Summer's almost here, with months of picnics, barbecues and holidays that are key selling opportunities for disposable plates, cups and flatware. Their appeal to the convenience-seeker helps sustain sales of disposables year-round, but purchases spike during the summer, as well as Thanksgiving through Christmas. This summer, retailers' cross-merchandising schemes will focus on new products whose manufacturers say have more uses and are more dependable. "I think manufacturers have become ...

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