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Are you a big foodie who can’t get enough burgers and steak or seafood and sushi?
If so, you should consider making your career or even a side job into something food-related.
If you’re a lover of food, making money doing anything related to eating or cooking is surely a dream come true.
Luckily, there are multiple different things you can do to make money and spend your day thinking about food.
One of the fastest and easiest things you can do is to start a food blog and make money by blogging.
You can even take part in paid medical research trials.
Another great career option is the food critic.
As a food critic, you would earn money by reviewing and critiquing restaurants along with their dishes.
Food critics also need good writing skills and often start a blog.
Along with these opportunities, you could always try starting your own business.
You could open your own restaurant or a food truck.
Below I will discuss a really easy and pleasant job for those who love food – food testing.
It doesn’t get much better than being a food taste tester.
According to PayScale, the median salary for a food taster is $43,368.
That is definitely enough money to live a comfortable and pleasant life on while also getting the benefit of eating delicious food for a living.
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All you’ll really need to do is put on a white uniform and go out to taste different types of food all day long.
Food Testing for Money: How to Get Your Foot in the Door
When it comes to professional food testing, this isn’t a rare opportunity where you end up in a focus group or maybe a paid survey panel.
This is actually a full-time job where you show up and taste test food five days a week year-round.
So now that you’ve decided you want to be a food taste tester, how do you land a job in this field?
It’s not that simple or easy to actually get started as a professional food taste tester.
People who have degrees in culinary arts are usually the ones who get these jobs.
So you may need to get more education in the culinary arts if you want to pursue a career in food taste testing.
Although, there are some other opportunities that could work for you.
There are sensory testing businesses and market research companies that hire panelists.
Check out this list of 41 companies that hold product testing panels.
Also, sometimes food manufacturers and restaurants in your neighborhood hire taste testers to participate in studies.
However, becoming a food taste tester who participates in studies would mean you couldn’t make a full-time living doing this but take part in occasional gigs.
These studies usually occur more rarely.
You may be able to get about a dozen studies to participate in per year.
Another strategy you can take is to join as many sensory testing businesses as you can find.
Regardless of what happens, being a food taste tester is an enjoyable and fun way to spend your days and put some more cash in your pocket.
What do you need to have to get started?
Usually, the requirements are simple.
Most companies will need you to be at least 18 years old and have no known food allergies.
You’ll also need to live within a specific distance from a testing center, since this is where most of your taste testing will be done.
Many companies will want you to live no more than an hour away.
Independent Sensory Testing Companies Offering Taste Tester Jobs
The way sensory testing companies work is similar to market research businesses that serve on behalf of food manufacturers and other food companies.
Market research companies hold focus groups and use online and in-person surveys to provide feedback on food products.
However, the big difference is that sensory testing companies specialize in conducting food-related trials.
Signing up for a taste tester job at a sensory testing company is as simple as signing up for an online survey.
Click here to learn about online survey sites that will pay you in cash.
For a sensory testing company, you can sign up for free and start filling out your profile.
Your profile will tell the company what type of demographic you fit.
Sensory testing companies holding food testing studies that align with your profile and demographic will invite you to take part in the trial and pay you money for your service.
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You will receive either cash or check for taking part in the study.
Below I outline a number of sensory testing companies that hire food taste testers and produce food testing studies for various food manufacturers.
1. The Consumer Product Testing Centre
The Consumer Product Testing Centre is connected to the Food Processing Development Division of Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development.
Click here to check out their website.
This agency looks to hire food taste testers located in Alberta, Canada for a bunch of different taste testing studies.
The food you’ll get to taste varies from all kinds of snacks such as potato chips, crackers, and tortilla chips to yogurt or pasta.
If you like a meal that includes meat, you’ll get to taste test steak like beef or bison and pork chops, fried chicken, hot dogs, deli meats, and chicken fingers.
And you can also taste test chocolate, candy, sports drinks, and energy bars.
One thing’s for sure: you’ll be full after a day of eating such tasty options!
The website explains that you will likely only get to taste test for their studies about four times per year.
The average taste testing session is usually about 15 minutes long and pays about $15 total.
2. Contract Testing Incorporated
One of the biggest companies in the sensory testing industry is Contract Testing Inc.
You can check out their website and sign up to be a food taste tester by clicking here.
This agency works with plenty of different food manufacturers as well as a bunch of restaurants.
As such, you’ll get a chance to try all sorts of different food products with this company.
You’ll get your set of frozen dinners that need to be microwaved, but you’ll also taste test cookies, pizza, dessert, crackers, soups, and more.
The company states that you can participate in as many as five taste testing studies per year.
