Indeed, packaged food is a good career path because of its growing industry, diverse roles, innovation, and career growth. The packaged food sector is lucrative, with international food packaging corporations raking in billions of dollars yearly.
Thus, it is unsurprising that the packaged food sector encompasses some of the highest paying jobs. There is a position for both entry-level and professionals in the packaged food industry.
What is Packaged Food?
The term “packaged food” refers to any pre-packaged food or beverage item purchased from a store or other vendors. This category contains all packaged foods and beverages.
Soup cans, bean bags, milk cartons, butter tubs, and candy bars are all examples of packaged food. If it is consumable and supplied to the store already packaged, it qualifies as a packaged food item.
Why is Packaged Food a Good Career Path?
Packaged food is a good career path not only because it is lucrative but also because it offers one opportunity for growth. When choosing a career in packaged food, ensure that your interest, skills, and goal tallies with the position.
7 benefits of working in the packaged food industry
1. Diverse Roles
The packaged foods industry offers a wide range of job roles, including research and development, production, quality assurance, packaging, marketing, sales, and logistics. This diversity provides ample opportunities to explore and grow in different career paths.
2. Job Stability
The packaged food industry is stable. As a result, it is immune to the ups and downs of the economy. This implies that you can be rest assured that your work will be secure even during difficult economic times. It is thus not surprising that many people clamor for food packaging jobs.
3. Growth Potential
The packaged food industry has a lot of room for expansion. The population is always increasing, and so is the demand for food. This means that there are several prospects for growth and development in this field.
The packaged food industry continually evolves, with new technology and ingredients being developed regularly. This may be an interesting and dynamic work environment for people interested in innovation and problem-solving.
5. Profitable Industry
The packaged food industry is extremely profitable. According to research, the packaged food industry is worth $1.8 trillion. This means that there are several prospects for growth and development in this field. With the correct qualifications, you can land a high paying job.
6. Impact on Society
Packaged food is critical in providing consumers with healthy and convenient eating options. Working in this industry can provide people with a sense of accomplishment, knowing that they positively impact society.
7. Global Exposure
The packaged foods industry is global, and many companies have a presence in multiple countries. This provides opportunities for professionals to work in different regions and gain international exposure, which is valuable for personal and professional growth.
Benefits package for employees in the Packaged Food industry
Employee benefits packages in the packaged food business might differ based on the firm, employment role, and region. Some common benefits offered to employees in the packaged food industry may include:
1. Health Insurance
Many employers offer health insurance as part of their benefits package, including medical, dental, and vision care coverage.
2. Retirement Savings
Employers may offer retirement savings plans, such as 401(k) plans, to help employees save for retirement.
3. Paid Time Off
Paid time off, including vacation days, sick days, and holidays, may be included in an employer’s benefits package.
4. Employee Assistance Programs
Many employers offer employee assistance programs that provide support for employees dealing with personal or work-related issues.
5. Wellness Programs
Some employers offer wellness programs that focus on promoting healthy habits and lifestyle choices, such as exercise programs or smoking cessation support.
Level of Job Satisfaction in Packaged Goods
The level of job satisfaction in packaged food is high. This is because the industry is lucrative and employs thousands of people in the U.S.
This sector is rapidly increasing and is expected to continue rising due to consumers’ high demand for packaged goods. According to 2021 Straits Research, this industry is expected to increase at a compound annual rate of more than 4.5% between 2020 and 2026.
Disadvantages of taking a career in packaged food
There are also some drawbacks to working in the food industry. Let’s take a look at some of them:
1. Low Pay
One of the major disadvantages of working in the food sector is the low wages. According to Payscale, the average wage in the food industry is $11.90. Thus, only specialist workers like food scientists and dietitians earn decent wages.
2. Physical demands
Working in the food sector can be physically taxing. You will be required to stand for extended amounts of time and do repetitive chores. You may potentially come into contact with harmful items. If you have health difficulties, this can be a problem.
3. High Turnover
There is a significant turnover rate in the food business. This means that job opportunities are few. It cannot be easy to find solid work in the food industry. To get solid work, you may have to transfer employment regularly.
4. Health concerns
Packaged foods frequently include high levels of preservatives, chemicals, and artificial substances. One can have long-term detrimental health consequences from these chemicals. Working in the sector may necessitate working with certain components, which may expose you to health concerns.
5. Bad public perception
Many people associate packaged goods with unhealthy eating habits, obesity, and other health issues. This negative perception can make it difficult to promote and sell these products.
