Trained Taster

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Job Title: Trained Taster

Job Location: Hershey, PA


Sensory Panelists will work under the supervision of a Manager and Sensory Panel Leader to support daily tasting and panel maintenance requirements. The individual will apply appropriate focus and concentration on tasting responsibilities, engage in discussion regarding sample descriptions, and apply knowledge of GMPs and Food Safety requirements.

Sensory Panelists work 4 hour shifts 5 days of week (M-F). After undergoing extensive training and practice, the panelist's work requires them to be able to taste and evaluate numerous samples per 4 hour shift. Breaks are scheduled to minimize tasting fatigue and for panelists to cleanse their palate. Samples range from ingredients (such as peanuts, cocoa powder, cocoa butter, etc.) to finished products across candy, mint, gum and snack food categories. For example, Sensory Panelists may be required to chew a piece of gum for 20 minutes to fully assess the flavor and texture of the piece over time. Additionally, the breadth of Hershey brands represent a broad range of product types from chocolate, hard candy and gummy confections to Krave Meat Jerky and SkinnyPop popcorn. As a result, successful panelists must be open to evaluating all of these ingredients and products and cannot have dietary restrictions or food aversions.

Panelist responsibilities include support to panel maintenance (i.e. dish washing, area sanitation, vial cleaning, etc.).

The individual will interact with fellow sensory panelists, the panel leader, the sensory technician and the Research Scientists responsible for leading Descriptive Analysis projects.

Minimum knowledge, skills and abilities required to successfully perform major duties/responsiblities:

  • Excellent tasting skills (ability to discern differences in samples for appearance, taste, texture); successful performance on screening tests for sensory acuity.
  • Ability to bite through chewy, hard and/or sticky products.
  • Ability to taste a variety of foods, including but not limited to dairy, meat, seafood, mushrooms, wheat, eggs, peanuts and treenuts.
  • Ability to chew gum for 21 minutes.
  • Ability to taste food items containing sugar, non-nutritive sweetners over the 4 hour workday.
  • Ability to interact effectively with large and diverse group of people.
  • Ability to follow direction from a group leader and management.
  • Computer skills (Word, Excel, Outlook).
  • Excellent organizational and communication skills.
  • Bonus: Hershey computer systems (EyeQuestion).

Minimum Education and Experience Requirements:


  • High School diploma or GED.
  • Bonus: Associates degree in Science


  • Minimum of 1-2 years of applicable work experience with Sensory testing and\or food handling.
  • Excellent tasting skills (ability to discern differences in samples for appearance, taste, texture); assessed via taste acuity testing. The candidate must achieve successful performance on screening tests for sensory acuity.
  • Bonus: Food safety and handling training\Serve Safe.

The Hershey Company is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The policy of The Hershey Company is to extend opportunities to qualified applicants and employees on an equal basis regardless of an individual's race, color, gender, age, national origin, religion, citizenship status, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, transgender status, physical or mental disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, pregnancy, or any other categories protected by applicable federal, state or local laws.

The Hershey Company is an Equal Opportunity Employer - Minority/Female/Disabled/Protected Veterans

If you require a reasonable accommodation as part of the application process, please contact the HR Service Center (