Alicja

Alicja Gniewek

What is the name of the company you work for and what do they do?

The Serious Sweet Company launched in 2012 and is a small company located in the spa town of Harrogate. It specialises in manufacturing traditional confectionery such as fudge, toffee and honeycomb mainly for UK retailers’ own brands but also abroad (Canada, Germany or Australia).

What is your role within the company?

My role was development technologist. I was involved in the whole NPD process from concept to launch. This involved brief interpretation, sample development & presentation, writing specifications, nutrition, artwork checks, attending factory trials & productions as well as writing internal/customer Quality Assurance Sheets. Additionally, I briefly worked as a Quality Assurance Technician, which involved Good Manufacturing Practice audits, ATP audits to ensure factory is clean, traditional swabs, air plates and peanut/milk allergen testing.

Can you give me an insight into a typical day?

My typical day involved making samples, running factory trials, writing product specifications, researching the current market trends and more. No day was ever the same at the Serious Sweet Company, and what my day entailed was dependent on the current projects and customer needs.

What do you enjoy the most and do you get involved in any interesting projects?

I loved seeing the products I developed on the shelf, and the smiles on people’s faces when they tried my products. One of the projects I worked on was marshmallow development; I developed a marshmallow from kitchen to shelf in 10 months. It was incredibly challenging however when I read the positive 5* star reviews of the product I knew all the hard work was worth it.

Why did you want to undertake a year in industry?

I wanted to experience the food industry, and find out whether I enjoy working in the NPD sector, as well as take a well-deserved break from studying. Furthermore, it looks amazing on my CV and is a great talking point during graduate interviews.

Has your experience given you a better idea of what you want to do for a career?

Yes, I learnt that I am well-suited for the product development role. Although, I also learnt that I can easily adapt to new job roles hence, I will consider applying for roles outside of NPD too.