I’m sure you have been to the grocery store or even a Costco when they had some sort of sampling event going on.
You sample the food and then decide if it’s worth the investment or not. I’m a sucker most of the time and almost always find myself buying it. Hey, that’s why they do the samples after all, right?
Worst case, it’s opens your taste buds up to something new.
Well, if you’re like me and you just love a food sampling event of any kind, what if I told you that there were ways to get rewarded to sample new products, mainly food?
How does taste testing work?
Well, just like tasting something at the local grocery store, a taste testing job would work in the same way.
You would first fill out a survey, usually about your demographics and eating habits, and if the company likes what they see, they will then send you out a sample of some kind, simply asking you to sample it for X amount of days. Once done, you provide your feedback and you’re rewarded for your time.
In some cases, you may be asked to visit a local facility, which, often pay much more than in-home studies.
Generally, as long as you follow the directions, you won’t have a problem getting your reward.
Now, like many of the make money strategies I mention on this website, these taste testing jobs won’t make you a ton of money. In fact, you will be lucky enough to make more than $10. Yes, there are full-time opportunities out there, but they are quite rare.
For now, just consider it as a fun way to sample new foods and make a few dollars.
If you like what you’re reading and you’re ready for free food samples to arrive at your door, then here’s where you can sign up to take advantage.
Taste Testing Jobs (for everyone)
Contract Testing, a product research company, has more than 12 locations spread across North America and invites you to apply as a taste tester to offer your opinions on various foods and beverages.
According to the website, they pay anywhere from $20 to $25 per session, depending on the length of the test, and everyone is encouraged to apply.
If interested, the company asks that you fill out a profile in its entirety, and if you’re a match for an upcoming study, they will notify you via an email invite. If you accept the invite, then all they ask is that you show up to one of their authorized testing centers to taste, touch and/or smell a variety of products and answer questions about them.
- Website: Contract Testing
Focus & Testing
Focus & Testing is said to be the leading food testing center in the United States, with the average 20-minute taste test rewarding you at least $40. Longer term assignments can pay up to $100 or more.
While the locations are based primarily in Columbus, Ohio, and Los Angeles, California, it doesn’t mean you can’t apply if you don’t live in one of these two cities as they have a special section for you titled “other” when you apply.
To apply, it’s 100% free and all the company asks is that you fill out your registration form in its entirety so they can learn more about you. The more information they have on hand, the more jobs they can potentially send you.
Once something is available, they will then call or email you with more information, in which you can accept or decline. It’s up to you!
Again, it’s 100% free to join and there are no strings attached. At least add your name to the database to see what kind of taste testing jobs you can take advantage of.
- Website: Focus & Testing
McCormick & Company, Inc.
Yes, that same McCormick that is known for its spices and multiple brands has its own “consumer testing” program, wherein you can sign up and sample a wide variety of products.
According to the FAQ, you can either test these products from the comfort of your own home or you can participate at their Hunt Valley, Maryland location in person.
Like most of these options, they will first ask you to fill out a demographic profile, and based on this information, you may be chosen for the product they are currently testing.
Product testing opportunities are paid, and if chosen, you will receive an email inviting you to an upcoming study, all of which you can accept or decline.
- Website: McCormick & Company, Inc.
North Carolina State Sensory Service Center
The North Carolina State Sensory Service Center, at least according to the website has conducted multiple taste testing opportunities, from sampling meat to dairy products.
If you’re passionate about sampling food and enjoy sharing your opinion, then they encourage you to apply.
From the looks of it, you don’t necessarily need to live near the university to apply as they do offer online paid survey opportunities in relation to food sampling.
- Website: North Carolina State
The Schlesinger Group focuses on more than just taste testing opportunities and is highly recommended if you’re interested in any sort of paid focus groups. I mentioned this very same company in my very popular $100 per survey post.
From online surveys to telephone interviews and in-person focus groups, there’s something for everyone.
If you just want taste testing opportunities, you can only accept those if you so choose, however, I do recommend you at least look at every invite that’s sent your way as there are some good paying ones to take advantage of.
- Website: Schlesinger Group
Your Local Colleges
The only problem is that not everyone can sign up to taste test as most colleges want you to attend in person. So, as you can imagine, it would be silly to sign up for a Florida University study when you live in Dallas.
If you don’t mind driving to your local college and sampling some products, then this is a great way to make up to $100 for a few hours of your time.
To find these opportunities, I do recommend you at least search the local colleges in your area, followed by the keyword “taste test.” What you’re going to find out is that a lot of your local colleges have departments often looking for new taste test panelists.
Check out Job Boards
If you’re looking more for a part-time or even full-time gig, let it be known that there are opportunities, but like any job, you will have to apply for it and be interviewed to be considered, of course.
To find these jobs, it’s not as hard as you think as there are a ton of online job boards that do all of the dirty work for you. All you need to do is simply search.
One of my favorites, for instance, is Google since they consider hundreds of websites and list the jobs for you all in one place.
Just search the term “taste testing jobs,” for instance, and Google will show you a job snippet near the top of your results from all sorts of job boards, such as Glassdoor, LinkedIn, etc. Click on it to see if there are any jobs of interest.
When I was writing this post, for instance, Google had hundreds of jobs that were related to “testing” food. While a lot of these jobs were out of state, I could at least set an alert to email me whenever a job posted in my general area.
I only recommend this route, again, if you’re looking for more of a part-time job. You may be surprised as to who wants to pay you to sample foods all day.
Taste Testing Jobs (for specific locations)
All of the companies I mentioned above are open to all U.S. residents, but in my research, I did find quite a few companies that were limited to a certain geographical region.
So, listed below are a handful of companies, along with the city they are based out of. If you live and/or are willing to travel to that location, it may be one to consider since you do have to visit in person.
- AOC Market Research (Charlotte, NC)
- Area Wide Market Research (Washington DC area)
- Baltimore Research (Baltimore, MD)
- Food Perspectives (Minneapolis, MN)
- Herron Associates (Tampa, FL and Indianapolis, IN)
- International Flavors and Fragrances (Union Beach, NJ)
- KMR Research (Philadelphia, PA)
- Peters Marketing Research (St. Louis, MO)
- P&K Research (Chicago, IL)
- Precision Research (Des Plaines, IL)
- PVR Research (Atlanta, GA)
- Razorfocus (Stanford, CT)
- Shugoll Research (Bethesda, MD)
- Solae (St. Louis, MO)
- Spectrum Discover Center (New Providence, NJ)
Taste testing food is entirely possible, but as I mentioned a few times throughout the post, I only recommend it as a fun way to make $50 here and there.
Sure, part-time positions do exist, but as you can imagine, they are probably gobbled up pretty fast. Plus, they are quite rare!
In the meantime, if you like the idea of getting rewarded while eating food and don’t mind trying something new, then I highly encourage you to sign up with the research groups mentioned above. Just make sure you don’t have allergies as this is often an instant blacklist. It also helps to not be picky, either!
As long as your demographic fits what they are looking for, then you should soon find email invites awaiting you. Best of luck!
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