When we look for a concrete definition of “convenience food”, we find various ones, including: “foodstuffs with a higher degree of processing that allow the consumer to skip one or more steps in preparation”. This definition is closer to the perception of the phenomenon than this: “ready-to-eat dishes that hardly need any additional preparation”. Think of a microwave meal or something like that.
Convenience or easy products are used in nearly every (professional) kitchen. Such as:
- frozen food
- canned food
- ready-to-eat meals
- refrigerated foods
We also see increasingly more convenience and “healthy food” offered via vending machines. This was previously reserved for “unhealthy” snacks.
With increasing prosperity, the continual growth of the single-person household and packed schedules, the demand for convenience food has grown and thus there is an increasing need for fast and reliable laboratory testing. For example for the determination of nutritional value, but also all about shelf-life related testing (preservatives, organic acids, listeria and other micro-organisms). The COVID-19 pandemic has increased awareness of healthy lifestyles. This increases demand for healthy (organic) foods than ever before, even in the convenience sector. The GBA Group meets this demand for specific research with a large range of accredited laboratory analyses in the area of:
- Contaminants (pesticides, PACs, MOSH-MOAH)
- Sustainability testing (chemical and microbiological)
- General microbiological hygiene (general germ count, enterobaceriaceae, lactic acid bacteria)
- Pathogens (such as Salmonella, Listeria, STEC) we can also perform sampling and inspections of raw materials for you in more than 100 countries.
What is Convenience Food?
Convenience Food market: Overview
Through the years, convenience food has made people’s lives easier, which arises from the ability to offer a complete meal that is made in advance, and which requires nearly no further preparation by the customer before consumption...
The dynamics of the market for easy or convenience foods
One of the great difficulties the market for convenience foods has to deal with is the lack of suitable locations for storage, preparation and packaging, that regularly results in dangers for (frozen) products. The expansion of the number of strict guidelines is another factor that this market must take into account. Consumers are increasingly critical with regard to the use of additives and this creates new challenges for product developers.
The Covid pandemic is another significant driving force that changes the behavior of consumers with regard to ready-made foodstuffs, because most countries are forced to limit their development and cut off exports. Thus a supply chain in combination with the transparency is endangered and that sets other requirements on the product developer.
If you have questions about this topic or generally about food safety, contact our company. We have the expertise in analyses (nutritional value, vitamins, mycotoxins, contaminates) and microbiological analyses that are performed in a mainly robotic and digitized laboratory. So we have become the market leader on the Belgian market for the bacteriological analyses and in Germany for crop protection analyses in herbs and tea.
We’d love to help you further!