Tasting Ice Cream for a Living? Industry competition in taste creates a new profession
Updated 14:55, 18-Aug-2019
It's been said that if you love what you do, you'll never work another day in your life. Well how about tasting ice cream for a living? That might be the very fortune that awaits one young lady in Shanghai, as business competitions in her industry have created a new profession for her - and there may be more opportunities! CGTN's Yang Chengxi reports.
August is a hot month across most of China, and Shanghai is no exception. Even your sweet tooth likes to chill out - leading many to indulge in their favorite creamy mixture of fat and sugar. It's a great time for ice cream companies too. Major brands roll out new flavors every summer, and they need professionals to make sure their new flavors are enough to capture customers' taste buds.
YANG CHENGXI SHANGHAI  "And that has created a new kind of profession. Sitting beside me is Ms. Feng Yuanyuan, and her job is to taste ice cream. That's the ultimate dream, isn't it? Literally doing what you love for a living."
We decided to try out some flavors. To me that tasted like well, ice cream. But Feng has sophisticated tasting ability.
FENG YUANYUAN, TASTER ZHONGJIE 1946 "For dairy ice creams, the milk aroma must fill your mouth as you bite, the taste should spread quickly in your mouth as you swallow and it should linger for no less than five minutes after you finish."
She rinses her mouth with water before trying the next one. Feng eats at least five different flavors from various brands, sometimes up to 20 a day.
FENG YUANYUAN, TASTER ZHONGJIE 1946  "Of course I've been gaining weight. I keep exercising but still I've become heavier. I don't really mind that much."
The industry slang for professionals like Feng, is golden tongue. Their feedback is invaluable for ice cream makers. Many of them have started to sell online, and if your new product can create a sensation on the web, expect to sell more than 100 thousand units in a month just from e-commerce, so say the experts at Tmall, one of China's biggest web platforms.
HUANG FANG, HEAD ICE CREAM BUSINESS LINE, TMALL "Brands have been selling ice cream online since 2017 when national cold chain logistics became advanced enough. We expect more and more customers to buy ice cream online and store them at home."
Huang says according to sales data, ice cream is gradually becoming a year-round household dessert rather than something people buy on the street to beat the summer heat. And the taste competition in this icy industry is heating up. YCX, CGTN, SHANGHAI.