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Imagine getting paid to eat!
For many of us, isn’t that the ultimate dream?
But there is a way to make this a reality – you can test food (sometimes chocolate), give your feedback and then get paid!
Here’s everything you need to know about getting paid to test food.
As a food tester, research companies are interested in getting your views on food products.
You’ll be asked to attend a research centre and will be given four to five different food products to taste.
Once you’ve tasted the food you’ll be asked to give your feedback on the product – this might be as part of a focus group or you might simply just have to give it a score in a questionnaire.
In between each food sample you’ll be given a palette cleaner, such as a cracker and water, so you’re ready for the next taste.
Tests tend to last around an hour or two, but maybe slightly longer if you’re taking part in a focus group.
Whilst getting paid to eat is a nice money earner, the conditions will be quite clinical and the portions quite small – don’t go in expecting a restaurant experience (you should give mystery shopping a go if you want that!)
All kinds of things -whether it’s chocolate, yogurts, or a new wine, many companies are willing to pay to get your opinions on their product.
As with most testing and focus group opportunities, you’re not going to be making big money.
Researchers pay between £5-£55 depending on whether you’re just completing a questionnaire or if you’re taking part in a focus group.
It’s a nice way to supplement your income – it’s not very demanding and many people like having a say about, and contributing to, the future of food and drink products.
It’s hard to earn money regularly from testing because you’ll have to meet a certain criteria to be invited to a test and many focus group companies don’t like the same people taking part in too many surveys.
To make as much money as you can you should sign up to several focus groups and testing companies to increase your chances of being selected.
One of the best sites to visit if you’re interested in food testing is tastingfood.co.uk – they have tasting centres in Leamington Spa, Chipping Campden and Birmingham.
If you live in Surrey there is the Leatherhead Food Research Centre which also offers food testing opportunities.
If you’re unable to find a specific food testing organisation near you then you try joining a general research group such as FGUK or Take Part and see if any food specific focus group opportunities come up – plus there might be other products you’d like to give your opinion on.
You can also make some money by taking part in a nutritional study, which is more in-depth than simply giving your opinion on the taste of food.
A nutritional study is a long-term study of the effects of food products on your body. For example your weight might be monitored or you may have to determine how hungry you feel after eating a particular product for a few weeks.
In some cases you may have to provide blood samples as well, so make sure this is something you’re comfortable with if you plan to partake in one of these studies.
The amount you can earn varies with each research centre, but Leatherhead Food Research, for example, promises ‘honorarium payment to compensate you for your time and travel costs.’