Making Food People Love

Everyone needs to eat and Laurel Gilbert shares how she makes sure eating is exciting for Co-op customers.

Laurel Gilbert – Product Developer - Confectionary, Co-op

It seems like Laurel Gilbert might have the best job in the world, her role is to create and develop new products within confectionary at the Co-op. From Christmas to Halloween to Easter, Laurel ensures the Co-op confectionary products are just what Co-op customers are looking for. Her days as spent trying products in the test kitchen at head office, working with manufacturers and seeing what the newest trends in food are going to be.

Her desire to work with food was clear from University but it wasn’t until after graduating that the world of product development even became known to her. Certain she didn’t want to work in hospitality she embarked on a food career in products starting with The Vegetarian Society, later joining a manufacturing business before beginning her career at the Co-op in 2016.

Laurel’s role is underpinned by adopting excellent communication skills across the Co-op teams she works with as well as being visionary when it comes to taking a product from concept through to delivery. It takes 6-9 months to get a new product into the hands of Co-op customers and Laurel is instrumental is bringing together technical, commercial, design and manufacturing teams to make the ideas a reality.

As Laurel puts it, “everyone needs to eat, and everyone loves food” it is simply her job to make sure she develops products Co-op customers will love and ensure they have food they can get excited about!

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