Not so long ago, experts cracked down on ‘big food’ companies to help curb the increasing level of obesity across the nation and urged the political leaders to stand up and deploy additional measures to make the food industry more possible. However, given the nature of the industry, are these measures likely to succeed?
According to the food and drink federation, the food and drink industry is the largest manufacturer in the UK, contributing a mammoth £28.2bn to the nation’s economy. It is certainly a multi-million-pound, for-profit industry, piloted by an extensive consumer base which desires for cheap and convenient food.
From a business’s perspective, making a profit seems to be an ultimate aim, especially for a multi-national organisation as they are answerable to the shareholders. However, in this pursuit of profit-making, organisations overlook some basic key responsibilities and fail to prioritise them as an important goal.
The Case of Processed Foods
The plummeting popularity of cooking from scratch has mapped a successful way for processed foods to take over the market. And not to mention, multi-national corporations are already cashing in on the transformation. Pre-prepared meals are now having double the amount of additives and preservatives to help them last their journey from the factory to supermarket’s shelf and ultimately to the consumer’s plate.
Earlier, consumers were in charge of the ingredients that they would like in their food, and owing to this reason, a single item of food used to have many iterations, with different ingredients. However, the ownership has changed. Food manufacturers in order to cut down on their food and packaging costs, but to retain the ‘taste’ are using increased levels of sugar and salt. This has received immense criticism from regulatory agencies, consumer organisations and dieticians.
Food Organisations are practical – Hackers!
The food with so many preservatives is miles away from being healthy, however, is very addictive. High levels of sugar and salt make the food item more addictive, pushing us in the trap of becoming ‘repeat customers’ of the organisation. Unknowingly, in the view of saving money, time, and efforts, we buy these food items and end up promoting obesity.
Therefore, this leads us to one question. Sans that addictive taste and sugar and salt, will these companies be able to sell even half the quantity of food that they are currently selling?
Three main groups are responsible for implications that come from the UK’s obsession with processed foods –manufacturing companies, government and not to mention, the consumer itself. Parameters for measuring success in business require a paradigm shift.