I’m Not Joking! 20 Companies That Offer Food Testing for Money
Updated on: by Olivia
If you love food as much as I do, you are going to adore this article! Especially if you could use a little extra money to pay some bills, or simply to fund your ugly shopping addiction.
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We have all had those moments at a restaurant, after finishing up a particularly delightful meal, where life seems to be at peace. That moment where you sit and think about how amazing it would be to get paid to eat food. But then suddenly, the waitress comes with your bill, and *POOF* you are snapped back into reality. It was just a daydream. Or was it?
What if I said that you can actually get paid to let mouthwatering (and some not so tasty) flavors dance around on your taste buds?
Well, you absolutely can, and I want to tell you how!
Food testing for money
When it comes to testing food for money, I want to start out by mentioning that this is certainly a possibility. However, the chances of you making a living off of filling your belly are pretty darn slim.
While there are folks out there who make a whopping $50,000+ per year doing so, the gigs I want to tell you about are merely, well, gigs. So if you don’t happen to have a degree in culinary arts, don’t give up yet! There are other options.
Taste tester jobs
Finally, let’s get to it! There are a couple of ways that you can get paid to become a taste tester.
One way is to visit the website of food manufacturers! Here are just a few companies that just so happen to hire people like you, to taste test their products.
#1. Schwan’s Food Company
Perhaps you have seen the little yellow Schwan’s truck passing through your neighborhood. Maybe you even have tasty goods arrive on your doorstep, thanks to your favorite Schwan’s delivery man.
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Schwan’s Food Company is a real business, that delivers frozen foods directly to your home! So it is safe to say, that this taste testing gig is a legitimate opportunity in which you can earn a little extra cash. Though I have good news, and bad news about becoming a Schwan’s taste tester.
The good news: Schwans taste testing sessions can pay up to $15 each! And most of them last no longer than 15 minutes.
The bad news: Unfortunately, the facility is located in Marshall, Minnesota. So as you can guess, you must reside nearby, in order to partake in this exciting taste testing job.
If you are fortunate enough to get hired for this sweet gig, you will be tasting and evaluating a variety of new products that Schwan’s whips up.
#2. International Flavors & Fragrances Inc.
Calling all residents of Union Beach, New Jersey (and nearby)! This one’s for you.
International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. will pay you in cash, for participating in their studies.
You must be between the ages of 18 and 60. Also, it is important that you do not have any known food allergies, diabetes or asthma. Read the application thoroughly, as it notes a few other requirements.
If selected, you may be chosen to taste foods, however, they also have other studies pertaining to the fragrances of home-care and personal products.
Do you live in, or near the St. Louis, Missouri area? If so, you may want to check out the taste testing gigs available at Solae.
According to their website, they create thousands of different soy-based products, that are delivered in almost 100 different countries!
As a taste tester for Solae, you will be placed in a controlled room, to allow you to fully focus on the flavors that you will be tasting. The evaluations can be done in as little as five minutes, though some of them can take up to 15 minutes to complete.
Once you have completed your evaluation, you will then be awarded a number of points. The points can be accumulated, and then spent on various gift cards, towards travel, restaurants, and entertainment.
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#4. McCormick Company
Unless you prefer to stick to Kraft blue box mac and cheese, and pigs in a blanket, you are probably familiar with McCormick seasonings and spices.
McCormick & Company Inc. is located in Hunt Valley, Maryland. However, it does not appear that you have to live there, in order to apply for their studies!
You can live anywhere in the continental US, and apply for their nationwide home use tests! In fact, if you have kiddos that are under the age of 18, they can also be enrolled in the tests!
As a tester for McCormick, you can expect no more than 4 tests per year. This means that once you have participated in a test, you must wait 3 months before you are able to participate again.
#5.The National Food Labs
Californians that live near Livermore are going to love the opportunities at the National Food Labs.
As a taste testing panelist you will be able to taste a variety of snacks and beverages, and then give your honest opinion on your findings.
Pending the test, they may last anywhere from half an hour to about 50 minutes. You can expect to earn $25 a pop, minimum!
The hours of testing vary, however they take place all throughout the week (yes, weekends, too!), from mornings, to early evening.
Tasteocracy is another business that will pay you for your feedback, about their products.
The things you may taste come in a variety of forms. While some of the products you will be testing are foods and beverages, there are also dietary supplements to sample, from time to time.
To apply, you must live near the Twin Cities in Minnesota, or near their other location, in the East Bay area of California. Also, in order to become a tester you cannot have any known food allergies, nor should you currently be employed by a food/beverage company, or work in market research, elsewhere.
While anyone, of any age, is able to apply, the most common age group that get selected for tests are those between 18-65. Kiddos are allowed to be testers, however, they must have a parent who has previously signed up, as well.
