What’s the best food industry innovation since sliced bread?
When the bread slicing machine was invented in the 1920s in the US it was initially met with some scepticism by consumers.
But it is a huge success story – within five years of that first slicing machine being used in a Missouri bakery it is estimated that 80% of bread sold in the US was pre-sliced.
It was so successful that it became the subject of a phrase. Who hasn’t heard: ‘This is the best thing since sliced bread’?
So what does it take to invent such game-changing ideas and make them succeed? Is it genius, luck, or are they somehow just inevitable as society develops?
There are so many remarkable food industry innovations to look back at.
In this episode of the Food Matters Live podcast, we pick out the very best from the last 100 years or so.
Neil Buttery, Evolutionary Biologist and Food Historian
Neil Buttery is a food historian, chef, author, blogger, podcaster and scientist, who has been obsessed with historical and traditional British food since he began writing his food blogs in 2007 in an effort to improve his writing for his PhD in ecology & evolutionary biology.
Ecology lost out in the end, eventually leaving science to pursue a career in food, first holding regular pop-up restaurant events, then a real restaurant.
These days, however, he is kept busy writing about and studying (and eating!) food history for his books, and popular blogs and podcast. He has a particular love of offal and puddings.
Dr Morgaine Gaye – Food Futurologist
Dr Morgaine Gaye looks at food and eating from a social, cultural, economic, trend, branding and geo-political perspective. Her work involves running ideation sessions, consulting to food companies, developing new products and ideas; writing articles/ trend reports for PR and ad agencies; giving public, university and corporate lectures on specific food trends, developing new ideas for food-related TV and radio programmes and doing research on all elements of the eating experience from mouth-feel and texture to olfactory perception.
She consults to leading blue chip food companies and manufacturers, delivering bespoke trend briefings and NPD ideation.
Her academic research papers have been published in a number of journals. She is a guest university lecturer in UK and Sweden and is on the reviewing panel for the International Food Design Conference, an academic journal.
She is currently writing a book ‘A Taste of Things to Come’ about future food trends and why they matter.