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    Convenience Fuels Supermarkets’ Deli, Prepared Foods Growth: NPD

    Convenience is a key driver for U.S. consumers who are increasingly turning to prepared foods purchased at the supermarket deli for in-home suppers

    Convenience is a key driver for U.S. consumers who are increasingly turning to prepared foods purchased at the supermarket deli for in-home suppers, reports market research firm The NPD Group, whose recently released “DeliTrack” study finds easy at-home meals to be the top-ranked reason that consumers buy supermarket prepared foods.

    With nearly half of deli-area prepared food purchase decisions found to be made in-store, the latest insights from the Port Washington, N.Y.-based consultancy align with related findings from its upcoming “Before the Store” report, which studies consumer shopping habits and meal planning. According to “Before the Store,” the top challenges consumers face when planning and shopping for meals are getting new ideas and finding meals that are quick to make.

    Further, while most purchases of deli-prepared foods are driven by habit and convenience, 10 percent are items buyers are trying for the first time.

    According to NPD’s “DeliTrack,” about one in five adults purchases a prepared food item from retail in a typical week. When making prepared food purchase decisions, consumers’ top picks are chicken or turkey items, sandwiches, deli salads such as potato salad, and leaf salads. These four types of foods account for just over half of all deli-prepared food purchases.

    “The popularity of deli-prepared foods is not surprising,” noted Ann Hanson, executive director, product development in NPD’s food and beverage unit. “We are a convenience-driven society. Picking up a prepared meal in the supermarket deli, along with other staples we might need for home, represents one-stop shopping. There are more prepared food options available at supermarkets today, providing consumers with both variety and the convenience of buying a prepared meal along with their other groceries.”

    Convenience in terms of reducing or even eliminating the amount of food preparation is a trend that’s expected to grow over the next decade. “Prepared foods represent an opportunity for growth,” according to Hanson. “Consumers are looking for a way around having to cook, and deli-prepared foods are one solution for quick and easy meals in the home.”

    For more information, visit http://www.npd.com/.

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