3. Northland Laboratories
The company Northland Laboratories has a sensory testing facility in Northland, Illinois.
So if you’re located close to this general area, you can definitely take part in their food taste testing studies.
You can learn more about the company by clicking here and browsing their website.
The type of food you’ll taste test can also vary drastically at this company.
The taste testing studies at Northland Laboratories can last anywhere from 15 or 20 minutes to an hour or more depending on the type of trial you sign up for.
4. Apex Life Sciences
Apex Life Sciences is a laboratory seeking to hire food taste testers.
According to Indeed, the company is hiring for a long-term and part-time taste tester job in Pleasantville, New York.
You could work for six to eight hours per week making $15 per hour.
That would add up to a minimum of $360 per month.
This would definitely benefit anyone in need of some extra cash.
Your job would be to evaluate food products including offering feedback on taste, color, texture, smell, and look of the snacks or meals.
This company offers a variety of sensory services for restaurants and food manufacturers, including storage evaluations, quality control, and product launch testing.
Dairi Concepts uses an in-person facility for its testing that includes optimal lighting for taste testing.
In addition to internships that can get your feet wet in the food industry, Dairi Concepts sometimes has openings for full-time and part-time positions for testers.
You can find open positions on its Careers page.
MMR is a sensory science research company providing its services to clients in the food industry.
The company sometimes has openings for part-time product evaluators that need to be located near one of its on-site locations.
Some of the projects may also be able to be worked on in your home.
You’ll need about four days a week set aside for a few hours each day.
Full training is provided by MMR, so you don’t need previous experience to start.
Before you begin, your senses will be tested to make sure you’re a good fit.
Candidates should have no known food allergies or other allergies that may affect their senses.
Food Manufacturers Need Taste Testers Too
If you want to get paid to eat food, it’s also important to note that you can get hired to taste test directly by food manufacturing companies.
Food manufacturers hire people directly to take part in taste testing sessions instead of relying on independent sensory testing companies.
Take a look below at some of the food manufacturing companies that are hiring taste testers.
7. McCormick Corporation
Do you live in Maryland?
The McCormick Corporation facility is located in Hunt Valley, Maryland, so if you live nearby, you can easily take part in their food taste testing studies.
You can participate in as many as four studies per year at McCormick Corporation.
The studies take place every three months.
8. Schwann Food Company
The Schwann Food Company is well-known in the culinary world.
You can learn more about it by clicking here.
If you want to take part in the food taste testing at this company, you will need to be located near its facility.
The Schwann Food Company facility is located in Marshall, Minnesota.
The majority of the food taste testing sessions at this company last approximately 15 minutes and pay $15 for every session.
Depending on your demographic profile, you might take part in a food testing session as often as three times per month!
In other cases, you might be invited only two or three times per year.
It all depends on your profile.
If you’re not concerned with getting paid cash for your service, check out Solae.
The food manufacturer Solae will offer you rewards through points that can be redeemed for gift cards.
You can get gift cards for a bunch of places including restaurants like Red Lobster (review).
So click here if you want to participate in food taste testing sessions at Solae.
10. The National Food Lab
Another interesting company that works to create food products and new recipe ideas with food manufacturers is The National Food Lab.
This company searches for food taste testers too.
If you live near Livermore, California, check out this company to get paid for eating food and offering your feedback.
The taste testing sessions last anywhere from half an hour to 50 minutes and pay you as much as $25 or more.
Check out their site to learn more!
Become a Taste Tester at a Market Research Company
Did you know there are likely some local focus group facilities in your area that hire food taste testers?
A great opportunity for you is to sign up with several market research companies in your city or state.
These companies also take part in food studies occasionally.
So feel free to sign up with some of these market research companies.
You could get a notification saying you qualify for a few food testing studies.
Below I detail a number of different market research companies where you could take part in a food testing study and get paid for it.
11. Focus Market Research
One option is the Food Market Research company, which is located in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Click here to learn more about this organization.
You can also call (612) 869-8181 to learn more.
12. Performance Plus Boston Field & Focus Inc.
One other market research company you could take a look at is the Performance Plus Boston Field & Focus Inc.
This organization has facilities in Boston, MA, Framingham, MA, and Enfield, CT.
To learn more about this market research company, you can call (508) 872-1287 or their toll-free phone number (800) 683-1287.
To check out the website, click here.
13. Focus & Testing, Inc.
If you’re located in California, you should check out the company Focus & Testing, Inc. Their facility is located in Calabasas, California.
You can call (818) 347-7077 to find out more or email the company representatives at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can click here to browse the Focus & Testing website.
