WASHINGTON — Convenience foods and seasonal flavors and packaging provide the best opportunities to boost CPG sales this winter holiday season, according to research conducted by Ernst & Young and the NPD Group for the Grocery Manufacturers Association. The Ernst and Young Consumer Products practice predicts 5.5% growth in the retail food sector for the 2007 holiday season, as compared to 4.5% growth for retail sales across all sectors. The widespread introduction of seasonal flavors and packages across all food categories are projected to drive the growth, along with products that capitalize on health trends, like better-for-you ingredient substitutions. More than 80% of participants in a consumer survey conducted by NPD Group plan to either prepare their own holiday meals or have them prepared by a family member this year. Convenience products are expected to ease their burden.
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