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Convenience foods continue vast hold on retail market, report finds

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK Fresh convenience foods have experienced a recessionary boon, according to a new study by Packaged Facts.

The new study — Fresh Convenience Foods in the U.S. — the fresh convenience foods market grew by 5% in 2009 to reach sales of $22 billion and expanded marketing and merchandising efforts by convenience foods companies drove may drive sales up 28% to $29 billion by 2014.

The report examines the U.S. market for fresh prepared convenience foods sold refrigerated or hot to consumers, through myriad retail channels including supermarkets, supercenters, warehouse clubs, small food marts and delis, convenience stores, and drug stores. As defined by the report, a fresh convenience food is a prepared food that is ready-to-eat, or almost ready-to-eat (e.g., a salad with dressing on the side). 

Packaged Facts also reported that the majority of convenience food sales continue to take place in supermarkets and grocery stores, which account for an estimated 68% share of 2009 retail dollar sales. Supercenters and mass merchandisers are the second most popular channel, ringing up 13% of sales, followed by natural/health food stores, warehouse clubs and convenience stores.

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Nestle teams up with Cleveland Clinic for collaborative study

BY Allison Cerra

GLENDALE, Calif. Nestle announced Thursday its donation to Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute to fund a collaborative study focused on examining the effects of a diet rich in whole grains on body composition and energy metabolism.

Nestle USA chairman and CEO Brad Alford said the collaboration "combines Nestle’s core expertise in nutrition with Lerner Research Institute’s scientific vision, and will help us define the scientific basis for new product development. Our ultimate goal is to provide good tasting products with nutritional benefits to consumers."

The 26-week study will enroll 40 to 50 people, who will eat meals provided by Nestle Prepared Food Co.’s facility in Solon, Ohio — home to the nation’s leading frozen food brands, Stouffer’s and Lean Cuisine. During the first phase, one group’s diet will include most of their carbohydrates coming from whole grains while the other will receive meals with carbohydrates mainly from refined grains. During the second phase, the two groups will switch diets. Each study participant will receive complementary nutrition counseling, food and medical testing.

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GreenDog Naturals introduces joint health supplement for dogs

BY Allison Cerra

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. GreenDog Naturals is looking to help pet owners aid their four-legged friends that experience joint pain.

Healthy Motion, a supplement designed to ease joint discomfort in dogs, is available in powder to add to food and in bone-shaped chewables convenient for travel.

GreenDog Naturals are available at independent pet supply stores and natural health stores.

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