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    Foodies Will Be Forking Up $96 Billion for Gourmet by 2012: Study

    NEW YORK - Food connoisseurs will spend $59 billion on gourmet, specialty, and premium foods and beverages this year -- a growth of 10.9 percent over 2006 - and their annual appetite is on pace to grow $96 billion by 2012, according to a new study by market research firm Packaged Facts.

    NEW YORK - Food connoisseurs will spend $59 billion on gourmet, specialty, and premium foods and beverages this year -- a growth of 10.9 percent over 2006 - and their annual appetite is on pace to grow $96 billion by 2012, according to a new study by market research firm Packaged Facts.

    This could make quite the feast for supermarkets that know how to cater to this crowd. "Mainstream supermarkets and grocery stores lead the market for gourmet/specialty foods and beverages, accounting for 52 percent of the total retail dollar sales in 2007," said Tatjana Meerman, publisher of Packaged Facts.

    The Packaged Facts study is an in-depth market analysis of gourmet/premium food and beverage products sold in the U.S. retail market. It focuses on seven classifications: beverages, baked goods, pasta and grains, fresh foods, condiments and sauces, RTE meals, cheese and dairy products, and ice cream and frozen desserts.

    By October of 2007, 15 percent of all new food and beverages introduced to the market fell into the gourmet category. According to Packaged Facts' report, "Gourmet, Specialty and Premium Foods and Beverages in the U.S.," the cheese and dairy categories will post the highest growth in 2007, at 13 percent.

    "We anticipate this broadening of the gourmet/premium market well into the next decade, as growing numbers of marketers and retail channels offer an ever-increasing number of products to attract more customers," said Meerman.

    A synergy with the natural foods industries is responsible for much of the gourmet segment's growth. Simultaneously, national supermarket chains and independent grocers alike are quickly are increasingly developing fresh formats that carry greater numbers of gourmet and specialty products.

    Go to http://www.packagedfacts.com/Gourmet-Foods-1477946 for the full report.

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