Average basic salary figures are revealed across multiple roles in product development, engineering, general management, finance, human resources, marketing, sales, operations/production, food technology, supply chain & logistics, packaging, planning and purchasing.
The whitepaper reveals that the food and drink industry's average pay rise has been 2% across all positions. Focus Graduates said that while this is in line with that of the other industries in the private sector, the economic climate is still making life difficult and a number of businesses were forced to put pay rises on hold in 2011.
However, with more than 16,000 food job vacancies available, this industry is one of the most appealing options for graduates looking to begin their careers. Food and drink industry employees earn 5% more than the national average, while as many as 137,000 new recruits will be required for the industry by 2017.
Commenting on the research, a spokesperson for Focus Graduates said: "The food and drink industry offers some of the best paid jobs in the private sector, both at a graduate level and further up the chain of command. Furthermore, the skills that people develop during their careers in the food industry provide an opportunity to move up that chain and earn excellent salaries."
Among the highest paid food jobs are managing directors (£160,000), operations/manufacturing director (£120,000) and sales directors (£110,000). At the other end of the scale, salaries range from £23,000-£25,000 for roles such as process development technologists, HR administrators and quality auditors. Meanwhile, some of the most lucrative food jobs for those near the beginning of their careers include buyers, planners, packaging technologists, sales account executives and category analysts.
Focus Graduates is one of seven specialist divisions of the Focus Management Consultants group (http://www.focusmanagementconsultants.co.uk/
For more information about the Focus Graduates salary survey, visit http://www.focusgraduates.co.uk/