Prepared Food Departments Heating Up

Prepared food departments have weathered the recession well, but aggressive deals by restaurants may signal a new era of competition

In 2010, the average American purchased 195 restaurant meals, including takeout and on-premise eating. It was the lowest number of per-capita restaurant visits in at least a decade, according to Harry Balzer, chief industry analyst and vice president of The NPD Group.

“The restaurant industry is having a very difficult time,” he said. “In fact, we're still looking for the bottom in the number of meals being bought.”

The restaurant industry

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