Even though we live in an era where chefs and cooking shows are elevated to mountainous plateaus and people have installed enough granite and stainless steel in their kitchens to dwindle our natural resources, the food industry is facing tough times.

Food manufacturers are "all really struggling for growth," and the industry needs to "find a bit of magic" -- meaning innovation and brand excitement -- to stimulate that growth, said ConAgra Foods CEO Gary M. Rodkin, in a video interview with Supermarket News during this week's GMA Executive Conference.

Some of the struggle has probably come from the down-turn in the economy, but nonetheless - companies are struggling.

But, back to my original point:  All of this seems strange considering how much press and glitz food gets these days.  But, Rodkin is quick to point out the opposite.

Whereas consumers buzz about topics like telecomms, new devices and hot apparel items, "the food side just doesn't get that general level of excitement like we used to," he added. "We need to grab that back."