The food industry has its standard cornerstone jobs — chef, waiter, baker, bartender and so on. You’ll see no end of job listings of this nature, but the jobs we’re highlighting today are much more uncommon. Check out these unusual food industry positions to see if it might be time for a career change!
Professional Egg Peeler
Egg peeling is a task that nearly every restaurant has to deal with, but it’s usually relegated to a harried and low-paid food prep worker as one of their many daily duties. However, If you work at a company that deals with packaged hard-boiled eggs, peeling eggs might just end up being all you do at work, all day long. Some examples of the larger companies that deal in thousands of packaged boiled eggs per day include Sauder’s Eggs, Michael Foods and Eggland’s Best.
The Egg Peeler doesn’t peel all these by hand, of course; they’re usually at the controls of an industrial machine that both boils and peels the eggs. Professional Egg Peelers take pride in their ability to do it the old-fashioned way when called upon, however, often competing to set world records for speed!
Food styling is sort of like flower arranging, just with food. The stylist arranges and places food to make it look as appealing, fresh and delicious as possible. Why would they do this? Primarily, they’re prepping food for pictures or video to be used in advertisements or cookbooks.
The stylist needs to be a professional photographer, but they also need to be a power shopper and a chef.
The stylist needs to be a professional photographer, of course, but they also need to be a power shopper and a chef as they’re usually in charge of obtaining all the raw materials and preparing them for the shoot.
The most interesting thing about what the Food Stylist does is that for most food shoots, they don’t take shortcuts with inedible artificial materials. While their result looks unrealistically good, especially when it comes to fast food burgers, it’s almost always in a form that you could pick up and eat.
Culinary Trend Researcher
Also sometimes referred to as a “Trendologist”, these experts have to keep their finger on the pulse of every aspect of the food industry to determine what’s trending and popular in people’s kitchens and on menus.
The big restaurant chains and frozen meal companies usually employ at least a few Trendologists to help them decide when to change their menus up or add new items.
Nutritional supplement companies also sometimes use the services of a Trend Researcher to help them determine what ingredients they should add to products such as fat burners, or what new flavors they should roll out in their protein powder lines.
Certain upscale restaurants are committed to using only ingredients that grow naturally in the wild. That means that somebody has to go out in the wild to get them! Enter the Foragers, a group of mostly independent entrepreneurs who sometimes contract out with restaurants or individual chefs to supply them with the wild edibles they need for their kitchens.
Foragers contract out with restaurants or individual chefs to supply them with the wild edibles they need for their kitchens.
Foragers hit the woods, fields, and forests looking for things like wild mushrooms, patches of wild spinach and edible weeds. Of course, it’s critical for a forager to know what is edible and what is dangerous, and some states are now requiring people who sell foraged food commercially to be licensed and bonded.
Many of the larger food brands employ a “Rover” as a sort of traveling brand ambassador. They hit festivals and conventions all around the country giving out free samples and chatting with people to get real first hand impressions about the food.
Candy giant Mars is one company known to employ Rovers for many of their individual brands. Naturally, the companies that hire Rovers deal in foods of the non-perishable variety.
Pet Food Taste Tester
Yes, this is an actual job and yes, humans put pet food in their mouths (when it’s safe to do so). It turns out that despite their sometimes disgusting eating habits, household pets like cats and dogs tend to have very similar food tastes as humans.
As with wine tasting, you’re not supposed to swallow, but you do have to chew the food thoroughly.
As with wine tasting, you’re not supposed to swallow, but you do have to chew the food thoroughly. Pet foods are required to use meats and other ingredients that are safe for human consumption, but there’s no requirement for them to smell pleasant, so this can be quite the challenging job!
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