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Americans denied their urges for fancier foods and opted for more economical meals including beans, grain, rice and pasta during the recession, according to a recent research report.

Sales of those simpler and less-perishable foods rose 30% from 2007, according to an annual report from the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade and market research firm Mintel International.

Grocery shoppers also spent nearly 25% more on frozen fruits and vegetables in 2009 compared to two years earlier, another indication that Americans have been choosing more affordable and easier-to-keep options than fresh produce, or perhaps they are growing their own at home.

The number of new specialty food products introduced to consumers fell by 37% last year as companies focused their efforts on selling existing products.

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Possibly an indicator that more Americans are cooking at home, sales of cooking oils were up 18% in the past two years. With the price of a gallon of milk continually rising, sales of milk, half and half and cream fell about 8%. Not too surprisingly, bottled water sales fell more than 8%.

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