receive requests from students for information on the Food Industry to help with
coursework projects. I thought it may be useful to provide a personal view here.
Students should research other sources of information to ensure they form a
balanced and wider view of the industry. I will be happy to add or change
information here, and provide links to other sites you have found useful, so
please send me an
anything you would like included.
Until the 1950's most meals were prepared in the home by
Mum and would typically be "meat and two veg." The local fish and chip shop
would provide the weekly alternative treat. Restaurants were principally for the
The last fifty or so years has seen a great deal of change.
There are far more opportunities for affordable eating out. Pubs, Theme
Restaurants (Burger, Pizza, Harvester, Green Giant, Yates......), Chinese &
Indian restaurants.......the list is almost endless.
The other major change is the way we prepare and eat our food at
home. A set time, formal meal is becoming less usual. Probably because members
of a family are pursuing a much wider range of activities, or are involved in
shift-work. "Your dinner is in the microwave", is now a well worn
phrase and contrasts strongly with the whole family sitting down for a meal
Marks and Spencer were one of the first to launch "ready
meals" which merely need reheating at home. From there the food industry
has blossomed. Frozen and chilled foods, from every corner of the globe fill the
Supermarket shelves. Add to that, cook in sauces, desserts, yogurts, ice cream,
fruit juices, prepared salads, mixed vegetables and sandwiches, and the need to
cook, in the traditional sense of the word, has almost disappeared. We do of
course have a great interest in food and cooking as is evidenced by the number
of Television programs on the subject, but our eating habits have changed
significantly over the last 50 years.
home freezers grew in popularity for storage of meat bought in
bulk, half a pig, half a lamb, a forequarter of beef. Now they are treasure
chests full of a wide variety of prepared foods, vegetables, ice cream and
Food manufacturers have adapted products to cooking straight from the freezer,
allowing a meal to be prepared quickly with the minimum of fuss. Great for the
busy family or the surprise visitor, and for storing the excess garden produce
from a productive vegetable plot and fruit garden.