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FBI to FDA: The Versatile Life of a Trends Forecaster

What do illegal drugs and baked goods have in common? Well, chemistry!


Photo: Matthias Weinberger

From fighting crime to frying cucumbers, trend spotting can be a tricky business.

A Passion for Puzzles

Suzy Badaracco’s career path has been anything but ordinary. Now her job is predicting new consumer trends for the food industry. She is so good at finding patterns that she has not once misread the market. Her predictions are 100% spot on! Where in the world did she get this kind of training?

Well, none other than the FBI and Scotland Yard.

She began as a drug toxicologist and forensic anthropologist. That means she analyzed illegal drugs at crime scenes (including murder crime scenes of serial killers!).

So how did she make the leap from working at crime scenes to working for the food industry? She says that it’s all based in chemistry.

Sweeter Science

After five years of working in drug toxicology, she thought the job’s intensity level was a little too high. That’s when she decided to receive more chemical training… in culinary school! Not only that, but she also went back to school to get her Master’s degree in nutrition.

It’s this unusual skill set that has allowed her career as a trend forecaster to really take off. She generates a trend forecast roughly once a year, predicting and describing what food products consumers will go for and which ones will flop.

She also helps government agencies, such as the FDA, by being a sort of food watchdog. She diligently tracks food laws and food safety. Thanks, Suzy!

This type of work is in high demand, yet workers with Suzy’s knowledge, skill and experience are few and far between. Perhaps more science-lovers should give it a shot!

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Molly Plunkett

is a journalism student at Indiana University and an online producer for A Moment of Science. She is originally from Wheaton, IL.

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  • Economic trend forecasters


    Its really nice video guys and writing work is so good.

    Thanks for sharing about the versatile life of a trends forecaster.

    Economic Trend Forecaster

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