Unlocking the Magic Behind M&S's Irresistible Treats: A Chat with Charley, Product Developer

Ever wondered who's behind the delectable creations that fill the shelves at M&S? Meet Charley, the creative mastermind responsible for crafting new and exciting confectionery.   In this interview, Charley takes us on a behind-the-scenes journey, sharing insights into her role, the inspiration behind the Percy Pig Petrifying Party, and what makes M&S such a unique and beloved employer. 

Hey Charley, can you tell us more about your role as a Product Developer? 

As a Product Developer, it’s my responsibility to come up with new ideas and concepts within the world of confectionary and savoury snacking. 

To get the original idea to fruition, I work closely with suppliers to ensure that the product launches on time, create the copy and design of the packaging to ensure that it appeals to customers on the shelf. I have something physical in stores to show for my efforts which not many jobs offer!  

Finally, and most importantly, I get to taste the products before they’re launched to test the quality and ensure that they meet M&S’s high-quality standards.  

Tell us more about the idea behind the Percy Pig Petrifying Party.

I knew we needed a new Percy Pig concept for Halloween this year as our original line, ‘Spooky Percy’ had been on the shelves for a little while.  

Working closely with our Brand team, we came up with the concept, the moulds for the sweets, the name and the packaging design. The products will be showcased alongside Super Sour Colin the Caterpillar which was great fun to develop too! 

How did your career in food begin? 

My career in food actually started as a result of a period of work experience at M&S whilst at university. I was lucky enough to shadow the Buying team in Clothing & Home. 

As part of my induction, the team gave me a tour of our London support centre and showed me the development kitchens. It was literally like a lightbulb moment for me. I had my eyes opened to the world of food retail as a career and went for it! 

What makes M&S a special place to work? 

There’s never a dull moment at M&S! I’m constantly learning and pushing myself and my suppliers to deliver the best for our customers. It’s always been an ambition of mine to work for M&S since the innovation and quality of their products is world class!  

My grandad used to work as the Store Manager in Newcastle many years ago. I always heard really lovely stories about how M&S is a really special employer. 

Do you want to kick start your career in food? Learn more here.

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