Emma Mostert (née Shannon)

Emma Mostert (née Shannon)

Product Development Technologist, Lion

In a nutshell: Developing new beverages from marketing concept to finished product.

Why? “It’s very creative and exciting.”

Pathway: Spotswood College, New Plymouth, final year subjects: Biology, Calculus, Chemistry, English, Physics
Massey University - Albany: Bachelor of Food Technology

Earning: $70-80,000

I discovered Food Technology when I was in Year 13 and trying to decide whether to study engineering or nutrition. I thought ‘wow, this is the kind of job which combines all of these things’.

My work involves everything from brainstorming ideas, figuring out formulations (recipes) for new products in the laboratory and doing trials in the factory, as well as some time at my computer.

There is no typical day in this job except they are all very busy and no two days are ever the same.

I spend most of my time working on particular projects, although the independence of my role also allows me time to work on my own ideas. This is what makes this job very creative.

I'm also involved in a lot of team work right across all areas of the business from the marketing department who promote the new products to the engineers who are responsible for making sure the manufacturing lines are capable of producing the product.

In my current job at Lion [formerly Lion Nathan] developing new beverages, I also work very closely with suppliers of flavourings and packaging. It’s a very exciting and satisfying part of the role.

It’s been a fairly steep learning curve as I worked with ice cream and bakery products in my previous jobs. But with a food technology degree you can move between diverse jobs and you learn a lot about different parts of the food industry every time you change roles.

One of my career highlights was creating a range of Christmas puddings for sale in Britain, Australia and New Zealand. I got to travel to the UK to meet with the large supermarket chain Tesco’s to discuss the new pudding with them.

Another memorable product was the Big Bikkie Ice Cream that I launched for Tip Top. Most new products in ‘ice cream land’ only last one or two summers so it’s awesome that it’s been around for lots longer than that. And it was the first of my products to have a TV commercial, which was an additional thrill.

Posted March 2012

Follow this pathway:

Degree in Food Science or Technology

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