Home Meal Replacements

Written by Shirley Parker
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Home meal replacements used to mean frozen TV dinners plunked down in the microwave and then on the TV tray. Even though the quality of many frozen meals has now improved enormously, the buyer still has to watch sodium and cholesterol contents. Yet working people simply don't have time to cook from scratch or even to prepare a halfway decent box meal any more, unless they have nothing else going on in their lives.

Over the past four or five years, alternative home meal replacements (or HMRs) have started coming to the rescue. These include simple salad mixes that can be combined with prepackaged cooked chicken strips and salad dressing, or a whole roasted chicken from the supermarket deli a mile from home. Some markets also offer a salad bar where you pay by weight but select what you want.

Home meal replacements extend to chicken pot pies, scalloped potatoes, lasagna, breaded chops, sausage and gravy, and just about anything else you remember from Mom's home cooking. These are purchased chilled, not frozen, and either cooked or uncooked. Eliminating the preparation time is the key attraction.

Market Research on Home Meal Replacements

When market watchers say the economy is good, likely as not it means we're all working long hours instead of more people being hired back into the workforce. With both spouses working and at stressful, lower-paying jobs than they're used to, assuming they're working at all, it's even less likely anyone has the inclination to cook in the evening. HMRs, first thought to be a fad, are here to stay, with sales volume rising and falling with the tides.


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MENTAL RETARDATION

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