Name: Emily Munday
Years worked in current role: 5 years
Years of experience in food industry: 10 years
In 300 characters or less describe your job:
I’m a product developer for a consultancy focused on clean label foods. We help companies of all sizes to bring their products to market, everything from conception, to sourcing ingredients and co-packers, and to benchtop development and commercialization. Every day is uniquely challenging and fun!
What are the top 3 characteristics you need to be good at your job?
- Adventurous: A good product developer is not afraid of failure, in fact, they embrace it. Only when you’re open to trying the craziest of ideas will you discover truly innovative solutions.
- Go-getter attitude: We’re a small company and everybody wears a lot of hats. We need everyone to step up and do what it takes to get the job done.
- Passionate: There’s many variables that affect a product’s success in the market place, but ultimately it has to taste great or consumers won’t buy it. Product developers need to foster a love of cuisine by eating, reading, and talking about food in all sectors of business from fine dining to street food to convenience stores. Staying up to date on trends and continually building your palate is essential.
Why did you decide to pursue a career in food?
I’ve been fascinated with cooking ever since I was a small kid; I would make up recipes, pore over cookbooks and even film my own cooking shows. By my senior year of high school, I realized that the only way to be happy was to carve a career based around my passion and not the other way around. Against my parents best wishes, I moved away to go to culinary school and ten years later it’s still one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Top 3 advice tips for students and new grads coming into the industry
- Act professionally – Be friendly to everyone, speak with confidence, dress right for the occasion, be prepared for meetings, take good notes, and always follow up. Be the best version of yourself; people will take note.
- Be a problem solver – If you don’t know the answer to something, take the initiative to do your own research, ask questions, and try things out. Everyone wants to work with someone who knows how get stuff done.
- Be a sponge – Take the time to try everything, do internships, job shadow, tour plants, attend trade shows, and research areas that interest you. You’re still figuring out where you fit in the world of food and the only way to figure it out is to keep learning.
Tell us why your Food Job Rocks?
Working for a consultancy, every day looks really different. Sometimes I get to ideate new concepts or attend consumer research sessions, and some days I’m on the bench making prototypes or in a plant running production tests. My job is really hard but rewarding when I get to see an idea come to fruition and ultimately, make our clients happy.
“Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.” – Truman Capote
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Let’s encourage and inspire a new generation of food industry professionals!