HOLIDAY FOOD SALES UP; GAINS EXPECTED IN '98

Food retailers experienced modest sales increases over the holidays -- and they were optimistic growth would continue in the new year.Operators polled in a random SN survey said sales rose 3% to 4% in the weeks leading up to New Year's Eve. They said gains were fueled by loyalty- card programs, improved prepared-foods offerings and promotions on core holiday items.Turning to 1998, operators were hopeful

Food retailers experienced modest sales increases over the holidays -- and they were optimistic growth would continue in the new year.

Operators polled in a random SN survey said sales rose 3% to 4% in the weeks leading up to New Year's Eve. They said gains were fueled by loyalty- card programs, improved prepared-foods offerings and promotions on core holiday items.

Turning to 1998, operators were hopeful about building on the sales momentum, but analysts said supermarkets wil

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