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    Convenience Food Industry

    Convenience foods were developed to make our lives easier. They reduce the amount of time spent home cooking meals and enable us to grab pre-prepared foods while we’re on the go. While they’re not traditionally known as “healthy”, the vast array of convenient foods now available is changing that. 

    At FPE, we’re here to supply you with the food processing equipment you need to optimise your convenience food business and meet increased customer demand. Read on to see how we can help. 

    Overview:

    Convenience food definition

    Convenience food, or “tertiary processed food”, is food that has been further processed to make it as easily consumable. The food may have been entirely prepared into a ready-to-eat cooked meal (see also: ready meal industry), a pre-prepared sandwich or salad. Alternatively, it may be a type of food that is convenient to eat in nature, like a chocolate bar, fruit, cold cuts, or cheese.  

    Types of convenience foods

    • Candy, chocolate and lollies
    • Soft drinks and juices
    • Nuts and snacks
    • Fresh or preserved fruit and vegetables
    • Processed deli meats and cheeses
    • Cans and jars of product, like soups and pasta sauces

    Convenience food trends

    Healthy convenience foods

    It’s easy to think of convenience food as not being the healthiest food you can get your hands on. Snacks, ready-meals and other foods associated with convenience aren’t historically reputed for their nutritional value. 

    However, as we’ve learned above, the sector is broader than these categories, with fresh fruit perhaps being the most convenient food of all, as it requires very little preparation before consumption.

    Where consumers 10 years ago looking for convenience would have opted for fast food, they’re now seeking out healthy prepared foods, like pre-made salads and fruit bowls. 

    In line with this, FPE is experiencing a rise in demand for equipment from fruit and vegetable growers and processors, as well as salad and vegetable based food producers. 

    See also: plant based industry 

    Supermarket swaps

    We’re also seeing consumers becoming more conscious decision-makers around the additives in food and the impact they have on our bodies. Shoppers with an interest in health, fitness and low tox living are choosing preservative-free options on the supermarket shelves and seeking natural alternatives to their convenience staples. 

    Processing equipment for convenience food suppliers

    FPE supplies best-in-class solutions for pre-prepared food and meal producers in Australia and New Zealand – from automatic tempering machines to thaw frozen berries, to pallet washers.

    PROCESSING ACTIVITY MANUFACTURER USAGE EXAMPLES
    Tempering/thawing AMTek Microwave
  • Thawing frozen berries or other product for processing or cooking
  • Hard and soft separation Sepamatic
  • Separating the stones from avocado flesh
  • Slicing  Magurit
  • Slicing or dicing frozen blocks or thawed fruit or veg
  • HACCP compliance and food quality assurance Eagle PI
  • Contaminant detection in unprocessed and finished product
  • Production hygiene Elpress
  • Hand and boot sanitisation for workers
  • Pallet and crate washing
  • Material handling SYSPAL
  • Sanitising conveyors to sanitise packaged product between processing areas
  • Operator-safe machines for mixing, tipping, washing, weighing and stacking Euro bins of product
  • So if you’re a food producer in Australia, trust FPE. For equipment, maintenance and more, we’re the leading provider in Australia and New Zealand. Contact us today on 1800 882 549 in Australia and 0800 100 003 in New Zealand to discuss your business needs. 

    FAQs

    What are three convenience foods?

    • Canned foods
    • Pre-prepared lunch foods
    • Confectionary 

    What are the advantages of convenience foods?

    They’re easy! Traditionally, convenience foods have made it easy and quick for people to get fed. Today, with the growing popularity of healthy convenience foods, it’s now easy to eat healthily too.

    What is the healthiest convenience food?

    Frozen fruit and greek yoghurt are high in nutritional value and extremely convenient in terms of meal preparation. Canned beans and canned fish are also generally considered to be healthy convenience foods. Stir-in herb and spice pastes and microwavable grains like brown rice are on the healthy list too.