Magazine article USA TODAY

Quick and Easy Foods Flying off the Shelves

Magazine article USA TODAY

Quick and Easy Foods Flying off the Shelves

Article excerpt

There is a trend among American food consumers that is changing the way supermarkets do business, one that isn't driven by nutrition or cost. The lure is convenience, and experts say it's here to stay for a while. From bags of premixed salad to hot deli chicken, consumers are spending more of their food dollars on "fully prepared" or "easily assembled" grocery items, explains Carolyn Raab, professor of nutrition and food management, Oregon State University.

Studies have shown that 46% of the food dollar now goes to meals that are prepared or eaten away from home. "A major force behind this trend is the working woman. An estimated 70% of all mothers with school-age children are in the workforce and they don't have time for lengthy meal preparations."

Convenience used to be the domain of the fast-food restaurants, but supermarkets began attracting consumers with tantalizing displays of prepared chicken, roast beef, potato salad, spareribs, and a variety of other items. …

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