The classics are noted at the bottom of that pyramid: Ramen Noodles, EasyMac. Of course, there are also things not noted like cereal, peanut butter, soup, and hot dogs.What do these food manufacturers have in common? Careers! Look at the list of positions you might be interested to know more about in the food industry:
Research and Development (creating and testing new products)
Engineering (yes, engineering-I have seen a reference to 'food engineering' a number of times)
Flavor chemists (I did not make that up) to test products for flavor and aroma
Marketing and sales
Production Line and supervising the production line
Accounting; company stock; communicating with shareholders
Consumer product evaluations (taste tests and their results)
Let's think about a few of these careers:
Someone working in the food manufacturing industry will have had plenty of science in his or her background and education: Chemistry/chemical engineering, physics, biology, computer science, and also psychology, economics, social studies.
Food manufacturers need people to ensure their production facility is handling the food safely. Our government has standards in place that food manufacturers must obey. There are careers both in food inspection and in the plants where food is made to be sure it's handled safely.
Food manufacturers employ dietitians and nutritionists. These employees look at the ingredients in the foods and assure the food labels are accurate (calories, carbs, etc.). If the manufacturer seeks to produce something that could be deemed 'healthy' or 'light,' or if it is an entire company based on 'health foods,' recipes need to include some things and exclude others. Have you noticed how, as people become more aware of a particular 'food fad,' it is reflected in foods we've had for years? Think 'whole grain' Alpha-Bits or 'anti-oxidant cranberries' in Great Grains cereal.
Changing the form of food into cereal, fruit bites, chips, or other pieces requires engineering of the ingredients, including what to add to the food to make it stay fresh. You might work on the food itself. Otherwise, you might be an engineer who could build a machine to use to produce that product.
Someone who works with statistics could determine future buying trends by recognizing what people want to buy. You might work directly with the manufacturer of the food or for a company that does research including polls and taste tests to record the results. Or, you might work on existing products to see what is selling and what is not.
If someone asked you to describe a box of Cheerios, you would probably think immediately of the yellow overall color of the box and the classic lettering of the name. The same is true for Coke (all red with classic lettering) and Campbell's Soups (top half white, bottom half red, gold 'medal' in the center). You can picture the basic packaging with no problem, right? Someone designed that years ago, and it's still the way they package that product. Slogans that stick with a product for years also help with customer recognition: "The best part of waking up is Folger's in your cup" or "M&Ms melt in your hand, not in your mouth or "The Incredible, Edible Egg" are all phrases that help sell products.
You might be involved in writing commercials that appear on television. You may design the entire ad, or may work with computer graphics or with humans who will 'act' in the ads. These usually involve music as well. Can you remember the 'theme' to Rice-A-Roni? Klondike Bars? "My bologna has a first name..."? And by the way, you're welcome: now one of those is going to stay in your head the rest of the day.