The twentieth century witnessed a major shift in eating habits as processed and packaged
foods gained popularity alongside fresh products.
Mankind has been processing food to
extend its shelf life for centuries (examples include salted and dried meats), but as new
techniques were developed to manufacture ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook foods, a
growing need emerged for individual product packaging. In the same period, supermarkets
started to appear where customers selected products from shelves instead of being
personally served. These trends were driving forces for automated food packaging
technology, an industry that kicked off in the fifties.