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    Shaky Economy Spurs New Food Retailing Study

    The report, from the Hartman Group, aims to become the authoritative guidebook for how, where, and why consumers will spend their food dollars in the coming five years.

    The Hartman Group, a strategic consultancy specializing in understanding consumer lifestyle behavior and how that behavior leads to purchase, believes that the line between supermarkets and restaurants will blur as consumers modify their long-term food consumption behavior for many cultural, lifestyle, and economic reasons.

    To examine this behavior, Retail Intel, a part of The Hartman Group devoted to reimagining retail, will conduct a new study, "Food Fight: Winning the Battle for Consumers' Food Dollars."

    "A considerable amount of the explainable variation in shopping behavior actually has more to do with things happening in the household than it does with things happening in grocery stores or restaurants," noted Retail Intel president Michelle Barry. "Over the course of the past 20 years, we have mapped consumer's evolutions, adoptions, migrations, and aspirations in the food retailing marketplace. This new study goes beyond quantifying metrics such as shifts in frequency, channel visitation, or average ticket price to provide the understanding as to why these observed shifts occur and, more importantly, what it means for supermarkets and restaurants in the future."

    "Food Fight: Winning the Battle for Consumers' Food Dollars" will combine a quantitative nationally representative sample of U.S. consumers and in-depth ethnographic consumer immersions to identify the relevant behaviors and trends most likely to affect food retailing going forward. The study will field in the third quarter, with results available in the fourth quarter 2008.

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