Madison Direct Marketing has conducted a survey which finds that 82% of families with children under the age of five eat takeout or delivered meals at home at least a few times a month. Of all parents with children under five, 33% say they serve takeout or delivered foods at least a few times per week.

Bruce Gold, executive vice president at Madison, says, “Parents are actively looking for ways to simplify and save time where they can. It seems the vast array of ready-to-go meal options out there is hard to resist.”

Takeout is not the sole beneficiary of those pressures. The Madison survey also found many households are big fans of semi-prepared meals from supermarkets and specialty food stores. Some 75% of parents with kids under five serve these easier-to-prepare meals at least a few times per month. Of those, 37% do so at least a few times per week.

At least those meals are eaten at home. A new study by the American Dietetic Association partially blames restaurants for consumers' tendencies to overeat. In addition to the ingrained need to “clean the plate,” the massive portions found in restaurants have influenced notions of what constitutes a proper serving. When asked to estimate correct serving sizes, 68% of respondents overstated the amount of cooked vegetables, 55% the amount of pasta, and 54% the amount of cooked lean meat.

For more information on the Madison Direct Marketing survey, contact 203-532-9000. For more information on the American Dietetic Association study, contact 800-877-1600.

Sidebar: THE IN BOX:

International Specialty Products has established technical centers in Sao Paulo, Brazil and Istanbul, Turkey.

Silliker has named Jocelyn Alfieri as laboratory director at its Markham, Ont. testing facility.

Charkit Chemical Corp. named Panos Yannopoulos vice president of sales.

Robertet Flavors has named Elizabeth Kelley as sensory/food technologist and Megan Reed sample lab technician.

Archer Daniels Midland Company named Janice K. Binger vice president of ADM Natural Health & Nutrition.

Rheometric Scientific has formed a strategic alliance with Shimadzu Corp. Rheometric will distribute and market all of Shimadzu's thermal analysis products in Europe.

A&B Ingredients has formed a strategic alliance with Nutriz for the North American distribution and marketing of the company's new line of pre-mixed, ready-to-use, rice-based powders. Nutriz powders are used in the production of drinks, frozen desserts, vegetable creams and other food products.

Fortitech, Inc. and BASF announced a joint venture for the manufacture, marketing and sales of human nutrition premix products. Under the agreement, BASF will transfer its premix customers in Europe, Asia, South America and Africa to the international companies of Fortitech. Fortitech international companies, constituting the joint venture, will assume ownership of BASF's premix manufacturing facilities in Denmark and Malaysia. In addition, BASF will become the primary supplier of a broad range of nutritional ingredients to Fortitech. The joint venture builds upon the existing North American strategic alliance the companies formed in June 2001, creating a worldwide partnership.

CP Kelco has formed a new business unit, Kelco Biospecialties Group. This unit will be used to identify, develop and rapidly commercialize new fermentation products.