Emma Alexander

Emma Alexander

Product Development Technologist, Hubbards Foods

In a nutshell: Developing new cereals, and improving and updating processes for the production of cereals.

Why? "I love everything about my job and I don't even mind having to get up at 3am to do a factory trial. I always come in with a smile on my face."

Pathway: Kamo High School, final year subjects: Biology, Chemistry, English, Statistics
Massey University - Albany: Bachelor of Technology, specialising in Food Technology

Earning: $45-55,000

If you've tried Hubbard's 'Light & Right Nutty Charge', then you've been eating the first cereal I developed. It launched in January and it has taken off like a rocket in terms of sales. My friends all see it on the supermarket shelf and my mother thinks it's awesome too! It's definitely my success story.

The new cereal took about 4-5 months to develop from concept to launch. I was given a budget and a brief to come up with a healthy cereal for people who don't like fruit and that would get the Heart Foundation Tick of Approval.

I get a real buzz out of meeting this sort of brief, and I just love walking into a supermarket and seeing something I have made on the shelves.

My work involves coming up with a concept that meets both the brief and the budget, and evaluating the product as I develop it. I always taste my products, but when I think it is 'there' or almost 'there' I get someone else to try it.

Once the marketing department is happy with the product I organise a factory trial before the cereal can go into production. I upscale from having made a couple of kilos of the new product to making tonnes of cereal in the factory. I love been in the factory and the factory staff are really supportive during trials.

There's really no such thing as a typical day, as my work is a mixture of developing new products in the laboratory, supervising trials in the factory and working at the computer to calculate the nutritional information and the costings for the cereals, or investigate new suppliers of raw materials or packaging.

Good problem-solving, communication and people skills are really important in my job, and it helps to be task-oriented and well organised.

I never thought I had a creative flair but I do. I can't draw a picture to save myself but I love working though all those nitty gritty problems you get with developing a food product, I really do.

Posted December 2011

Follow this pathway:

Degree in Food Science or Technology

Read the company profile

Hubbards Foods

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