NEW YORK — Contrary to some expectations, supermarket prepared foods departments are not seeing much benefit as the result of the economic downturn, a financial analyst said Monday.
“Food retailers are not seeing a lot of benefit from restaurant customers eating out less and going to the grocery store to buy prepared foods,” said the analyst, Karen Short, of Friedman, Billings, Ramsey & Co., during a conference call reviewing recent financial reports and remarks from publicly traded retailers, including Ruddick Corp., A&P and Supervalu.
“What some companies have told us is that consumers who were eating out are still eating out, but trading down within the restaurant category. And consumers who were buying prepared food in the supermarket are now buying less prepared food and more ingredients.”
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