14. Herron Associates, Inc.
If you’re looking for a market research company where you can be a food taste tester, another option is Herron Associates, Inc.
The company has one new facility in Tampa, Florida and two other facilities in Indianapolis, Indiana.
To join a focus group and become a food taste tester at Herron Associates call Cyndi Wright at (317) 882-3800 or you can email her at email@example.com.
You can browse their website by clicking here.
15. PVR Research
If you’re located in Georgia and want to become a taste tester, you can check out the company PVR Research.
This company has a facility located in Duluth, Georgia.
However, if you live out of the way, you could still participate in their focus groups especially since PVR Research offers discounts on hotels.
You can call (770) 232-0322 extension 5 to find out more information about this organization.
Also, you can sign up directly to become a taste tester by clicking here.
To check out their website and home page, click here.
16. P&K Research
P&K Research is another company that holds focus groups and needs food taste testers like you.
Luckily, this company has facilities in five different locations, so you should be able to find a focus group wherever you live.
P&K Research has facilities in Chicago, Illinois, Plano, Texas, Santa Ana, California, White Plains, New York, and Safety Harbor, Florida.
You can reach representatives from P&K Research by calling (773) 774-3100 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out their website by clicking here.
17. Peters Marketing Research, Inc.
Another marketing research company in need of food taste testers is called Peters Marketing Research and is located in St. Louis, Missouri.
However, their focus group center is positioned in Creve Coeur, Missouri.
To learn more about this organization, you can call Katie Peters Miller at (314) 469-9022.
To browse their website, click here.
18. Razor Focus
Razor Focus is another market research company you can check out if you’re interested in being a food tester.
If you’re located in Connecticut or a nearby state, this would be an excellent place for you to consider.
Razor Focus has a facility located in Stamford, Connecticut.
To find out more about this company, you can call (203)504-3240 or call up Senior Manager Connie Sinnaeve at (203)504-3246.
You can also email Principal Paul Jacobson at paul@RazorFocus.net or Leny Jacobson at leny@RazorFocus.net.
Don’t forget to browse their site by clicking here.
19. Schlesinger Associates
If you think there’s no market research companies in your area, you should definitely take a look at Schlesinger Associates.
This company has locations all across the world including the United Kingdom, Paris, France, Germany, France, and the United States.
In the United States, you’ll find Schlesinger Associates facilities in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Francisco, St. Louis, and even parts of New Jersey.
If you want to participate in a food tasting panel at Schlesinger Associates, click here or call +1 (855) 244-0886.
You can also email Help@InspiredOpinions.com.
You can browse their website here.
20. Spectrum Discovery Center
If you’re located in New Jersey and are looking for a focus group in need of taste testers, check out the Spectrum Discovery Center.
This market research company is located in New Providence, New Jersey.
If you want to contact the company, call (908)376-7000 or browse their site by clicking here.
21. Taylor Research, Inc.
Another opportunity for a food taste tester comes from Taylor Research, Inc.
The company has a facility located in San Diego, California so anyone living in the Golden State could take part.
To talk to a representative from Taylor Research, call (858) 810-8400.
And don’t forget to check out their website by clicking here.
22. Adelman Research Group
If you’re located in upstate New York and are looking for a focus group to join, be sure to check out Adelman Research Group.
This market research company is located in Buffalo, New York.
To get some basic information, you can call the company at 1-800-507-7969, or you can reach out to President Susan Adelman at (716) 876-6450 Ext: 2228 or Vice President Jim Bachwitz at (716) 876-6450 Ext: 2227.
23. Baltimore Research
If you’re located in Maryland or a nearby state, be sure to check out Baltimore Research for a focus group or taste testing panel.
Its facility is located in Baltimore, Maryland.
You can call a representative from Baltimore Research at (410)583-9991 or email email@example.com.
To check out their site, click here.
24. AccuData Market Research Inc.
Do you live in Florida, Colorado, or Tennessee?
Then you might just find a focus group or a taste testing panel at AccuData Market Research Inc.
This company has facilities located in Orlando and Tampa, Florida as well as Denver, Colorado, and Memphis, Tennessee.
If you want to email this company, use the name of the city you’re seeking and then add @accudata.net.
For instance, if you’re looking for representatives from Tampa, Florida, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To talk to someone at the Orlando facility, call (407)282-3770.
For Denver representatives, call (303)344-4625.
Those located in Tennessee, call (901)763-0405.
To browse their website, click here.
Compass Marketing Research has a kitchen testing facility where participants can go to take part in food and beverage studies for its clients.
You can sign up online to become a part of the company’s panel and be considered for future testing projects.
