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Marks & Spencer Product Developer visits Reaseheath Food Centre

Barbara Ross Visit to Reaseheath

On Friday 12th September the Project Eden trainee dairy technologists were treated to not just any guest speaker, but an Marks & Spencer guest speaker…product developer, Barbara Ross. Barbara is currently in charge of product development for the party food, cooked meats, deli and antipasti ranges at Marks & Spencer and has worked for the retailer for 8 years.

Barbara started by talking about the stage gate process for taking new product concepts through to launch onto the shelves and then gave the students an insight into innovation trends within the dairy sector. It was a really inspiring talk which highlighted the level of work involved in launching successful new products in a hugely competitive market.

Barbara spent the remainder of the day in the bakery working with our very own bakery and patisserie lecturer  Andy Dale  – who delivered a personal master class on macaroons. Barbara had specifically asked to work with Andy to discover the secret of making the perfect macaroon. A macaroon is  a sweet meringue based confection made with egg white, icing sugar and ground almonds.

Let’s hope she got some good ideas to take back to Head Office!!

For more information about Barbara Ross, why not take a look at this article from The Independent.

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trolley Marks and Spencer - issue 3

Students visit Marks and Spencer Head Office

trolley Marks and Spencer - issue 3

Recently, we had the great opportunity of visiting the Marks and Spencer head office. On arrival we were greeted by Barbara Ross, who works closely with the New Product Development and Buying side of Marks and Spencer. We also met other members of the team, these included, a graduate Product Developer and a graduate Technologist.

After a number of really interesting talks we attended a particularly exciting  meeting that discussed current trends within the industry. In addition to this, we met with buyers and suppliers and we were able to taste and give our own opinion of the new products that would be launched on Marks and Spencer’s shelves later on this year… unfortunately all the products were top secret so you will just have to wait to find out what they were!

After all that wonderful tasting of new products it was time to head off to meet a few more team members.

After a thoroughly enjoyable and informative day it was time to return home, luckily we got one of the last trains home otherwise we might have been stuck! It later transpired that fortune had favoured our timing as later that day adverse weather conditions caused massive train delays.

This opportunity gave us a small  insight into the workings of Marks and Spencer and a great insight in to how we can further our career in an ever evolving industry.

Imogen Johnson, Charlotte Reed and Abigail Brown