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Thomas Fanzlau - Product Development at ANKER bakery

Thomas Fanzlau: Product Development at ANKER baker together with Simone Frey: Founder and Managing Director of Nutrition Hub

Thomas, you work as in the Product Development Team at the Bakery ANKER - how did you decide for this job?

I could say that product development is kind of a passion since I was in high school. I have always experimented with recipes and tried out different and exotic ingredients. The bakery industry fascinates me because the products are very diverse and there are many possibilities for product development. The reason why I chose Anker was because I personally liked the brand and as Anker sells its products at its own shops, there are many possibilities to develop products in creative way. Moreover Anker recently changed owner and business strategy whereby there is a huge possibility to contribute and influence the new image.

How can we imagine a typical day in your job?

My day typically starts a bit earlier than I was used to but this gets compensated by extremely diversified tasks during my day. I am responsible of the whole process of creating new products which means that next to trialling new recipes I take care of finding the right ingredients with the right costs, coordinate tasting sessions, do calculations and think about new ideas and business opportunities. I take care that the launch of a new or optimised product runs smoothly and define preparing instructions the shop workers. I closely work together with Marketing, Sales, procurement and of course Production. A typical day is usually very untypical but this keeps me motivated.

What did you do before?

I worked for six years for the Birds-Eye iglo group as product development manager for local and European projects and for Agrana Fruit as product developer for companies like Danone and Friesland Campina for the eastern European countries.

What did you study and at which university? What specialization did you have?

I studied Nutrition at the University of Vienna and my specialization was a mix of food technology and food advice.

Did you like the studies and would you study the same again?

Yes, definitely. Even though I not nearly use half of the knowledge I acquired during my studies in my job, you learn a lot that you can use in you daily life.

What would you recommend Nutrition Experts to do in order to have a successful career?

Get in touch with relevant employers already during your studies. Experience and a good network is key to a successful career. And never underestimate the knowledge you gained during your studies. A lot of people talk about nutrition but Nutrition Experts know all about nutrition and that is why you should always have a big voice in food companies.


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