Talking Points: (Don’t) Let Them Eat Cake

Ultraprocessed food – foods (and beverages) that have undergone extensive processing – is a relatively new term we may hear a lot more of in the US, and not for positive reasons. If US consumers pick up the growing calls to cut down their consumption (regardless of the science and the flaws of classifying foods solely by their degree of processing), then it may become a serious threat to large sections of the packaged food industry and transform the future of packaged food. Importantly, unlike many of the standard criticisms of processed foods, this is not just a challenge for large food and beverage companies. Many emerging companies, even in on-trend categories such as better-for-you snacking and plant-based foods, may get caught in the net. But what many in the industry are interpreting as the latest way to beat up on processed foods might also prove to be an opportunity.