Local Market Research Groups
If you do not have any luck with the previously mentioned manufacturers, don’t frown. You may still have a chance at letting your taste buds help you earn some extra bank.
There are a number of market research groups that are looking for people from all demographics, to join their panels.
#7. PVR Research
Do you like making spur of the moment getaways? If so, and you aren’t too far from Duluth Georgia, you may want to consider applying at PVR Research.
One of the great things about PVR is that they actually partner with some hotels, and may be able to get you discounted rates for your stay! So you can head on over to Duluth, make a bit of cash for a taste test, and then spend the rest of your getaway doing whatever you want to do!
Of course, locals are encouraged to sign up as well, I just loved the fact that out of towners are able to get cheaper hotel rates, thanks to PVR Research!
#8. TasteMakers Research Group
Signing up as a taste tester for TasteMakers Research Group is easy. Just click on the link, to answer a variety of questions, like what kind of dietary restrictions you follow when grocery shopping, and what kind of stores you purchase your groceries from.
If selected, you will get paid to test a variety of different products, from snacks and beverages, to canned goods, and soups.
#9. Herron Associates
Herron Associates has two facilities in Indianapolis, Indiana, as well as another one in Tampa, Florida.
If you live in the Indy area, and wish to become a food taste tester for the market research company, you will want to send a quick email to [email protected].
Tampa folks will want to submit an email to [email protected], when inquiring about local testing gigs.
You can also call (317) 882-3800, if you wish to personally speak with someone who can lead you in the right direction.
#10. Schlesinger Associates
One of the great things about Schlesinger Associates is that they have offices in numerous countries, all over the world!
In the United States, alone, there are currently 13 different facilities. So if you just so happen to live in, or near New Jersey, San Francisco, St. Louis, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Chicago, Boston, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Orlando, New York City or Los Angeles, you just may be able to find yourself taste testing foods for money!
Simply click the link above, send an email to [email protected], or make a quick call to (855) 244-0886, to get started on your taste testing journey.
#11. P&K Marketing
P&K Marketing Research Group is yet another company that has various research studies, that you use the assistance, and valuable feedback from folks like you!
The studies include home cleaning products, personal care, makeup, liquor/alcohol, fragrance, and you guessed it, food and beverages!
The research facilities are scattered throughout the United States. You will find offices in Safety Harbor, Florida, Chicago, Illinois, Santa Ana, California, White Plains, New York, and Plano, Texas.
#12. Peters Marketing Research Inc.
Here is another win for the residents of Missouri.
Peter’s Marketing Research Inc., has different food tasting focus groups, who are in need of taste testers!
In order to be selected for a focus group, you will be sent an email, with a questionnaire to fill out. Once your answers have been reviewed, you will receive a phone call from a representative, who will have just a few more questions for you. They just want to make sure that your answers add up, and you are truly fit for the study.
So if you want to try your hand at getting in, simply fill out your personal info, after clicking the link above!
Additional taste testing gigs
Here are some more links that may help you land a paid taste testing gig, or two!
- #13. Razor Focus
- #14. Spectrum Discovery Center
- #15. AccuData Market Research
- #16. Baltimore Research
- #17. Focus & Testing
- #18. Taylor Research
- #19. Contract Testing
- #20. Adelman Research Group
Tips to help you avoid scams
Unfortunately, when it comes to searching for gigs that will pay you to eat food, you are bound to find at least a scam or two. This is one of those things that if it sounds too good to be true, it likely is! Here are a couple of things to keep in mind, should you hunt around for some food testing gigs on your own.
You don’t have to pay, to be a tester.
If you come across a panel that wants to you pay to sign up, keep on searching.
Research companies value you your honest input. They will pay you, to do the research, not the other way around!
Also, you should never have to purchase a product, in order to evaluate it! Not even at a discounted rate.
Guaranteed to a set number of studies?
Nope. Not legit! Anyone who says that you will be guaranteed a specific number of surveys each month is fibbing.
There are tons of factors that go into choosing the right candidate to be a tester, and unfortunately, each test is different.
Unusually hire earnings
Unless you have a degree in culinary arts, and are able to land a full-time gig taste, testing for big restaurants or companies, your chances of making a ton of money as a food tester are slim.
Since most food testing gigs are one and done, you will likely only make between $15-$40 per test. No one is going to pay you $200 to try out a new energy drink flavor. Sorry, don’t believe it!
You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on a culinary arts degree, to get paid to sample foods and beverages.
This dream gig can be attainable by nearly anyone. All you have to do, is know how to avoid the scams, and check out the sites I listed above.
Though you will not be able to make a living by taste testing, you can certainly have fun doing so, while earning some extra money!
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