FAIR LAWN, N.J. -- Growing consumer interest in home-meal replacement lines pushed supermarket sales in refrigerated entrees and side dishes over $1.468 billion in 1996, up almost 16% over 1995, according to a report by the Food Institute, based here.
er 1995, the report said. The category is up 63.6% in dollars and 69.9% in items since 1994.
Sales in the refrigerated entree/side dish category rose from $908.7 million in 1994, a 61.6% dollar and 38.4% item increase since then.
The entree/side dish category entered the top 10 in total dollar sales among refrigerated foods for the first time in 1996, according to the Food Institute. Only milk, cheese, juice, luncheon meats, eggs, breakfast meats and yogurt accounted for higher sales.
Entrees/side dishes and lunches were two of only 10 refrigerated lines that showed both item and dollar sales increases in 1996 over 1995.
In another deli category, sales of luncheon meats rose in 1996 to $2.915 billion, up 2.95% in dollars and 1.3% in items over 1995.
The Food Institute report is based on InfoScan data from the Institute for InternationalResearch, New York, and Bureau of Census figures.