Food Product Developer

Create or improve food products.
picture of Food Product Developer

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$34,000 – $106,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Food Product Developers do?

Imagine the cycle of any new product. First, there’s the idea phase, where the product is nothing more than an egg. Then it moves through the detailed phase of hammering out the kinks. Before long, the product hits the production line.

Finally, it makes it through the marketing campaign and hits the store shelves. A Food Product Developer is involved in every one of those phases, as they pertain to new or improved food and beverage products.

Long before the first Hostess cupcake was served at a birthday party, it suffered through the product cycle. The same goes for the newest Starbucks coffee flavor and the upcoming blast-of-something candy bar. Whether you work for a specific food company or a product development company, your job as a Food Product Developer is to have a holistic understanding of the entire industry.

That requires a lot of teamwork, because as vast as your Food Product Developer skills are, one person can’t juggle all of the research, development, testing, manufacturing, improvements, advertising, and sales the process entails. You do, however, plan for each of those stages, and constantly communicate with the Food Scientists, Food Engineers, Marketing Executives, Advertising Representatives, and even the CEO.

Your role is simply (actually, there’s nothing simple about it!) to plan for the future, foresee problems, analyze the competition, evaluate the marketplace, build relationships with suppliers and vendors, help launch specialty and start-up companies, create recipes, and ensure that the product matches the companies goals. No problem, right?


Should I be a Food Product Developer?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.
  • Persistent: You keep pushing through, even when faced with tough obstacles.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.

  • How to become a Food Product Developer

    Most Food Product Developers have a Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aaa9qg&chl=|||bachelor%27s+%2873%25%29|master%27s+%2819%25%29|doctorate+%288%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,73
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