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Latest goal for food makers:
Perfect the art of imperfection

The Race to Make Natural Looking Food Products

The food processing industry is one of the most successful and busiest industries. It is common to find a new change in every few years. How would you feel if you find processed food, which looks similar to your homemade eatables?

It may come as a surprise to some of us, but the food manufacturers are trying their best to make the product look more homemade. Most of the food processing companies have included it in their financial growth strategy.

Processed packaged foods
Recent trend in food processing industry is trying to make their food products look like homemade

Foods made to look like homemade meal

As mentioned in some recent press releases, companies are even canning their regular mould designs, let it be cookies or pizzas. New cookie-cutter shapes are used for a rather natural look of the food including ruffled edges. One of the most recent examples of this latest strategy is in the Domino’s kitchen, where the workers no longer need to worry about a perfect rectangular shape of the dough. The company is planning to present a rather rustic look to their customers. Somewhat same can be explained about the Kraft Foods to devise a process for an uneven shape of their turkey so that it may look like leftovers left from a homemade meal.

McDonalds is using a similar approach with its Egg White Delight McMuffin prepared with a loose shape of the egg white used in it. The main goal behind these strategies is to prepare processed food that looks similar to the homemade eatables. This whole approach is the result of a changing consumer behavior. The American consumers are fond of processed food, yet they avoid anything that looks overly processed. On the contrary, deals that look similar to homemade dishes are considered authentic and better in quality.

Packaged and ready to cook turkey breast
Food processing companies are going for the natural look of their products,
with all the imperfections

Striving for the natural look of food products

In the past five years, the North American packaged food industry has grown up to $392.5 billion (14% increase) including $225.6 billion business from the fast-food industry making it 13% altogether. The experts are considering it an an essential adapting for the steady growth of the food industry. The companies have started using different ingredients to ensure the natural look of the food products. In some cases, companies stick to simple tweaks for achieving a natural look of their food including the texture and end-product look of the food.

Most of the food experts agree upon the importance of the appearance of the food and its preference. However, these companies are simply looking to confuse the user with a wholesome feeling about natural and processed food. These slight changes can certainly trigger a better sales figures in the market. One of the consumers preferred a lunch meat product because of the loose packing of the slices and mainly because of its authentic look. One of the biggest changes is in the famous square hamburger patty from Wendy’s and this change is to give it a rather natural look. This change was to get rid of the processed food look of their products.

Kraft Foods

Packaged turkey breast
Hillshire Farm "imprefect" processed turkey breast

Kraft foods has invested a lot of time and money in achieving a natural look for their food products. Their goal was to prepare a turkey slice that looked more like a homemade product with ragged corners as in case of a turkey prepared at home. However, this complete process took nearly two years and their every packet is different in its shape.

HillsShire Brands Co.

The same story goes with the HillsShire Brands Co., which is known for its luchmeats, sausages, and hot dogs. The company feels that most of the people prefer food that looks more natural and authentic. The company worked for a lunch meat, which was moister rather than wet, and possessed a grainier texture compared to the regular processed turkey. A series of changes helped the company in achieving the desirable changes. There is a huge discussion about the right meaning of the term natural in the food processing industry and it may differ from individual-to-individual.

With this race going along nicely among different food manufacturers, the consumers can expect natural looking food products in the future. At present, the main goal is to achieve a natural look for the product even if they have to use natural calamel color for the purpose. Let us wait for these natural-looking products and the response from the target audience.

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