While many manufacturing jobs have disappeared overseas, food manufacturing jobs and the food processing equipment industry are high growth segments of the manufacturing world. In fact, thanks to modernization and fast growing populations, the food processing equipment industry is expected to reach $60.8 billion by 2020. And despite the number of food production jobs being created today, not everyone is a fan of processed food itself.
Modernization has given the world some incredible things: vaccines, the Internet, streaming music, the ability to call anyone anywhere at anytime. Today, there are about 13 billion devices connected to the Internet, and that number is expected to reach 50 billion by 2020. But as incredible as modernization has been for human society, change can be scary. Even beneficial changes, like vaccines, terrify some people.
So it’s little wonder that processed food, genetically modified food, and even the containers used to package food have become popular bogeymen among some people. Yet in a new Washington Post feature, writer Roberto A. Ferdman explores what life would really be like without processed food. If you’re imagining a world filled with fresh organic food and healthier people, you’re on the wrong track.
For one, without processed food and the food processing equipment industry, you’d spend hours every day just chewing. If that seems like an exaggeration, consider this: chimpanzees spend half their days chewing.
“If we were to go back to the very beginning of this process that has gone to an extreme today, I think it would really surprise many people,” Daniel Lieberman, a professor of biological sciences at Harvard University, told Ferdman. “We used to spend a disproportionate amount of our days chewing. … You can go for an entire day without chewing today, and that’s really bizarre from a historical standpoint.”
Not only that, but there’s simply no way to feed the more than 7 billion people on planet earth without processed food and preservatives. Without modern food processing equipment operators and technology, billions would go hungry overnight.
That’s just one of the reasons there’s such high demand for experienced food product development jobs, as well as for the food processing equipment recruiting experts who help find them. Today, more and more manufacturing and food processing companies rely on executive search firms to place qualified C-suite executives.
As a result, as food processing equipment positions have grown, so too has the demand for executive recruiters. Between 2012 and 2013, the number of external hires placed by search firms more than doubled to 5.9%, reaching the highest number in a decade. That number is even higher for executive positions. The Association of Executive Search Consultants reported that North America as a whole has seen an 11.3% increase in external executive searches.
Despite the doom and gloom that often comes with election years, the food processing industry offers reason for optimism in U.S. manufacturing.