Gourmet

As Affluent Consumers Pay Up, High-End Grocers Pay Out

The economic recovery may not be ripe, but affluent shoppers are still paying a premium for high-end groceries. Shares of upscale supermarket operator The Fresh Market hit fresh highs on Wednesday after the company posted blowout quarterly results.

Starbucks Lightens Up with Mellower 'Blonde' Brew

The complaint among those who don't dig Starbucks' coffee is that it tastes "burnt," or as java connoisseurs say, "bold." With those people in mind, it's trying something new. But can Starbucks' milder Blonde roast lure customers away from its budget-priced competition?

Can Cupcake-Maker Crumbs Hit the Sweet Spot?

Jason Bauer, CEO of the popular Crumbs Bake Shop, isn't worried about competition in the cupcake business. In fact, he welcomes it. But with his company going public and plans in place to expand from 34 stores to 200, can he avoid the pitfalls of other dessert companies that rose too fast and fell?

Specialty Foods Are Becoming a Regular Staple Again

Americans are once again indulging in specialty foods the way they did before the recession, and they'll likely make big purchases of these affordable luxuries during the holidays. A recent survey showed 63% of American consumers purchased specialty food this year, up from 46% in 2009.