Key Activities and Responsibilities

Nutritionists work in and with a wide variety of departments, such as marketing, research and development or regulatory affairs. Work can be extremely varied, but often falls within a number of categories.

Product Development

Contributing to new product development:

  • giving recommendations on the nutritional content of products
  • highlighting trends in nutritional science
  • advising on nutrition labelling, claims and product promotion including advertising

Consumer Contact

Communicating with the consumer is a major activity for companies and nutritionists will often play a significant role, for example:

  • writing leaflets – for consumers, schools or health professionals
  • supporting an enquiry service with both written and telephone queries about products and by answering all the technical questions which seem to land on our desks!

Research and Scientific Work

Managing research projects can also be a large part of a nutritionist’s role which may include:

  • planning the research programme
  • contributing to protocols
  • liasing with external academic experts
  • preparation of scientific papers and reports
  • keeping up to date on current, relevant science
  • representing the company on external committees or at conferences

Health promotion

Promoting healthy eating both within the company and outside is fundamental to many nutrition roles so it is necessary to:

  • to keep up to date with current thinking in nutrition by reading journals and attending scientific conferences

Regulatory Affairs

Many nutritionists in the food industry also look after regulatory affairs which involves:

  • interpreting legislation
  • ensuring company compliance with legislation
  • contributing to the development of new legislation at both UK and European level

Public Relations and Communications

The role of nutritionists here varies considerably within each organisation. It can be very diverse work and include:

  • giving external presentations or talks
  • holding discussions on an exhibition stand
  • media relations