What Does a Career in Packaged Food Entail?
The packaged food sector is concerned with the process of protecting foods against chemical, physical, and biological alteration. The primary goal of the packaged foods sector is to ensure quality control and low-cost food delivery to consumers.
The primary responsibility of those working in the packaged food industry is to supply good quality and healthy food products to consumers.
How can I decide if working in packaged food is right for me?
If you are creative and love food, then a packaged food job is the right career choice. Your interests, existing talents, and desired career path will help you decide if the packaged food industry suits you.
The packaged food sector is quite diversified. There are thousands of roles in food handling, extraction, elaboration, and preservation.
Career Paths in Packaged Food
The packaged food industry provides numerous job opportunities. Some require information and abilities that can be learned on the job. While others necessitate specialized training and study.
8 of the best career paths in packaged food:
1. Food scientists
These experts assist firms in making decisions about product selection, portion sizes, and shelf life optimization. Food scientists a required to hold a degree in a food science-related field.
2. Packaging engineer
Packaging engineers design and test the best cartons, boxes, bags, or other forms of containers for various goods. This necessitates a thorough understanding of materials engineering and industrial design.
3. Packaging designer
Designing packaging is an excellent career for creative persons who wish to use their artistic talents professionally. Packaging designers’ job is to create visually appealing food packaging that attracts customers and encourages them to buy.
4. Packaging specialists
Packaging specialists decide on the materials to be used to construct the packages for their company’s food goods. They participate in the material sourcing and selection processes.
5. Packaging operators
Employees in packaging operations are responsible for creating the physical packets in which food is sold. They may operate machinery that generates packaging or prepares food items for packing.
6. Packaging assembly workers
These professionals handle various aspects of processed food in the form sold to consumers. While some of these tasks need direct interaction with machinery, others involve manually packing food products.
7. Compliance/regulatory oversight
Packaged Food companies must follow strict safety regulations. This suggests that there are openings in this area for professionals to supervise operations and ensure that all regulations are followed.
8. Marketing professionals
Packaged food companies also have fully staffed marketing units. Others focus on selling products directly to clients, while others develop partnerships with retailers. Others focus on analyzing consumer behavior to help businesses decide how to effectively package and market their items.
How to Start a Career in Packaged Food
Another fascinating attribute of the packaged food industry is that there is room for diversity. Thus, you can easily start your own career or business in packaged food.
5 practical steps to start your career in packaged food:
1. Define Your Goals
Prior to anything else, you must define your packaged food business’s aims. What do you hope it will accomplish? Who are your ideal clients? What are your company’s expenses? Once you understand these concepts, it will be much easier to begin planning your business.
2. Research the Competition
It’s critical to analyze your competition before starting your own company. What are their business strategies? What are their costs? What are their constituents? By doing so, you may lay a solid basis for your organization and avoid duplicating efforts.
3. Choose The Right Location
The next step is to select the best location for your company. Are you interested in franchising? Do you have access to a well-equipped kitchen? Is the demographics of the area favorable? Once you’ve answered these questions, you may begin browsing for potential venues.
4. Get Licensed And Registered
Becoming licensed and registered is one of the most crucial steps in beginning a packaged food business. This will shield you from legal problems and ensure that your firm operates legally.
5. Create a Marketing Strategy
Once you’ve established your company, it’s time to develop your marketing approach. What is your advertising budget going to be? How would you market your products? Having a strong marketing strategy will cement the success of your packaged food business.
Duties of a Packaged Food Professional
While the packaged food industry is a well-established aspect of the food industry, few people are aware of its significance. Below are some general duties of packaged food professionals
- They ensure that all packaged foods, such as chips, bread, and cookies, reach the final consumer fresh and on schedule.
- They are also in charge of the food’s transportation. They also ensure that the various foods consumed are packed in the proper containers. Taking into account what will make the dish appealing to purchasers.
- Packaged food professionals are also in charge of delivering products from one site to another for retailers and consumers.
- They chose the most cost-effective materials for the package and improved the existing packaging design.
- They ensure that employees follow safety and health regulations and monitor other staff.
- They Inspect the packaging machine or tools to ensure its smooth operation. As such, they repair new and current machinery.
Tips for a Successful Career in Packaged Food
Let’s look at the skills that will enable you to compete with others for a position in the packaged food industry. It is worthy to note that skills can be enhanced by training and taking practice sessions. Below are some tips for a successful career in packaged food:
- You should be able to work in a fast-paced environment.
- You must be a good observer and pay attention to every detail.
