Marks & Spencer (M&S) Food has started recruitment for the three new roles ahead of launching a new product and packaging ‘Innovation Hub’ in January 2021.
The company is seeking a business development manager, a packaging innovation manager, and a product innovation manager to help build the new division.
The new M&S Food arm will comprise a specialist team that it said will focus on “disruptive innovation” to create products and address some of the biggest food sector-wide challenges such as reducing plastic packaging.
The aim of the department will be to assess new technologies and trends to enable the retailer to find sustainability solutions for the food sector, such as soya-alternative proteins for plant-based foods and the latest in material science for packaging innovation or to support the creation of more reusable or recyclable packaging.
In total, the Innovation Hub will be a nine-strong team spanning packaging, nutrition, product innovation, and business development, and it will include some existing M&S employees. It will be headed up by former head of food technology for convenience, Dom Darby, who will report directly into April Preston, M&S Food’s director of product development.
They will work in collaboration with the technology and insight functions at M&S.
Stuart Machin, M&S Food’s managing director, said: “Creating a dedicated team with the sole purpose of driving disruptive innovation will support us in being more relevant to our customers.
“But it’s not just about relevancy today; the Innovation Hub will enable us to track emerging trends and insights, so we’re one step ahead in responding to our customers’ needs in the future.”
He added: “The team will play a key role in helping us to build an even bigger and better food range and show customers that we’re taking action to address the sustainability issues they care about most – so that our actions today protect the planet for tomorrow.”
[Image credit: M&S]