What it’s like to work as chocolate taster at Cadbury…and it’s NOTHING like Willy Wonka’s factory
- January 29, 2020
- By Admin: Courtney Strain
- Comments: 00
MOST of us would love to eat chocolate everyday but imagine getting PAID for it?
That’s exactly what Angela Castleton, from Middlesborough, does in her job as a chocolate taster.
The 54-year-old, who used to work in IT, is now employed part-time by Mondelez ― the firm behind big name confectioners like Cadbury and Oreo.
She told the Sun Online: “Everyone gets a bit jealous when I mention my job. What’s not to like about eating chocolate for a living?”
But those hoping for an easy opportunity to stuff their faces with chocolate all day should think again.
A chocolate taster like Angela can only work part-time for up to eight hours a week in order to avoid “palate fatigue”.
Eager candidates would also have to relocate to the Mondelez’s science centre in Reading, where we spent a day with Angela.
In the building, tasters for Mondelez help the company perfect their recipes for chocolate lovers worldwide.
Before arriving we thought we might find a Willy Wonka-style workshop but there were no evidence of fairytales or Ompa-Loompas.
Instead, we are met with clinical white rooms and scientists wearing lab coats and disposable hairnets.
Five things you didn’t know about chocolate tasters
WHAT we learned at Cadbury’s Reading Science Center
- You can only work part-time: Chocolate tasters can’t work more than 7.5-8 hours a week to avoid “palate fatigue”
- It isn’t paid so well: The job is only paid £9 per hour but you’ll get 21 days of holidays and a pension.
You can also apply to progress to a full-time role as a sensory technician for the company, which is better paid but you’ll get less chocolate.
- Smell is as important as taste: Chocolate tasting is incredibly reliant on smell and aroma in addition to taste.
Tasters first sniff the piece of chocolate and look at its coloure before having a bite.
- You’ll have to make small sacrifices: Tasters are a told to avoid smoking or eating spicy food the night before.
You won’t be able to wear perfume, lipsticks, lipbalms or even strong-smelling fabric softener.
- Getting the job is tough: More than 6,000 candidates applied for Angela’s job. You’ll need to go through a job interview and come in to taste some chocolate.
Angela has now been working for Mondelez for a year – but the competition was tough for the job.
In order to land the position she had to pass a series of chocolatey challenges, including being able to detect the difference in taste between two pieces of chocolate.
Some 6,000 candidates around the world – including the US and Australia – applied for the role.
So, what makes a good taster? According to Angela, it’s all about your taste buds and you have to keep them in tiptop shape.
Tasters should not eat food, drink tea or coffee and use toothpaste at least an hour before they sit down to work.
They’re also not allowed to wear lipstick, strong perfumes or eat spicy food the night before a tasting.
And if you’re a heavy smoker then its unlikely that you’ll get a job as a taster.
Angela added: “You’ve also got to be a bit careful with things like fabric conditioner.
“Sometimes they can leave a strong smell on your clothes and that might affect the aroma.”
But isn’t eating chocolate every day bad for her health?
Angela is part of panel of 12 people and they try about eight to 10 samples a day – but you only have to have a small bite of chocolate per sample.
She isn’t required to eat the whole square of chocolate – and spit cups are provided if you’re really concerned about your waistline.
Angela also makes sure she gets to the dentist regularly and walks as much as she can to stay fit.
After the end of a tasting session, testers will have to agree on the attribute of a particular sample.
These attributes can be “sweet” or “milky” but can also include words like “vanilla” “caramel” or “ice cream.”
Each panel is lead by a scientist – who then uses the tasters’ experiences to help Mondelez’s come up new recipes for your favourite chocolates.
So that’s the downside? Well, the job isn’t exactly a money spinner.
She gets paid £9 hour for her 7.5 hours a week for the job or about £3,510 a year.
Chocolate tasters also get 21 holiday days, pension, life assurance and the option to purchase additional benefits.
She told the Sun Online: “Why would I want to change really? I’m at the stage in life where I’m not into career progression in any way.
“I’m happy to do something which is enjoyable and keep me busy.”
If going to work in an office nine until five isn’t your thing, there are plenty of bonkers jobs out there that you can get paid to do.
One woman earns £75,000 a year testing out mattresses – dream job, right?
We also reported how an ex-army caption swapped life in the military to become a professional mermaid – and she gets paid to teach it to others too.