FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000

Automating and Innovating

Food processors large and small focused on increasing production and cost efficiency, automating key aspects of their operations. Some firms, previously ramped up for World War II production, continued to grow their processing capacity to match the postwar population and economic boom.  Others developed innovative products and production methods that fed consumers’ insatiable appetite for the “new and improved.”

Plant interior, about 2000

Plant interior, about 2000

Fast-moving, precision machinery enabled large factories to make uniform foodstuffs that were easily boxed, shipped, stocked, and sold. By 2000, centralized, high-volume production was the norm.