A. Elizabeth Sloan

It’s a great time to be in the food business. Anything goes! Fried foods and fresh. Big bites and tasting flights. Healthy and high fat. It’s a trend-trackers nightmare and a marketer’s dream!

In the next few years, the food industry will be challenged by the most mature, wealthiest, and most sophisticated consumer in history. The high incidence of restaurant exposure, the mega-trend to “take-out/take-home,” and the growing popularity of samplers, ethnic buffets, and signature “tasting” appetizer…

Fig. 1—Annual number of take-out meals purchased at a commercial restaurant per person. From NPD Group/Crest (2000).

Fig. 2—Stouffer’s Oven Sensations is an example of oven meals that are beginning to gain on popular skillet meals.

Fig. 3—Reasons prepared meals are served at home. From Stouffer’s (1999).

Fig. 4—Reynold’s Hot Bags Foil Bags are durable pouches for cooking in the oven or on the grill.

Fig. 5—Appeal of seafood items when dining out. Rating reflects a 5-point scale where 1 equals not at all appealing and 5 equals extremely appealing. From NFI (2000).

Fig. 6—Appetizers: Restaurant best sellers. From Sheridan and Yee (1999).

Fig. 7—Percent of supper meals prepared and consumed in-home. * = revised numbers. From NPD Group (2000).

Fig. 8—Foods high school students plan to try. From Wishna (2000).

Fig. 9—Percent of the general population that agree “completely/somewhat” that it is important for stores to have certain foods. From NMI (2000).

Fig. 10—Percent of all shoppers stating that they or a member of their household are actively managing or treating certain conditions. From NMI (2000).

Fig. 12—Percent of homemakers agreeing that they would like to lose 20 lb. From NPD Group (2000).

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