What it's like being a Dippin' Dots Taste Tester
Nate Heider talks about what it's really like eating ice cream for a living!
Posted January 17, 2019
Ever wonder what it would like to be an ice cream taste tester? Bake It Up magazine recently interviewed Nate Heider, Dippin' Dots Research and Development Manager, about having the coolest job in the world. Read the interview below.
Ice cream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! And when it comes to ice cream, Nate Heider is an expert. In fact, as Research and Development Manager for Dippin' Dots, he's responsible for helping taste test each product the brand puts out. How fun is that? Keep reading to find out what Nate told us about his sweet job!
Bake It Up: Your job seems so fun! Did you ever think you'd have this career growing up?
Nate Heider: I loved eating ice cream as a kid, and I loved making it. But, I never thought I would make a career out of it,
BIU: What's it like working for Dippin' Dots?
NH: Well, I've been with Dippin' Dots for 13 1/2 years now! I started in the sales department, and now I'm creating new flavors for our team to sell into parks, stadiums and zoos.
BIU: Is your job really as fun as it sounds?
NH: Yes, it's really fun! Besides eating ice cream, I love that no two days are the same. One day we're working in the lab and the next day I'll be traveling to other parts of the world to coordinate and lead new flavor development.
BIU: How long does it take to create a new flavor?
NH: It can take up to a year to develop a new flavor because it goes through dozens of taste tests before it's perfected. We spend multiple weeks with out flavoring suppliers to find the best tasting flavor and then lots of variations of that flavor will be developed and tested.
BIU: What are some flavors you've helped create?
NH: Currently, we offer over 40 flavors of ice cream, yogurt, flavored ice and sherbet, but we make and taste new flavors regularly. One of my first flavors was Birthday Cake, and it's still one of our most popular flavors today. But the flavor I'm most proud of is Liberty Ice, which is the red, white and blue one.
BIU: What flavor were you most unsure about when you heard the idea, but ended up loving?
NH: Pumpkin Spice Pie. That was one I could not see in my mind, but once we found the right ice cream combination and flavoring and the sugar pie piece, it's becoming one of my favorite seasonal flavors.
BIU: How can our readers prepare for a job like yours?
NH: Try as many new flavors (tastes and textures) as possible. But don't stick to just trying new sweets or ice cream, try other new foods and try new foods from other countries. Even if you may not like it or think you won't- give it a try. You might even end up finding a new flavor you like,
BIU: What's the secret to being a successful taste tester?
NH: The best taste testers are those who aren't afraid to give honest feedback and who love the product they are testing.
BIU: If you could create a new flavor of Dippin' Dots Ice Cream for Bake It Up readers, what would you call it?
NH: I think I would call it Bakery Blast. It'd be a combination of different flavors like, Oreo, cookie dough, brownie batter and birthday cake.