9 Unusually Weird Jobs in the Food Industry

Have you ever wondered how companies choose which gum or ice cream flavors to put on the shelves? Maybe you're curious about who prepares the food you see in magazines or where the fortune cookie messages come from.

Well, someone has to do it. Check out these nine unusual jobs you could have in the food industry.

Food Stylist

prepared quiche

Image via Flickr by ilyoungko

A food stylist is part artist and part scientist dedicated to presenting food in its most beautiful form. These specialists are in charge of finding the ingredients and preparing food so it looks appetizing and fresh. Their creations are usually photographed, ending up in magazines and ads.

Food stylists may work with restaurants to help create the best plate presentation. Most food stylists attend culinary school to gain a firm understanding of food science and art. They may also have experience working as traditional chefs. They make anywhere from $450 to $850 per day.

Fortune Cookie Message Writer

Fortune cookies evoke mystical legends, but they're far from divine. Someone has to write the messages and they get paid to do it. When restaurants or organizations request custom fortunes, cookie companies pay someone to think of new predictions or words of wisdom. Fortune cookie message writers don't need any formal training, but they do have to have good grammar skills and a unique imagination. This could be the ideal job for a person who has a knack for poetry and other creative arts.

Chocolate Explorer

chocolate beans

Image via Flickr by EverJean

Entering a career as a chocolate explorer is ideal for people who love the food industry and are passionate about travel. As a chocolate explorer, you get to travel the world seeking the perfect cocoa beans to make chocolate. Aside from a keen sense of taste, chocolate explorers are very knowledgeable about cocoa plants. When visiting plantations, they look at the plants, test the pulp, and evaluate the bean quality.

Chewing Gum Chewer

Are you a harsh critic when it comes to trying different gum flavors? Then you'd make a wonderful chewing gum chewer. Before putting flavors on the shelves, gum companies have chewers who test the product and report their satisfaction. This helps them decide which flavors will do the best with consumers.

Culinary Trendologist

Image via Flickr by thebittenword.com

When it comes to deciding which products to put on the shelves or which dishes to add to the menu, food companies and restaurants turn to someone who knows the current state of the industry. Culinary trendologists are specialists who evaluate data and trends to help companies decide what the customers want. For instance, they might advise clients to add gluten-free choices to the menu.

As a culinary trendologist, you'll spend a lot of time watching food shows, reading culinary blogs, and studying food magazines to keep up with industry news and immerse yourself in the culture of food.


Have you ever been to a restaurant where you couldn't pronounce something on the menu? It was most likely an exotic ingredient gathered by the company's forager. Foragers go into the community in search of foods to use at restaurants. Sometimes they'll bring back an exotic option that they want the chefs to try.

More often they'll head to the farmer's market and pick up locally grown foods and incorporate those ingredients into the traditional menu. Certain restaurants are moving away from ordering food and having it shipped to their door. Instead, they hire foragers to help create a more local or unique menu.

Egg Peeler

egg  peeler

Image via Flickr by RatRanch

When it comes to hard-boiled eggs, cooked egg companies and restaurants need someone to peel the eggs before serving them. And guess what -- sometimes they hire someone to do it full-time. These egg peelers become so good at their job that they can usually peel a single egg in a second or two. In fact, egg peeling expert Barbara Dale-Avant set a personal record at 48 eggs in one minute, reports Reader's Digest.

Dog Food Tester

If you thought working as an egg peeler was weird, wait until you get a load of this. Since animals can't talk, we don't really know if they're enjoying their food (because, let's face it, a dog will likely eat anything). But someone has to make sure the recipe satisfies your pup's taste buds. That's where human dog food testers come in.

In this job, you have a unique opportunity to taste test dog food while reporting on its texture and consistency. These professionals also check the nutritional content, so you should have a background in animal nutrition if you want to break into this field. In fact, more than 50 percent of pet food testers have a doctorate. According to Salary.com, you could make about $40,000 a year.

Flavor Guru

ice cream scoop

Image via Flickr by sea turtle

Much like a gum chewer, a flavor guru gets to taste test recipes before they're marketed. One of the most popular and sought-after careers as a flavor guru is in the ice cream industry. Ben & Jerry's, for instance, employs a team of Food Gurus to help determine which flavors people will love. As the job description states, "They spend their days and nights tasting the best food in the world, then they mix, blend, chop, whip and taste, taste, taste until they come up with an unmatched batch of pure ice cream euphoria."

These professionals often have a degree in food science and backgrounds as chefs or other food-related professions. Along with taste-testing ice cream flavors, they also attend meetings and travel to different manufacturing sites to work with other teammates. Along with enjoying tasty treats, ice cream tasters make about $56,000 per year.

Are you completely disgusted or rather intrigued by some of these career options? Let us know what you think by sharing your ideas in the comment section.

Contributed to jobs.net by Kim Evans

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