joe farrar

Name: Joe Farrar

Age: 29

Job title: Senior brand manager

Company & location: Oggs, London

Education: Broadcast Journalism, Staffordshire University

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? A doctor! But given how stressed I can get about the metrics on an Instagram post for an fmcg brand, I think it’s fair to say I don’t have the nerves for it.

Why did you decide to go for a career in food & drink? Almost by accident – my first job was as a waiter at Pizza Hut. After leaving university, there was an opportunity to join the head office team as a marketing executive, which let me flex some of the skills I’d learnt during studying, so took a gamble on it and moved to London.

The first campaign I led was launching vegan pizza at Pizza Hut. Veganuary is such a brilliant campaign to run, and the excitement and impact it had led to me deciding that vegan food marketing was the only thing I wanted to do!

Read more: The NPD hitting stores for Veganuary 2024

Explain your job to us in a sentence (or two): Every 50ml of our egg alternatives we sell removes the need for a chicken egg. So whether it’s promoting sales of our bakery range, working on menus with contract caterers or persuading huge manufacturers they need to buy tonnes of the stuff, I’m trying to contribute to that impact we aim to make here at Oggs.

What does a typical day look like for you? Ridiculous! But I guess that’s the best thing about working for a food and drink SME.

Just today I’ve been working on packaging for a new product launch we’ve got coming up, preparing cocktail recipes for a foodservice trade show next week, and organising a webinar we’re hosting for prospective manufacturing customers.

Oggs aquafaba

What’s the best part about working for a food & drink company? Actually feeling like you’re making a difference.

It’s hard to put exact numbers on one person’s impact, but working in plant-based food there’s a real feeling that you’ve helped contribute to both reducing animal suffering and the negative impact on the environment that our diets can have.

And what’s the biggest misconception people have about working in food & drink? That things happen quickly, or that anything’s easy.

Pre-fmcg, I’d have had no idea the amount of time and effort that goes into getting a product on the supermarket shelves.

What advice would you give to other young people looking to get into the food & drink industry? For marketing especially, I think having some proof of concept for your skills is really important. Whether it’s a side hustle or a project you’ve worked on – making it clear that you’ve got the skills you say you have is really important!

What’s your ultimate career dream? I really care about encouraging changes to our diet that positively contribute to animal welfare or the environment – and I’m really lucky to have found a niche in vegan food marketing that lets me do that.

Having said that, I’ve never had the opportunity to do a huge OOH campaign yet. While digital marketing is often the smartest way to get millions of eyes on your products, I’d love to see a huge billboard with my creative on out in the world.

Interested in finding out more about food & drink careers? Check out GrocerJobs for the latest vacancies