Consumer ScientistJob Description:
Consumer scientists research the needs of people as consumers, and use their findings to advice shops and other businesses.Job Category:
What you will do:
Your day-to-day duties may include:
- researching and writing reports
- testing recipes
- recruiting and training panels or focus groups (leadership skills)
- conducting interviews with consumers
- researching the tastes, needs and preferences of consumers
- giving advice to manufacturers and retailers on improving items and services
- developing tests to make sure products meet quality standards and legal requirements
- representing consumers’ rights
- advising hotels, restaurants, schools, residential care homes or hospitals on catering
- advising on products ranging from household goods to public places
- producing information on cookery, family health and new products
- talking with the media
- advising on healthy living in schools, colleges and universities
- working for bodies like the Food Standards Agency or Trading Standards (UK examples)
- maths knowledge
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently
As well as:
- analytical thinking skills
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- the ability to use your initiative (drive)
- customer service skills
- persistence and determination
- excellent verbal communication skills
- the ability to use your judgement and make decisions
You’ll usually need a degree or equivalent qualification in a relevant subject like:
- consumer studies
- food and consumer product management
- food science or technology
Some employers may also ask for a postgraduate qualification in a relevant subject like behavioural psychology or consumer behaviour.
Experience in food manufacturing or market research can help you get into this job.
Working Hours and Environment:
Your working hours will vary depending on your employer, but you’ll usually work between 36 and 40 hours a week.
Your place of work will depend on your role. You might be in a lab testing new products and formulations, or you might work from an office, classroom or kitchen. You might also travel to factories, farms and catering sites.
Career Path & Progression:
With experience you could progress into a management post.
With training you could use your experience to move into a career in teaching.