Associated British Foods is one of the biggest food manufacturers in the UK; it is also a major international business with a turnover of £12.8bn and over 124,000 employees working in 48 countries. 

The Grocery division of Associated British Foods comprises consumer-facing businesses that manufacture and market a variety of well-known brands including Patak’s and Twinings, both nationally and internationally. The businesses have developed an enviable portfolio of leading grocery brands that reflect the wonderful tastes of food from a diversity of cultures. Together these business areas play a central role in helping to feed millions of people around the world. 

Voted by the graduates we surveyed as one of the best graduate employers to work for in the Consumer Goods industry (smaller intake) in 2015/ 2016, Associated British Foods is a worldwide business who strive to train their graduates and develop strong leadership skills. With an overall rating of 4.1/5, Associated British Foods score particularly high for training (4.4/5), colleagues (4.3/5) and career progression (4.2/5). 


1. The Best and Worst things about working for Associated British Foods

Best: Real jobs from the beginning. – Freedom to shape my role how I see fit. – A lot of customer interaction, no day is the same. – Exciting events and opportunities. – Good work/life balance – work from home on Fridays at some businesses.

Worst: Despite regular training, you are not with the other graduates for the majority of the time, as you are split across different businesses and different roles. This is good and bad, but it does mean that at the beginning you can feel a little alone.

Sales Support & Development, at Associated British Foods (Grocery)


Best: Great training opportunities in a wide variety of areas. The people you meet on the scheme and in your companies generate amazing networks.

Worst: For training a lot of travelling had to be done which can keep you away from home and the day job for long periods of time.

Craft Engineer, at Associated British Foods (Grocery)


Best: Great company culture. Friendly and inviting employees who make you feel welcome. Rotational Graduate scheme means you gain experience across function and businesses. Good levels of responsibility. Exposure to senior management. Excellent training program. Good benefits.

Worst: Can be relatively process based. Not London based (this could be a best depending on your preference). Offices in Kent, Maidenhead, Biggleswade, Peterborough and Andover.

Sales, Sales at Associated British Foods (Grocery)


2. Average Working Hours

8.00am – 5.00pm


3. Average Graduate Salary

£25,000 – £27,000


4. Interview Tips

Application Advice: Understand the roles that you might be completing as part of the graduate scheme. If possible try and take a genuine interest in the world of FMCG. In your application and the early application stages make sure you let your personality come through, don’t be too sterile.

Interview Advice: Honestly, the biggest piece of advice here would be to be yourself. At the assessment day it was clear that some of the applicants were putting on a front with the assessors, and this was picked up on. Try not to overthink the process of an assessment day, just go be yourself, give honest answers to questions and if you are a good fit for the business, this will shine through.

Business Development Manager, Customer Development at Associated British Foods (Grocery)


Application Advice: Show an interest in the company and the wider ABF group. Use a variety of scenarios when answering the questions, both from university and outside in work or hobbies.

Interview Advice: Be yourself. If you get to interview your grades have spoken for themselves. We are looking for people who are naturally a good fit for our business.

Maintenance Planner, at Associated British Foods (Grocery)


Application Advice: Take your time. Make sure you answer everything concisely and actually answer the questions rather than pad it out. Anything can be made relevant with the appropriate justification.

Interview Advice: Being a fit for the company is a big thing for this organisation so be genuine as this can play in your favour even if you aren’t the best in terms of technical skills.

Craft Engineer, at Associated British Foods (Grocery)


Interested in finding out more about graduate life at Associated British Foods? Click here for their full range of graduate reviews.


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