US Food: a rebound in consumer confidence and a change in American lifestyle

Food manufacturers and retailers are caught between high and volatile commodity prices and cash-strapped consumers.

Traditional grocery chains continue to face competitive pressures from big box retailers as well as from a shift of consumer spending to purchases at restaurants, schools and work cafeterias.

Debt reduction will be the focus for many large packaged food makers after several large brands changed hands over the past 12 to 24 months.