1. Food Gathering       Only own cooking

2. Agriculture          Some form of keeping crops between seasons 
                         -  generally grains

3. Simple Technology    Own cooking in pottery containers
   -----------------    Salting down meat (but small part of diet)

(4) City State          Developed storage particularly in fortified
    ----------          sites:  grains,  oils
(5) Empire (Roman)      Large centrally organised storage.
    --------------      Small scale catering common
                         - restaurants,  inns,  bars for 
                           refreshments & socialising
                        Specialised trades - baking,  butchers
                        Manufacture & long distance trade in 
                         various pastes and wines

(6) Medieval (Europe)   Bakers (bring your own dough)
                        Late in period, Inns and catering for 

(7) Industrial          Inns increase
(8) Consumer Society    Development of cooked and tinned food - 
    ----------------     long term storage,  ready to eat

(9) Mass Production     Refrigeration - long term storage & long
    Society              distance trade possible
    ---------------     Development of factory processed convenience
                          foods - less own cooking,  combined with
                        Increase in eating out - restaurants
                        Labour intensity of restaurants causes switch
                         to fast food franchises - plugged into 
                         standard central manufacturing & marketing.
                         Number of traditional restaurants declines
                        Increase of women in work increases use of 
                         convenience manufactured foods


Consumption of most foods is limited by the ability to store then between seasons. The Constant Trend is for an increase in the ability to so store and preserve. This results in more food consumed (and larger populations).

Much of the cost of perishable foods is the rapid distribution necessary, and losses during it. As technology enables storage, so the range of foods available increases, and distribution costs decline, with trade in food products over a longer distance occurring.

There is a Constant Trend of more food preparation being done outside the home. Mass Production methods enable work to move out of the kitchen into factories. Increased travel also leads to catering - at higher levels of development there is a social and leisure element.


The Constant Trends are expected to continue to operate in ample measure. It will be aided by parallel trends from Household: here it is envisaged that the substantial vestige of the primitive economy remaining in our society will be progressively reduced in the Post Industrial period. By primitive economy we mean those things which man has to do for himself - and is largely centred on the home. It will be progressively reduced by automated machinery and the Computer-Media. These developments are necessary if the current trends of women's participation in work are to be completed, with similar participation rates for men and women (from Role of Women). This will provide a strong demand pull in the market.

In the Food Area these forces will continue to encourage food preparation to move out of the kitchen into the factory. In order to examine the extent to which this may occur, one needs to consider what is technologically feasible, and what are the human motivations. It is technologically feasible to prepare quite complex meals in a factory, preserve them by freezing, and for them to be brought to a serving state virtually instantly through microwave ovens - indeed simpler meals are already available on such principles. While an increase on what is already available is to be expected, the final state may not go to what is possible. This is because people derive a sense of achievement in preparing a meal, which is likely to lead to increased factory preparation of the individual ingredients, allowing the person to assemble the meal, aided by more advance machinery in the home.

A strong influence here is due to the rising employment rates among women. These have been steadily rising for many decades -- and within a decade or two are likely to approach those of men (from Role of Women). This can only occur with a continual reduction on time spent on housework - for which processed food is expected to play a part.

In these developments the processing and storage have gone hand-in-hand. Research will continue to be necessary on how to progressively cook foodstuffs, store them (mainly be not exclusively) by freezing, and bring them back to the serving state as if they had just been cooked. So far the reputation of such products has not been good. We can expect research to gradually increase the quality up to, and in many cases beyond, what the consumer could do for himself. Upon this will depend the extent to which the consumer will buy the complete meal, or item, or just the semi-processed ingredients.


In fact we believe the complete factory processed meal will be taken up first in restaurant chains. These trends are already quite advanced in the fast food chains, where most of the meals are manufactured and semi cooked in central factories, leaving only simple frying or heating operations at the outlets.

This we can expect more of the work to be done centrally, gradually more complete meals of greater variety to be produced, with a warming up operation in the restaurant. Gradually, the more quality restaurant will operate on this principle, especially those forming chains. This will help impact on the high labour intensity of restaurants, and the high waste, so reducing their cost (which has been rising in real terms) - whence eating out will increase.

Up grading pub food on these principles can be detected, and will continue - pubs are likely to become social eating and drink places (occurring).

These developments lend themselves to vending hot food (so far confined to drinks and cold items - the quality of the drinks being inferior but has gradually improved). We may expect the range of items vended to increase, including an increasing range of hot food items. They may well begin to provide catering at small sites, and gradually take over from canteens on larger sites.

There is expected to be an increase in the range of food stuffs that can be preserved through technological development, possibly using lower temperatures through cryogenics technology. Each product has its own problems, but it is expected that gradually more foot stuffs which are at present seasonal will become available all the year round in something like their fresh state.

Automation and the Computer-Media can be expected to increase automated methods in food processing and manufacture. For example, formerly hand operation of cutting chops are now done by machine, and automatically packaged, weighed and priced. More complex tasks will gradually go in this direction - but more rapid short term developments may be seen in the packaging end.

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