Lunchtime food service sales stagnant

by Staff
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NEW YORK — The dollar volume of the U.S. food service lunch market will reach $182 billion, yet growth has been slow with less than $1 billion since 2000, according to a report from Packaged Facts, a market research firm.

The report, "Revolution in Dayparts: Lunch in the Foodservice Market," said lunchtime sales increasingly are consisting of fast and more healthful options, and sales are only expected to increase to a little more than $187 billion by 2012.

"While the market is continually evolving and innovating not only with foods being prepared but the packaging as well, none of these innovations has necessarily converted new lunchtime customers," said Don Montuori, publisher of Packaged Facts. "We don’t see this changing any time soon, which means growth will lay solely on increased institutional foodservice demands, particularly in schools."

More than a third of U.S. food service sales take place at lunchtime. Sandwiches lead the lunch market, with burgers also being a popular choice in the Quick Service Restaurant market. Grab-and-go foods from convenience, grocery and other retail outlets also have increased.

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