Convenience foods continue vast hold on retail market, report finds

NEW YORK Fresh convenience foods have experienced a recessionary boon, according to a new study by Packaged Facts.

The new study -- Fresh Convenience Foods in the U.S. -- the fresh convenience foods market grew by 5% in 2009 to reach sales of $22 billion and expanded marketing and merchandising efforts by convenience foods companies drove may drive sales up 28% to $29 billion by 2014.

The report examines the U.S. market for fresh prepared convenience foods sold refrigerated or hot to consumers, through myriad retail channels including supermarkets, supercenters, warehouse clubs, small food marts and delis, convenience stores, and drug stores. As defined by the report, a fresh convenience food is a prepared food that is ready-to-eat, or almost ready-to-eat (e.g., a salad with dressing on the side). 

Packaged Facts also reported that the majority of convenience food sales continue to take place in supermarkets and grocery stores, which account for an estimated 68% share of 2009 retail dollar sales. Supercenters and mass merchandisers are the second most popular channel, ringing up 13% of sales, followed by natural/health food stores, warehouse clubs and convenience stores.

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