Senior Scientist - The Kroger Co.
Quoc Tra had four job prospects when he graduated with a food science and technology degree: one in seafood, a gig in poultry, another in nutritional beverages (think Slimfast), and one in ice cream. He made the obvious choice. Now at supermarket giant Kroger, which has 16 dairies and two ice cream plants, Tra figures out how to make the marketing team’s dream ice cream flavors a reality. His creations end up getting sold exclusively in Kroger’s supermarket aisles.
Since the base dairy mixes aren’t tinkered with that often, most of Tra’s work is around the ingredients that go into making flavors. This year he developed a huckleberry product, especially challenging since there’s not much of the fruit out there. Look for a pineapple coconut frozen yogurt he worked on that’s launching soon. Clearly the best part of his job is the spoonsful of ice cream he’s required to eat every day. “It’s all about portion control,” he says.