THE CONSISTENCY OF JUNK FOOD

Don’t hate the player, hate the game? Our culture is following Hansel and Gretel’s bread trail, and convenience foods are the witch living deep in the forest.

The saying, “the only thing that is constant is change”, seems very relevant in the food industry.

Understanding consumer trends is like “solving a puzzle. Food consumers are segmented by demographics and lifestyles, while their consumption patterns are fixed by age, gender, income, attitude, and perception”, an online source explains.

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Consistency has become a hallmark of fast food – different franchises may have different menus, but ultimately all chain restaurants taste the same. Alberta’s Agriculture and Rural Development team give us some reasoning behind this:

  • The food itself is mass produced in a factory and then frozen. Restaurants store this frozen food in large, walk-in freezers. Cooks reheat it rather than making it from scratch.

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  • The factory adds artificial and natural flavours to the food to make sure it all tastes the same. These flavours are manufactured in separate factories.

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  • The equipment in the kitchen cooks all of the food for the same amount of time. For example, in some chains, a conveyor belt carries hamburger patties through a broiler. The broiler cooks the patties on both sides simultaneously, and the conveyor belt makes sure they’re cooked for precisely the right amount of time.

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  • The employees in different restaurants follow the same instructions for cooking, dressing and packaging the food.

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 So, now that we’ve heard the back story, should we try to go against the mainstream? Or continue as we mean to go on?

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