THOUGHT PIECE the carling team
Drink Industry Specifications Technologist Job Description
A specifications technologist helps a beverage maker by providing advice relating to scientific, technical and legislative issues. Their key responsibility is to help their employer understand current food safety laws and packaging requirements.
For breweries, wineries, and distilleries that includes ensuring products are safe for consumption and correctly labeled to meet legal requirements. Correct labelling requires precise information about alcohol content, warning messages, and art work that is appropriate for alcoholic beverages.
They will work very closely with the regulatory team and make sure the products being produced are ready for sale and there are no legal issues preventing the product from reaching the market. Their feedback will also be used to help the product development team create new products.
Specifications Technologist Responsibilities
The most common roles carried out by a specifications technologist include:
- Creating and reviewing product specification requirements
They must create simple product specifications which can be understood by production staff and managers. For a beverage producer, these product specifications may include items like alcohol content levels and total calories per bottle.
- Review and approve packaging details and product artwork
The specifications technologist will be closely involved in the process of designing labels and packaging. They must ensure that all legislative requirements are met while keeping the product development team happy with the design of the product.
- Create standard operating procedures for artwork creation
They will develop operating procedures which highlight the content that must be included in every piece of artwork or promotional material created by the company. The artwork that is being created must be appropriate for every market that the facility’s products are being sold in.
- Have a very high level awareness of labelling requirements
The specifications technologist must have a strong understanding of the regulatory requirements for labels. They must understand the legislative requirements for every market in which the business sells products. They must transfer this knowledge to other staff in the beverage making facility in an easy-to-understand way. They must be on top of labelling policies, food safety legislation, and any upcoming changes.
- Manage specifications projects and deliver them on time
They will have to oversee a variety of projects relating to product specifications. These projects must be prioritised and completed in a timely fashion.
- Be available to answer questions from colleagues and clients
Colleagues and clients will occasionally have questions about how a product should be packaged, evaluated, or presented. They may also have questions about food standards or correctly evaluating product quality. The specifications technologist must be able to accurately answer these questions in an easy-to-understand way.
- Provide advice on technical aspects of products
The specifications technologist must evaluate the products being produced, providing advice on their shelf life and nutritional value.
- Help bring new products and promotional products to market
The specifications technologist works closely with the product development team to ensure new product lines and promotional products have fulfilled the requirements necessary to go to market.
- The specifications technologist should have a graduate degree in Food Science, Nutrition, or Science.
- Extensive practical experience with label regulations, specifications and artwork projects. Must have demonstrable knowledge of food safety laws and legislative requirements for the food products.
- Ideally, they would have experience working in new product development
- Ideally, they would have previously worked in the beverages industry
- High-level written and verbal communication skills
- Strong attention to detail and accuracy
- An analytical mind with the ability to review large volumes of complex legal and technical material
- Excellent IT skills
- Project management skills
- A strong work ethic and hands-on approach
- Planning and organisational skills
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What is a specifications technologist and what do they do for beverage makers?
A specifications technologist provides essential guidance to beverage producers on scientific, technical, and legislative aspects. Their fundamental role is to ensure that the company comprehends and complies with current food safety laws and packaging regulations, guaranteeing that products are safe for consumption and correctly labeled to meet legal standards.
How does a specifications technologist contribute to product packaging and labeling?
These technologists are instrumental in designing and reviewing packaging and labels for beverages. They confirm that all legislative and safety information, including alcohol content and health warnings, is accurately represented and that the packaging meets the legal requirements for each market the products are sold in.
What kind of projects does a specifications technologist manage?
Specifications technologists oversee various projects that involve the creation of product specifications, ensuring that packaging and promotional materials meet legislative and safety requirements. They also work on standardizing procedures for artwork creation and are involved in the launch of new products and promotional campaigns, ensuring all specifications are met for market release.
What educational background is required for a specifications technologist in the food and beverage industry?
A specifications technologist typically holds a graduate degree in Food Science, Nutrition, or a related Science discipline. This educational background equips them with the necessary knowledge to navigate and advise on food safety and legislative matters within the industry.
What work experience and skills are crucial for a specifications technologist?
Work experience in new product development within the beverages industry, as well as a practical understanding of label regulations and food safety laws, is crucial. The key skills required include exceptional written and verbal communication, meticulous attention to detail, analytical thinking, strong IT and project management abilities, along with effective planning and organizational talents.