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    Study: 'Convenient' Hispanic Foods Experience Robust Growth

    NEW YORK - From 1999 through 2004, sales of mainstream Mexican and authentic Hispanic convenience foods such as entrees and hand-held items have grown 103 percent, according to "The U.S. Market for Hispanic Foods and Beverages," a new market research report from Packaged Facts.

    NEW YORK - From 1999 through 2004, sales of mainstream Mexican and authentic Hispanic convenience foods such as entrees and hand-held items have grown 103 percent, according to "The U.S. Market for Hispanic Foods and Beverages," a new market research report from Packaged Facts.

    Sales of such items grew from just under $250 million in 1999 to $505 million in 2004, the report said.

    Ongoing demands for convenience and portability among busy American consumers, and shifting tastes toward bolder flavors, are fueling growth. Plus, as U.S. Hispanics become more acculturated, they're looking for ways to ease the daily burden of meal reparation. Dinner kits, single-serve beverages, and frozen foods are some of the convenience products that are meeting demand in this segment of the $4.3 billion Hispanic food and beverage market.

    "Hispanic on the run -- from pseudo-Mexican creations such as breakfast burritos to more authentic items such as Salvadoran papusas -- appeals to our changing national tastebuds, populace, and demand for convenience," said Don Montuori, acquisitions editor for Packaged Facts. "If you consider the fact that nearly 90 percent of tweens told researchers that quesadillas are an 'everyday food,' it's no wonder that Hispanic cuisine is poised to eclipse Chinese as the favorite foreign food for Americans."

    The study examines trends that cover the entire market for authentic Hispanic cuisine, not just traditional "mainstream Mexican" products, and projects sales through 2009. It also analyzes consumer demographics and their current and projected impact on sales, and presents competitive profiles of foodservice and retail players in the Hispanic market.

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