Sometimes it’s difficult to pin down what a dream job actually looks like—“I don’t dream of labor” is quickly becoming a knee-jerk response to queries about what an ideal future looks like. But if we had to pick, then a job that allows you to constantly taste things would be as close as we can get.
Lucky for me, that’s something we at The Takeout get to do a lot. And lately it seems there are plenty of opportunities for others to get in on the fun, whether it’s the chance to become one company’s next Chief Candy Officer or a whole field of education that you may not have considered.
Applications are open through August 31 for the Chief Candy Officer gig with Canadian company Candy Funhouse, and according to the LinkedIn job posting, no experience is necessary. The main responsibilities of the position are to taste 3,500 products or more on a monthly basis, decide which products Candy Funhouse will ultimately carry, and run candy board meetings (whatever those are!). The compensation for this job is 100,000 Canadian dollars, or $78,000 a year, which is not bad at all for a job simply asking for candidates who have an “obvious sweet tooth” and “no food allergies.”
For those in the UK who can hold their liquor, Aldi has a role for you: Official Beer Taster. A press release from Aldi UK says that entries for the position are open until August 29, and that all you need to do to apply is send over proof that you’re old enough to drink, your social media handles, and a written response to the questions “what’s your favorite beer and why?” and “why should you be chosen for this role?” There doesn’t seem to be any compensation listed, but you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you helped select the next round of tasty beers and ciders to grace Aldi’s shelves.
Both of these opportunities are, it seems, more like gimmicks than stepping stones to an actual career—it’s like you’re winning a contest, not landing a position. If you want to look into tasting foods long-term, there are other ways to pursue a career in the culinary arts.
A quick Google search brings up a variety of taste tester (or sensory) jobs with companies like Adecco, The Hershey Company, and Gobble. There are plenty of crossovers in requirements that you may see on any job posting, like the ability to work well in a group, basic computer skills, and excellent communication skills. But there are also some specifics that are worth noting that could be useful for this line of work:
- Must be a non-smoker. These companies want to make sure your senses of taste and smell are as sharp as possible.
- Experience in food processing is preferred. If you’re already spent your professional life around food, that gives you a leg up.
- B.A./B.S./A.A. in culinary arts a plus. Some jobs also prefer someone with an education in the food sciences.
- Ability to lift up to 50 pounds. Listen, some of this food is really heavy, okay?
Not all of the roles exclusively involve tasting and eating, but those tasks fall under positions like recipe developer, food critic, competitive eater, and White House Food Taster. (That last one might not be entirely real, but if it is, you might have to be willing to die on the job.) If you really want to incorporate noshing into your 9-to-5, there just might be a way for you to do so. Until then, keep an eye out for the next company looking for a “Chief [insert foodstuff here] Officer” and throw your stomach into the ring.