It’s a generalisation to be sure but it really does seem that in the majority of cases “Big Food” has become synonymous with “Bad Food”.
Large food manufacturers are racing to reinvent themselves. Consumers are demanding REAL FOOD and the Big (Bad) Food industry is struggling to supply it. And this is not surprising. Because the fact is that REAL FOOD is generally fresh and naturally low in carbohydrates. Which does not suit Big Food which on the contrary is generally dealing in “food” preserved in some way (i.e. not fresh) and high in both carbs (particularly in refined carbs and sugars) and industrially produced vegetable seed oils. That’s a formula which has kept costs down for Big Food for years and allows for prolonged shelf life. It’s also a recipe for inflammation in the body.
Check out this article which provides the best overview I’ve seen in a while of the situation facing Big Food: “Their [big food companies] very existence is being challenged,” says Edward Jones analyst Jack Russo of the major packaged-food companies. In some ways it’s a strange turn of events. The idea of “processing”—from ancient techniques of salting and curing to the modern arsenal of artificial preservatives—arose to make sure the food we ate didn’t make us sick. Today many fear that it’s the processed food itself that’s making us unhealthy. Indeed, nearly half of the respondents in a recent Bernstein survey say they distrust the food system. Shoppers still value the convenience that food processing offers, says Moskow, “but the pendulum has definitely shifted in their minds. They have more and more questions about why this bread lasts 25 days without going stale.”
It will be interesting to see how these companies attempt to reinvent themselves over the next few years. One things for certain – we’re going to see a lot more Gluten Free Weet-Bix and Coke Life type products before their day is done.
This article provides a pretty decent overview of the issues in play.