BASKET CASE

From the retailer's point of view, the benefits of gift basket sales are fairly straightforward. "You can take $40 worth of merchandise, spend 10 minutes putting it together, and then sell it for more than $40," said Ron Tanner, vice president of communications for New York-based National Association for the Spec-ialty Food Trade.Yet as cooking shows and travel have broadened the culinary horizons

From the retailer's point of view, the benefits of gift basket sales are fairly straightforward. "You can take $40 worth of merchandise, spend 10 minutes putting it together, and then sell it for more than $40," said Ron Tanner, vice president of communications for New York-based National Association for the Spec-ialty Food Trade.

Yet as cooking shows and travel have broadened the culinary horizons of many Americans, several super-market retailers are finding themselves positioned as

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