The holidays look good for food and drink

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Indy Lifestyle Online

The upcoming holiday season might look bleak for some sectors, but food and drink are likely to fare well this holiday season as more people stay home to celebrate and to buy products to use in their own kitchens.

A survey by marketing firm IBISWorld says that spending on food and drink is likely to increase 11.65 percent in the United States and total spending on gifts will shrink by 2.6 percent.

Christmas sales are estimated to grow 0.19 percent to $ 128 billion generally. However, food and drink sales will be ringing in merrily at $27.23 billion compared to $24.84 billion in 2008 - the most growth of any of the holiday sectors, according to the firm.

"The recession has caused people to go back to family values as opposed to simply buying presents," Toon van Beeck, senior analyst with IBISWorld said.

Consumers just can't afford to spend as much on gifts and this will bode well for supermarkets, large discounters and specialty shops - particularly those that feature luxury and gourmet products - as consumers focus on entertaining friends and family at home, van Beeck predicted.

"A few years ago, the consumer mindset in the food segment was on convenience, delivery and prepared foods," van Beeck said."But people have cut back on their spending and this trend has faded with the present economy. People are back into the kitchen,"

In its holiday predictions, the Nielson Co. also suggested that anything having to do with entertaining at home will have an advantage during the festive season.