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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Are grocery stores the new restaurants?

NPR's "Morning Edition" reported today that more than 50 percent of consumers are cutting back restaurant dining, according to a recent Nielsen survey.

At the same time, Increasing numbers of people are buying prepared meals from grocery stores. These include meals to heat at home but many stores, like Whole Foods, have installed tables and are serving food on the premises. That's not new for Whole Foods but other grocery chains are following suit. And convenience stores are getting in on the action too.

As it happens, I've been sampling prepared food at grocery stores for a Grazing column. My longtime favorites have been the fried chicken at Publix and the Indian-style chicken at Whole Foods. Many of the prepared foods at Trader Joe's have surprised me with their quality. The Ansley Kroger has recently expanded its own selection of ready-to-eat dishes. I've eaten at taquerias inside Mexican groceries for  years.

Do any of you readers have your own favorite grocery-store choices? Clue me in.

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