Although not required, applicants who have at least partial fluency in the Spanish language may take priority over non-Spanish speaking applicants.
Those will any food allergies or food avoidances due to personal beliefs or religious or cultural reasons might also not be able to join.
This marketing research company conducts focus groups, in-home testing, on-location testing, and a variety of other research studies for its clients.
To participate, you’ll need to register for free.
Most studies are on-site in Charlotte, North Carolina, but you could be eligible for in-home testing and other opportunities.
Studies typically range from $30 to $175, but the compensation will vary depending on their length and complexity.
Registrants need to be at least 18 to be considered.
27. The Martec Group
This research company works with a variety of clients, but many of them happen to be in the food and beverage industry.
As a tester for the company, you could have a hand in shaping a brand’s product messaging, packaging, food quality, service equipment, and more.
Check the Careers page periodically to see when openings become available for food testers.
This company uses world-class kitchen testing facilities to test products from its clients in the food industry.
The company has locations scattered across the United States and Canada, which you can find here.
You can become a member of the team as a full-time employee with benefits like profit-sharing and dental insurance.
Fill out the form on this page to show your interest in a testing role with Food Perspectives.
One of the coolest things about this market research company focused on the food industry is what it calls its PopUp CLT (Consumer Location Test), where it can bring its tests almost anywhere to accommodate the needs of its clients.
When you sign up as a Consumer Tester, you could have a chance to test at one of these pop-up projects, or participate in home studies or on-location tests.
Once you sign up, you’ll be contacted when a new project meets your demographics and you can decide whether you want to participate.
You’ll know the time required and projected pay before you begin.
30. L&E Opinions
This company hosts both remote product testing and on-location product testing, much of which is designed for the food industry.
There are actually four brand new locations in Missouri, Texas, California, and Colorado, so the company is still expanding and could make its way near you soon.
Once you sign up, you can see all the available studies you match with.
Some might also be phone studies, but you’ll likely avoid this if you’re looking only for food testing.
Once you complete a study, you can get paid with cash, a check, or a VISA prepaid card.
You can even earn more by referring your friends.
Other Ways to Become a Taste Tester
There are a couple of other steps you can take to get paid to eat food and give your opinion or critique.
Check Job Listings
You can seek out job search engines and classifieds.
Take a look at newspaper ads, Craigslist and job sites.
Check out CareerBuilder, Monster, and Indeed.
These places include food taste testing jobs.
Since it could take a lot of time to find the taste testing jobs through these websites, be sure to set up a Google Alert that notifies you whenever a new position for a food taste tester pops up.
You’ll get an email when a job does open up.
Once you do get an email notification, be sure to fill out an application and send in your resume as quickly as possible.
These jobs fill up fast, so it’s important to be one of the first applications.
Plenty of people love to eat food and get paid for it, so you’ll need to compete against others looking to get hired.
Eat at Your Favorite Restaurants
Did you know that you can also earn money for eating fast food and offering your critique?
Some restaurant chains will have occasional openings for food testers for their restaurants to either try out new foods before they end up on the menu or to participate in mystery shop opportunities.
Either way, you’ll get paid to test out their food.
You could even wind up with a permanent critiquing job!
Nonetheless, these job positions are more rare and you’ll have to keep an eye out.
Check with Local Colleges and Hospitals
Check out your local colleges and medical centers, which often hold studies requiring people to eat fast food, a specific type of meal, or maybe even an ingredient for a certain period of time.
Medical centers and colleges use this information as part of their research programs, so you might even get paid to participate in the study.
If you live in St. Louis, Missouri, for instance, Washington University conducts various food studies.
You can sign up on the Washington University Research Participant Registry page.
Become a Blogger or Influencer
Bloggers and influencers are known for getting involved with product testing through influencer networks.
They’ll be sent items to review and share with their audiences, while usually getting a cash payment on top of the free items.
If you’re an influencer in the food industry or have a relevant blog (something like parenting or home life that sometimes deals with food and recipes, for example), then you could get free food from your favorite companies to test out.
Often, influencer programs will focus on specific ingredients that food brands want you to try out and incorporate into a new recipe to post on your social media channels or blog.
Here are some of the best influencer networks for finding these types of opportunities:
This is one of the top influencer networks for bloggers or influencers who are into food, whether they create recipes or just blog about their love for food and dining.
Content Creators will need to have at least 5,000 followers, and most of them should be on Instagram.
You’ll also need to make your own unique content and have an engaged community.
Influencers will need to sign up for the network’s email list, too, to be alerted to new opportunities they might match with.
Aspire IQ is another network dedicated to food lovers who are also content creators.
You might have heard of Revfluence; this is its rebrand.
