, a premiere business intelligence marketplace serving the Fortune 1000, announced today the release of a new study "The U.S. Market For Frozen And Refrigerated Hand-Held Foods", by Kalorama Information. According to the study, retail sales of hand-held foods for 1999 topped $1.6 billion. Annual sales are expected to grow an average of 7% annually from 2000-2004 with 2004 sales projected at $2.3 billion.

Hand-held foods have become the No. 1 growth segment in the U.S. frozen and refrigerated food market, and are broken down into two categories, entrees and appetizers/snack rolls. In 1999, retail sales for entrees were $1,101 million compared to $533 million for appetizers/snack rolls. Frozen hand-held entrees captured the lead, accounting for 60% of retail sales in 1999 vs. refrigerated entrees at 7%. Frozen appetizers/snack rolls accounted for 32% of dollar sales, up six percentage points from 1995, vs. refrigerated appetizers/snack rolls holding steady at 1%.

Attention is being paid to consumers ever-changing needs. Price points ranging from under $1 to $10 make hand-held foods an attractive option. "Continual changes in eating patterns will create a demand for user-friendly quick meals and snacks, which will drive the hand-held foods market," said Claire Madden, VP of Marketing. Organics continue to be the fastest-growing food segment, with sales gains over 50% from 1997 to 1998. Vegetarian offerings across the category are appealing to non-vegetarian consumers who are health conscious. Competition is becoming fierce and innovative ideas for new products and creative marketing strategies are essential for marketers in this arena.


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