food and beverage

Coming in at number four in the nation, Wisconsin’s food and beverage industry is booming and in need of equipped and trained professionals to join growing companies and provide innovative solutions. 

To help fill that need, Concordia just recently launched its food and beverage track for the master of product development (MPD) program to train, equip, and prepare professionals to enter this promising and growing field. 

Why Food and Beverage?

The Milwaukee area alone contains more than 250 food and beverage manufacturers and 15,000 jobs, including many of the largest manufacturers like Nestle, Pepsi, Molson Coors, and Cargill. Across the state, the total number of food processing companies jumps to 1,200 with 67,000 jobs. The need for qualified new talent is high. 

Why Concordia’s Program?

The master of product development (MPD) graduate degree here at Concordia has several different tracks: pharmaceutical/chemical and food and beverage. Within the food and beverage track, students will dive into the complete business of food and beverage from the development process in the marketplace, to package design, to marketing and management.

The food and beverage track was developed with the help of experts from industry giants like Sargento, Sendik’s, Palermos, Kwik Trip, and the Food and Beverage Trade Organization for Wisconsin (FaB) to ensure that the content students encounter represents what’s actually relevant in the industry right now. 

Who Should Enroll?

This program was designed for anyone who hopes to work in product development, particularly in the food and beverage industry. Whether you want to manage production, create the products yourself, be the genius behind packaging, or do it all within your own company as a food entrepreneur, this program provides all the business, culinary, legal/regulatory, and marketing tools you need to succeed in any area of the food and beverage industry. 

Special Perks of the Program

Beyond the classroom learning that students will encounter from faculty who are experts in the field, these are a few additional aspects of the program that participants will experience: 

  • Hands-on curriculum—Students won’t just be sitting in a classroom learning the theories of the food and beverage industry, they’ll actually get to put their knowledge into practice through the use of our culinary kitchen, sensory lab, 3D printers/prototyping, food science lab, collaboration spaces, and focus group rooms, all housed in the brand new 40,000+ square-foot Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center
  • Skills blending—Students learn critical-thinking and teamwork skills while blending technical skills with business, legal, regulatory, and compliance knowledge.  
  • Central course requirement—All students are required to take a two-semester “Food and Beverage Product Development and Launch” class that walks through the entire development process from ideation to launch. 
  • Thesis project—In the thesis applied project, students will get to choose between doing a project with a corporate partner or designing a product launch of their own.
  • Access to industry leaders in both daily classes and special seminar series, aiding in the development of a robust professional contact network.

Every aspect of this program is designed to build master innovators who understand how to identify significant opportunities and launch successful new products and services. If you’ve ever been interested in the food and beverage industry or wondered if there is room for your own product ideas in the marketplace, this program is for you. 

To learn more, you can explore the program page, or start on your application for the program. 

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