Wouldn’t it be cool if you could participate in paid research studies and earn cold, hard cash just for tasting food and testing out products?
Well you can!
I’ve done it myself a bunch of times and it really is a fun way to make extra money on the side.
In fact it’s probably one of my favorite side gigs ever.
There are companies that conduct paid research studies all over the country and I bet there’s one near you where you can earn extra money too.
Ready to learn more?
Ok, first let me take a minute to explain how paid research studies work and then I’ll tell you more about my own experiences so you know what to expect.
I’ll also give you the names of 15 legitimate market research companies where you can get paid to taste food.
Why Do Companies Hold Paid Research Studies?
Marketing research is incredibly important in the world of business.
Just think about it. If you were CEO of a corporation that was considering offering a new product, wouldn’t you want to get some feedback on the idea before you spent millions of dollars developing it?
Maybe you’d create a few prototypes and let people test them out to see if they like them?
To avoid making costly mistakes, companies hire marketing research firms to run focus groups, surveys, and taste testing panels. This allows them to get objective opinions about their products BEFORE they commit to spending a fortune developing or changing them.
That’s where you come in!
When you sign up for a paid market research program you can actually get paid to drink coffee, test new kitchen utensils, or watch pilot episodes of new sitcoms.
The First Time I Got Paid To Taste Food
A few years ago my wife’s girlfriend started participating in focus groups and she convinced my wife and I to sign up too.
When you first sign up you fill out a short questionnaire so they can get an idea of what kind of paid research studies you might be eligible to participate in.
As soon as a new study is ready, you get a call asking if you’d like to participate.
When they call, you may have to answer some additional questions to verify your eligibility. For example, if the test is about juice they might ask which brands you typically use and whether you like various flavors.
Here’s a tip that will help you maximize your chances of being chosen: just say you like everything so you don’t disqualify yourself.
Since they don’t tell you what the study is about until after you’re chosen, you don’t want to get eliminated because you said you’re not a big fan of a particular flavor only to find out that is exactly what they’re testing.
Once we were signed up and in their system we started getting calls right away.
We probably got a couple of calls per week but the timing didn’t always work out (many of the studies are during the day when I’m working, but they were perfect for my wife since she is a stay at home mom).
When they called about a study on french fries that paid $60 for an hour and a half I jumped all over it.
Who doesn’t love french fries? And getting paid to eat them is a no-brainer!
The marketing research office is not far from my home so I was able to swing by on my way home from work. I signed in and chatted with some other members of the test panel in the waiting room.
Another quick tip: Keep perfumes, colognes, after-shaves and hand creams to a minimum. If you come in with an overpowering scent they might disqualify you because it could effect their results.
After a few minutes of waiting around and playing on my smart phone they ushered ten of us into the testing room.
We sat down as the testers handed out the questionnaires and went over the instructions. Then they brought out little plates full of french fries to taste.
There were 3 sets of fries and after each we had to fill out a survey describing what we liked and disliked about each.
We had to rate each batch of fries on texture, color, saltiness, crunchiness, potatoiness (yea I made that word up) and a few other categories.
The testers came around and made sure each survey was complete and then we were excused. On the way out I stopped by the front desk and the receptionist handed me an envelope with $60 cash inside.
That’s easy money baby!
Since then, we’ve participated in numerous paid research studies.
My wife made $75 just for tasting iced coffee, and may daughter even got in on the act by earning $25 for tasting yogurt.
I also got to participate in a focus group where we watched a number of commercials for Verizon and then discussed what we liked and disliked about each one.
That study paid me $150 for just two hours work!
15 Places You Can Find Paid Research Studies
There are marketing research studies located all over the country so I’m sure there are one or two near you. Here’s a list of some of the biggest and well-known companies…
- AOC Marketing Research
- Area Wide Market Research
- Focus World International
- Food Perspectives
- Herron Associates
- INGATHER Research and Sensory
- International Flavors and Fragrances
- KMR Research Studio
- Martec Group
- Precision Research
- Q Research Solutions
- Rocky Mountain Research Focus Group
- Schlesinger Associates
- Shugoll Research
- Taste Makers Research Group
You can also do a Google search for to see where the closest paid research studies are to you.
You shouldn’t expect to get rich participating in market research studies, but it is certainly possible to earn a a couple hundred bucks a month while having fun testing out new products and tasting food.
Have you ever participated in a paid research study, clinical trial, or focus group? If so I’d love to hear aboput it. Drop me a comment below and tell me about your experience.Last updated on