If you ate a sack lunch today, there is a good chance it included a branded product, like Oscar Meyer deli meat, Miracle Whip spread, or a Chips Ahoy! cookie. But do you ever stop to think about the people behind the products you enjoy?
Kyle Swigart, an associate principal scientist with Kraft Foods likes the variety his career provides.
“Every day presents the potential for a new project,” he said. “It keeps the job fresh, presenting new challenges and opportunities and giving me the chance, as a scientist, to find creative solutions.”
Kyle said his work plays a critical role in agriculture. Developing new food products drives the livestock industry to stay relevant in production agriculture, and it is the people in the meat and food science industries who keep the United States’ food supply the safest in the world.
Kyle has traveled internationally as part of a team creating products for Asian and Latin American markets. He found it fascinating how American consumers differ from consumers elsewhere on the globe.
“For consumers in other parts of the world, their number one focus is food safety and they work with Kraft Foods because we contribute to the safest food supply in the world,” he said. “Although food safety is still a critical focus in the U.S. food industry, I believe it is something many American consumers take for granted.”
Kyle points to the education he received at the University of Illinois as a valuable asset in his career, along with connections made through the Department of Animal Sciences.
“A day rarely passes when I don’t come in contact with at least one person I met through my experience at the U of I, whether it’s colleague, peer, customer, or vendor. Building a network pays dividends down the road in your career.”