Consumer taste testers sit on panels and sample different foods, beverages and snacks. Some companies use marketing firms to set up taste panels, and some set up their own consumer taste-test programs and call on their consumer database when needed. As a taste tester, you can give your opinions on-site or at home. For example, the McCormick food company keeps a database of signed-up consumers, so they know whom to contact when they want to test foods on a specific demographic, and pays its participants [source: McCormick].
Taste testers help companies fine-tune their products. You taste a sample then answer some simple questions about the experience. You might be asked if a product is too salty, too sweet, too spicy, too bland, visually appealing — just about anything you can think of. Of course, if you have food allergies like nuts, soy, gluten, eggs or other common ingredients, being a consumer taste tester isn't a safe job for you.