The overwhelming majority of food and drink workers claim to see controversy over ?unhealthy' foods as a business opportunity rather than a threat, according to Food Manufacture's latest annual survey of readers' views.
Only 27% of respondents felt that pressure to cut levels of fat, salt, and sugar in foods was a threat, with 65% seeing no threat.
A total 91% of survey respondents saw opportunity emerging from the increased emphasis on healthy eating; including 21% who felt that strongly. Only 7% did not see any opportunities while 2% did not know one way or the other.
Not one respondent disagreed strongly with the suggestion in one survey question that opportunities were opening up.
All food technologists in the survey -- who might be most likely to baulk at being asked to come up with healthier but unsellable products -- saw only opportunities in demands for healthier foods.
The optimists when it came to healthier products found backing from 86% of the mds who took part in the survey, which elicited responses from 214 readers.
Calls for more controls on food safety do not have all readers quaking. Overall, 62% felt that tougher enforcement of legislation was necessary, against 37% who did not. Among quality assurance staff 65% were for tougher enforcement and 34% against.
One manager said that putative threats were opportunities if the retailers were "prepared to support manufacturers". As in previous years, respondents used terms such as "cut-throat ruthlessness" about the supermarkets.
Overall, the survey showed food and drink manufacturers largely happy with their lot. Although 35% were overall no more positive about their companies' futures than a year before, they were easily outnumbered by the 63% who were more positive.
There was strong confidence in 13% and strong lack of confidence in 6%. Also, 73% of mds claimed to be positive and only 18% negative (and none of those very negative).
- The July issue of Food Manufacture will include a detailed analysis of the survey results.