The company has worked with huge food industry clients like Grubhub and Hello Fresh, to name a few.
As an influencer in the platform, you can find opportunities to get paid for posting about brands and you can also connect directly to marketing experts from brands who need your help.
After your content has been verified by Aspire IQ, you’ll get paid via PayPal.
Social Fabric comes from marketing agency Collective Bias to offer what it calls “shoppertunities” for content creators.
These shops are sometimes focused on household products, beauty items, etc., but often are geared toward foodies with special items brands want you to use in recipes or review posts.
The network does have a lot of instructions for each shop, such as how to take photos of the products in store and how to use them once you buy them.
But they also pay really well for each shop and you’ll typically get reimbursed for anything you need to buy up front.
Find top food brands to connect with on Palate Connect.
This network mostly works with restaurants, from smaller family-owned brands to national chains.
Influencers will receive invites to events when they match with them and will be provided with detailed instructions to complete each project and get paid.
You should have at least 2,500 organic followers and see steady growth on your platforms. High engagement is also a must!
Food influencers can sign up with this network to work with brands in the food and beverage industry like Malibu, Evian, and Uber Eats.
You can use this form to contact the network about landing a spot in its influencer database.
This network is very active with new campaigns being posted almost daily.
Although it works with a variety of brands, there is almost always a few food-related campaigns here at any time.
You can choose which ones to apply for and send a message to the brand about why you’re a good fit.
Seasoned Influence creates campaigns for brands in the food industry using some of the most influential food bloggers and content creators.
Influencers should have at least 2,500 followers on their most active social platform (Instagram would be a really good one to show off for this network!).
Look for Hospitality Mystery Shopping Jobs
Mystery shopping is a fun way to make money by doing something you do anyway: Visiting places around town!
Although a lot of mystery shops focus on the customer service in stores, some of them are geared more toward the hospitality industry, including hotels, travel, and restaurants.
Some mystery shopping companies even dedicate themselves to helping only restaurants or clients in the food and beverage industry improve their customer service, products, and brand.
As a shopper, you’ll visit restaurants and provide feedback, according to your instructions, of your experience, the food, and anything else the client requested.
You get to eat a yummy meal and get paid in the process!
The following mystery shopping companies are among the best for those interested in testing food:
Bestmark is one of the most well-known mystery shopping companies.
It works with clients in several industries, but the restaurant industry is one of them.
Shoppers will get a payment for each of their shops plus reimbursement on anything they needed to purchase for the shop.
Most shops pay within four weeks and shoppers can choose to get paid via PayPal, direct deposit, or a gift card.
As its name suggests, Coyle Hospitality caters to the hospitality industry.
One of the industries it features is the bar and restaurant industry.
The site doesn’t explain much about its opportunities for mystery shoppers, but you can fill out the online form to learn more about how it all works.
This company works with clients in various industries, and the food industry is one of its most prevalent.
RBG is quite selective in who it brings on board as a shopper, so keep that in mind when you apply.
If you’re accepted, you’ll have access to the job board where you can search for opportunities and apply to those you’re interested in.
Shoppers will receive a rating on each shop for quality control.
You can get paid via direct deposit or PayPal for each of your shops.
This is another well-known company in the industry that sometimes has food and beverage clients.
After being accepted as a shopper, you can search the job board by type of job, location, etc. to find ones that best match your interests.
You’ll get paid within 30 days via PayPal for most shops.
Be sure to follow all directions to make sure you get a high rating for each shop.
This rating will help determine your eligibility for future shops.
InTouch Insight has worked with companies like The Beer Store and A&W.
When you sign up, you can search for open shops in the company’s database and complete only those that are of interest to you.
InTouch Insight pays twice a month via PayPal.
The restaurant industry is a big client of Market Force, another popular mystery shopping company.
You can sign up for free, get matched with local dining opportunities, and get reimbursed for your meal plus compensated for your time.
The company also has an app for Android and iOS devices that lets you complete shops while you’re on the go, so you could even have it finished before you leave the restaurant!
Conclusion: You Can Find Tons of Food Taste Tester Jobs Out There
If you want to be a food taste tester on a part-time basis, follow the steps outlined above, and you’ll be able to get a handful of jobs throughout the year.
You’ll enjoy getting paid to eat tasty food!
Remember that there are also openings sometimes for full-time taste testers at large food manufacturing companies.
While you may not be able to get a full-time gig, you can still work on a part-time basis and make some extra money on the side.
Best of all, you’ll be making money while trying all sorts of delicious food products.
Have you ever gotten paid for food taste testing?
Where did you find the gig?
Let me know in the comments below!
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