    Tasti Products
    Westland Milk Products
    Westland Milk Products
  • Hubbards Foods
    Hubbards Foods

Futureintech is an initiative of Engineering New Zealand, funded by Callaghan Innovation