- Get must possess great mechanical skills.
- You must be a Team Player.
- Physically fit
- Keen eyes for defects
- Hand-eye coordination
How Much Can a Career in Packaged Food Earn You?
A career in packaged food can earn you over $35,000 yearly, depending on your skill set and education.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that workers in the food packaged sector earn more than $23 per hour. When only non-supervisory and manufacturing workers are considered, average pay remains high at more than $20 per hour.
Career Trends in Packaged Food
Some current career trends in the packaged food industry include:
1. Clean Label
There is a growing demand for clean-label products. Thus ingredients used in packaged foods are natural and easy to understand. This has created a need for food scientists and packaging engineers who can develop and implement clean-label solutions.
Consumers are becoming more conscious of their impact on the environment, and as a result, there is a growing demand for sustainably packaged food products. This has created a demand for packaging engineers who can develop and implement sustainable packaging solutions.
The use of technology in the packaged food industry is increasing. Companies now use data automation and artificial intelligence to improve their production processes and reduce costs. This has created a need for operations managers and data analysts who can use these technologies effectively.
4. Health and Wellness
There is a growing interest in health and wellness. As a result, there is a demand for packaged food products that are nutritious and meet specific dietary needs. This has created a need for nutritionists, food scientists, and marketing managers who can develop and promote healthy packaged food products.
The rise of e-commerce has created a need for packaged food professionals who can develop and implement online sales strategies. This trend has also created a need for packaging engineers who can develop solutions that can withstand the challenges of online shipping and delivery challenges.
Professional Advice For People Considering A Career Packaged Food
If you’re considering a career in the packaged food industry, here is some professional advice to keep in mind:
1. Be prepared for a fast-paced and dynamic environment
The packaged food sector is continuously changing, and you must be ready to adjust fast to market developments.
2. Build a solid foundation in science and technology
A background in food science and packaging engineering might be particularly beneficial in the packaged food industry.
3. Stay up-to-date on industry trends
Keeping current with industry trends will allow you to spot opportunities and stay ahead of the competition.
Networking with packaged food professionals might help you get a job and grow your career.
5. Be enthusiastic
Be passionate about food and its role in society. A love for food and an appreciation for its impact on people’s lives can help fuel your motivation and drive in this industry.
Alternatives Career Paths to Packaged Foods
If you are considering a career in the food industry, you should consider alternatives.
7 popular alternative career paths to packaged foods.
Agricultural is one of the most stable sectors. It is not vulnerable to economic downturns and provides numerous prospects for advancement. For people who desire to work in the food sector, this domain has a lot of opportunities.
A biochemist is someone who investigates the chemical processes in living creatures. Biochemists study how the body metabolizes food. They also work on the development of novel culinary products. Many biochemists also work in the pharmaceutical industry
Another alternative to the packaged food sector is the pharmaceutical industry. This industry creates and manufactures pharmaceuticals and other medical products. You could work as a pharmacist, chemist, or research scientist in this field.
4. Nutrition and Dietetics
A career in nutrition and dietetics may be a suitable fit for those who are interested in the science of food and its impact on health. You can work as a registered dietitian, nutritionist, or food scientist in this field.
5. Culinary Arts
If you are enthusiastic about food, then this is the career for you. This could include working as a chef, baker, or food stylist.
6. Food Retail
If you enjoy interacting with people and are strong at selling, a career in food retail is perfect for you. This career path might involve working in grocery stores, specialty food stores, or farmers’ markets.
7. Food Journalism
A career in food journalism could be ideal for people who enjoy writing and have a keen interest in food. This career path might involve writing for food blogs, magazines, or newspapers.
Is a career in packaged foods secure?
Yes, a career in packaged food is secure. A survey that took place in 2020 reported that packaged foods companies in the United States are valued at more than 996 billion USD. This indicates that there is high demand for packaged goods. It thus follows that packaged food is a good career path.
Are packaged foods jobs stressful?
No, packaged food jobs are not stressful. Although, some departments might be more stressful than others. There are a lot of positions that require physical exertion. For instance, a packer will be required to do physically demanding work.
What is the best career in the food industry?
The “best” career in the food industry is a career in research and development. Professionals in this field work to create new food products or improve existing ones.
Conclusion | Is Packaged Foods a Good Career Path?
Yes, packaged foods is a good career path. Working in the packaged food industry is appealing to many people. Those with and without degrees might find a variety of work options. Getting the job will be easier if you meet the requirements for the position you are looking for.