Food is the basic need of people and probably, the best fantasy. We all thrive for delicious food. But food is not just for survival; food is also one of our biggest temptation and weakness. Looking at a well-garnished, beautifully-made dish, very few people will be able to resist the temptation of having it. But over the past decade, the food industry like any other industries has undergone various changes. From manufacturing to packaging, the industry has seen several ups and downs. Today, people have become more health-conscious. They are more aware of what they are eating and what they should be eating. With the latest trends of staying slim, the number of health and fitness-freaks are increasing day by day. 10 years ago, this was not the scenario. The food industry is becoming more customer-driven and thus, it is imposing various measures to maintain its safety standards and hygiene.
Important safety measures implemented by the food industry
∙ Addition of harmful chemicals in the form of pesticides, insecticides, fertilizers, etc. to food crops, fruits, and vegetables is responsible for various serious ailments. So, specific standards of such chemicals have been fixed by the agricultural and food industry so that farmers maintain those standards.
∙ Arsenic in drinking water is extremely poisonous and thus, extraction of groundwater has been strictly prohibited by the government. Instead, tap water has been made the only source of drinking water in urban areas.
∙ Aerated drinks like Coca Cola and Pepsi have been found to contain pesticides and other harmful chemicals in them. Their market value has dropped, and they have rectified their safety measures to win their customers back.
∙ Maggie noodles, a brand of Nestle, popular in India, and the spices for Maggie that come with it are found to contain the chemical called monosodium glutamate(MSG) which is a carcinogenic agent. MSG has been banned from all food items and Maggie has also undergone several safety measures to maintain its safety standards.
∙ Today, consumers are more vigilant of the manufacturing dates, expiry dates, ingredients used in a particular food item, which was not the case, 10 years ago. Due to this reason, manufacturers and the food industry are continually working on the safety standards of the food items.
∙ The packaging industry has also undergone several changes. It is utilizing modern technology to make efficient machinery that is helping in the packaging process. From butter wrapping to sandwich wrapping, cheese and sausage wrapping, machinery used for baking and designing, the types of machinery used are of the best standard. The C Pack Packaging Machinery is undoubtedly taking the forefront in the packaging industry as it is maintaining the safety standards over the years.
Some other changes that have occurred in the food industry:
∙ Going and dining in a restaurant is slowly been taken over by the takeaway apps. With apps, customers can see the menu, prices, ratings for specific restaurants, pictures of restaurants and even customer review on specific items. These apps also allow free delivery of food from specific restaurants, which makes it easier and convenient for consumers to avail the food at any place, and at any time of the day. Going to a restaurant can be difficult at times and also involves transportation cost. Free delivery of food is of great help in today’s hectic world thus, take-away apps are slowly taking over the restaurant industry.
∙ Food photography is also gradually taking the limelight. Initially, it was only the critics who would give reviews of a particular restaurant. With the advent of smartphones, everyone is an amateur photographer, nowadays. People go to restaurants and take photographs of food, ambiance, location and other aspects of the place, which can be of great help for people in choosing a particular food-joint as their weekend hang-out destination.
∙ With the increasing number of reality shows and competitions based on cooking, people are taking more interest in the food industry. Through these shows, food is presented properly so as to tempt the viewers and is a delight for the eyes and the spectators would want to try the recipes at home. The profession of becoming a chef, thus, is gradually becoming popular. People try hard to participate in these reality shows as well.
∙ With several youtube videos and other websites providing free recipes and procedures for making specific food dishes, it has become quite easy to prepare any dish at home. Gone are the days when we had to minutely go through the pages of the recipe book. Today, we can see videos and thus, learn instantly the ways of making specific items without taking any one’s help.
Changes in terms of health
∙ As mentioned earlier, people have become more health-conscious over the years, due to the increasing number of ailments and health-related issues. The inclination to a vegan diet, ketogenic diet, eating fewer carbohydrates and more proteins, eating more fruits and vegetables than animal meat- all these practices are taking the forefront.
∙ To achieve a slim figure and the coveted six-pack abs, today’s generation not only hit the gym, but they also eat right. Today, people are more conscious of what they are eating. Shifting from unhealthy, fatty fast-food to a healthy diet has become the trend over the years. Thus, the food industry is also changing to suit the palette of their changing customers. Shifting from white rice to brown rice, from white bread to brown bread, growing and providing more organic food, is slowly taking over the market.
∙ When it comes to organic food, farmers are growing more of it, due to the increase in demand. People are making more kitchen gardens than completely relying on the agricultural industry. The inclination to more organic food has also shaped and transformed the food industry likewise.
∙ Food adulteration was a burning issue before. Addition of artificial and poisonous coloring agents, harmful chemicals, dyes, etc. to fruits, vegetables, animal meat, and spices was an issue many governments around the world was trying to deal with for many years. With the change in the outlook of the consumers, food adulteration has also reduced considerably. Since, people choose the best brands when it comes to cooking oil, spices, and other requisites, the chances of food adulteration is also reducing gradually.
∙ Education has enabled people to know about the composition of all the packaged food items they purchase. For example, at the box of a Tropicana fruit juice, the ingredients along with their composition are elaborately mentioned. So, people have a choice whether they want to purchase it or not. Say, for example, a diabetic patient will not buy a juice which has a lot of sugar and carbohydrates in it. This awareness has made the food industry act accordingly.
∙ The advent of diabetic sweets, sugar-free tablets, low-fat cooking oil, etc. has helped people suffering from various ailments, choose the right kind of diet for them. For example, if someone is suffering from heart-related issues, they can go for low-fat refined oil for cooking and quench their appetite of eating fried food.
Thus, the metamorphosis of the food industry over the decade has created a lot of positive impact on the life of common people.