Convenience is defined as being able to proceed with something with little effort or difficulty. I thought about this as I walked the floor at the recent Natural Products Expo East in Baltimore, where amidst to latest innovations in snacking and hydrating (e.g., New York City water…really?), I had to ask myself, do “convenience foods” actually fit that definition?
There has become so much focus on the convenience of convenience food that we seem to have lost the food itself. Nuts are convenient. Eggs are convenient. Oatmeal is convenient. An apple is convenient. But the process of taking whole foods and turning them into, say a chip, feels far from it. It seems that the more we innovate products for convenience, the more food we lose from the equation.
In the end, where’s the line when the food and nutrition lost in the processing of packaged goods makes them not really convenient at all?