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    Seasonal and Convenience Driving Growth at Retail for Thanksgiving: Study

    WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Consumer packaged goods manufacturers' best opportunities to boost holiday sales in 2007 lie with seasonal flavors/packaging and convenience foods, according to new research conducted for the Grocery Manufacturers Association by Ernst & Young LLP and The NPD Group.

    WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Consumer packaged goods manufacturers' best opportunities to boost holiday sales in 2007 lie with seasonal flavors/packaging and convenience foods, according to new research conducted for the Grocery Manufacturers Association by Ernst & Young LLP and The NPD Group.

    The research also indicated that more than 80 percent of participants in a holiday survey said they plan to eat their holiday meals at home, or at a family member's home. Correspondingly, more than 80 percent of survey respondents said they will either prepare their own holiday meals or have them prepared by a family member in 2007.

    The Ernst and Young Consumer Products practice predicted 5.5 percent growth in the retail food sector for the 2007 holiday season (November 2007 through January 2008), as compared to 4.5 growth for retail sales across all sectors.

    Expected to drive increased sales are the widespread introduction of seasonal flavors and packages by manufacturers across all food categories. Capitalizing on health trends, food and beverage producers will also promote healthy products and ingredient substitutions during the holidays.

    NPD research also showed that nearly 30 percent of Americans have not finalized their New Year's Eve plans, highlighting additional market share up for grabs to food and beverage producers.

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