Call This The Year Of The Picky Consumer

For the $255 billion food-processing industry, the recession isn't the biggest worry in 1992. Following up on its crackdown last year on low-cholesterol and other health claims, the Food & Drug Administration now is hashing out a far-reaching overhaul of basic food labels. Beyond that, consumers are displaying a new thriftiness that is expected to outlive the slump and could require big changes in tried-and-true methods of selling high-margin, brand-name foods.

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