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Food industry inspired scientists of the future at the big bang careers fair

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A giant ‘Smarties’ fountain and a new series of lighthearted but surprising food themed videos will be amongst the attractions to make 45,000 visitors to the Big Bang ‘Mad about Food’ when they visit the largest science and engineering careers fair later this week.

Taking place at the NEC from 15-17 March, Nestlé in partnership with the Food and Drink Federation, will bring to life the wide range of jobs on offer in the food and drink manufacturing industry, hoping to inspire the young people to consider a future career in the sector. This will be the first time the food manufacturing sector has been represented at the event.

Careers in the food industry are exciting, challenging and there's never a dull moment. From developing a new range of cereals, taste testing ice creams or creating an advertising campaign for soft drinks - there's no shortage of options! In fact, the sector employs a staggering 400,000 people in a huge variety of roles, and by 2017 the industry will require 137,000 new recruits.

Nestlé will be showcasing its 4 metre tall ‘Smarties’ fountain which uses air pressure to propel giant Smarties up to the top of the tube where they’ll cascade down back to the base. Visitors to the stand will be invited to compete in a factory automation simulation game based on the Kit Kat production line which has been designed by Nestle engineering graduates and apprentices who will also be on hand to explain what it is like to work in the food industry.

FDF will be using the opportunity to launch the digital part of its campaign ‘Taste Success – A Future in Food’ by previewing its’ ‘Mad about Food’ videos, created in partnership with the Institute for Food Science and Technology and Improve, to show young people some of the exciting things you can do when you work with food!

Angela Coleshill, FDF’s Director of Competitiveness said: “This is a hugely exciting project for us; the target audience is a very challenging age group to reach and they are demanding more and more from their social media activity.

“The food industry is a great place to work. Everyone loves food and researching, developing, creating and marketing new products is something many people would consider a dream job, but we need to get the message out there that these roles are available and attract more people into our industry.”

Paul Grimwood, Chairman and CEO Nestle UK & Ireland said: “The food industry is an exciting area to work in with a wide variety of roles available. At Nestlé we believe that recruiting the best people for our business is key to our continued success which is why we launched the Nestlé Academy at the end of last year.

“We are also supporting the Food and Drink Federation’s (FDF) pledge to double the number of apprentices working in the food and drink industry by the end of 2012 and aim to have 100 apprentices working across our business by the end of the year.”

Note to Editors:

  1. The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) is the voice of the food and drink manufacturing industry – the UK's largest manufacturing sector. For more information about FDF and the industry we represent visit:
  2. The Big Bang is the largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths for young people in the UK and aims to show them just how many fun and rewarding opportunities there are out there - if they have the right experience and qualifications.
  3. Visit to view ‘Mad About Food’ videos and other material aimed at young people.
  4. For further information about FDF's careers campaign and skills work please visit: Taste Success – A Future in Food
  5. Nestlé UK and Ireland has approximately 7,000 employees across 19 sites and comprises: Nestlé UK (Food & Beverage, Confectionery and Food Services), Nestlé Ireland, Nestlé Purina Petcare, Nestlé Waters, Nestlé Nutrition, Jenny Craig, Nespresso, Cereal Partners UK (a joint venture with General Mills), Lactalis-Nestlé Chilled Dairy (a joint venture with Lactalis).
  6. In the UK, the company manufactures some of Nestlé’s most popular and iconic brands, including KIT KAT® confectionery (the UK’s No 1 selling biscuit), QUALITY STREET® confectionery, NESCAFÉ® soluble coffee, SHREDDED WHEAT® cereal, BUXTON® water, NESTLÉ® PURE LIFE® water, SKI® yoghurt and BAKERS and FELIX® petfood.
  7. For full details of careers at Nestlé please visit: and click on the Academy page.