The Food Industries of Europe in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (BOK)
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The industrialization of food preservation and processing has been a dramatic development across Europe during modern times. This book sets out its story from the beginning of the nineteenth century when preservation of food from one harvest to another was essential to prevent hunger and even famine. Population growth and urbanization depended upon a break out from the 'biological ancien regime' in which hunger was an ever-present threat. The application of mass production techniques by the food industries was essential to the modernization of Europe.From the mid-nineteenth century the development of food industries followed a marked regional pattern. After an initial growth in north-west Europe, the spread towards south-eastern Europe was slowed by social, cultural and political constraints. This was notable in the post-World War II era. The picture of change in this volume is presented by case studies of eleven countries ranging from the United Kingdom in the west to Romania in the east. All illustrate the role of food industries in creating new products that expanded the traditional cereal-based diet of pre-industrial Europe.Industrially preserved and processed foods provided new flavours and appetizing novelties which led to brand names recognized by consumers everywhere. Product marketing and advertising became fundamental to modern food retailing so that Europe's largest food producers, Danone, Nestle and Unilever are numbered amongst the world's biggest companies.