Begin Your Career in the FMCG Sector


What is FMCG?

FMCG stands for fast- moving consumer goods. The industry covers the household items that you buy when shopping in the supermarket or a pharmacy, products such as essential items that we use day in and day out, for example food and drink, items used in cleaning and laundry, over the counter medicines, and personal care goods.  An FMCG company is any company that produces these goods and the industry holds some of the most famous brand names that we come across every single day.

The FMCG Food and Drink Industry

Figures show that the food and drink manufacturing sector alone contributed £28bn to the UK economy, growing by 2.3% on the previous year. The industry has a turnover of more than £105bn, accounting for 20% of total UK manufacturing as the biggest manufacturing sector in the country

Food and drink manufacturing contributes more to the economy than all other manufacturing sectors, including automotive and aerospace. 

Food and drink manufacturers directly employ over 430,000 people across every region and nation of the UK. Employment in the sector has grown by 19% over the last decade.

The industry has a turnover of more than £105bn, representing almost 20 per cent of total UK manufacturing. SMEs make up 25% of overall food and drink manufacturing turnover.

The UK’s 7,400 food and drink manufacturers sit at the heart of a food and drink supply chain which is worth more than £120bn to the economy. 96% of these businesses are SMEs.

Scantec’s FMCG Food team are specialists in recruiting jobs across this growing sector, recruiting from graduate and entry level positions right up to board level director roles. Jobs we recruit are typically permanent or Interim roles as well as Exec Search.

Typical job roles within FMCG Food

Within FMCG organisations there are a vast range of jobs and skills required from production to commercial Head Office functions in order to ensure the business is able to run efficiently.  There are 5 key department structures within a food and drink manufacturer:




Supply Chain

Commercial & Sales

Just a few of the jobs roles across these functions that our team at Scantec recruit include:

  • Technical & Quality (Including Regulatory, EHS, Specification & Legislation)
  • Engineering (Technical, Mechanical, Electrical, Maintenance Engineers)
  • Production & Planning Operations
  • Supply Chain & Procurement (including Logistics, Planning, Warehouse, Materials)
  • New Product Development & Research Development
  • HR Management
  • Information Technology
  • Marketing and Commercial Sales
  • Finance

Within each of these business areas, there are a vast range of skills, qualifications and experience needed.

Pathways into the profession and Qualifications

In order to work within the FMCG Food industry, you will routinely be required to hold a food science degree, HNC or apprentice trained qualification.

Working within Head Office, corporate function roles, training and qualifications relevant to your position can be advantageous.  For example, a HR position - a CIPD qualification can be beneficial; for Procurement and Supply Chain – CIPs; Accountancy and Finance roles - study towards AAT / ACCA/CIMA; and for Marketing it is worth considering studying through CIM.

Skills in demand / skills short areas

Despite the staggering growth of the FMCG Food industry, one of the most protracted problems facing the industry is the critical shortage of skilled workers with Engineering & Technical shortages in particular and the need for a highly-trained workforce is intensifying rapidly. Recent research shows that UK businesses will need almost 137,000 new sector recruits this year alone.

Typical starting salaries

Salaries across the FMCG Food industry can vary dependant on job role but typically entry level opportunities can be from £20k +

Routes to progress

Each of the 5 key departments within Food Manufacturing have routes to progress from entry level and graduate opportunities right through to senior management and board level. 

Beginning your career within an FMCG organisation, with the right skills, training, experience and drive, you could progress to the following:

  • Managing Director
  • Chief Operating Officer
  • General Manager
  • Engineering Director
  • Technical Director
  • Commercial / Sales Director
  • Supply Chain / Logistics Director
  • Purchasing Director
  • Production / Manufacturing Director
  • Operations Director
  • HR Director

A typical day in an FMCG company

While there is a broad range of careers within the FMCG industry, whatever direction you take, you will be working within an environment of end-to-end product manufacturing which is fast paced, dynamic and where no two days are the same.

If you are interested in a career in the FMCG sector or have experience of working within the industry and are looking for your next career move, then click here to learn more about how our specialist FMCG Food team can help you and what live vacancies are currently available

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