I’ve been looking at trends in the food manufacturing realm lately, and while the processors are feeling the crunch of our economic climate as are most businesses, some analysts are predicting big problems in store for the entire industry.

In fact author Hank Cardello, a food industry expert and author of Stuffed: An Insider’s Look at Who’s REALLY Making America Fat, says that food processors need to pay much closer attention to emerging health trends and not just the economy. He predicts that if manufacturers don’t stop producing overweight foods, they could face a fate similar to auto manufacturers who continued to produce overweight cars with a focus on short-term profits and a lack of innovation.

This former executive at Coca-Cola  even compares gas guzzlers in the auto industry to “weapons of mass consumption,” and talks about how products like the 14-hundred calorie Hardees Thickburger is equally to blame.  I can’t say as I disagree with him. Remember how the auto manufacturers missed the market signal that “smaller is better?” Remember when gas prices rose to $4 per gallon how consumers quickly began to look for more efficient cars?

With the food industry giving us more than 30 percent more calories than in the 1950s, perhaps it’s time for these processors to look at trends more seriously and re-invent their offerings.

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