Sales of ethnic foods to hit $2.1 billion

CHICAGO An influx of immigrants and growing interest from the young and wealthy will push U.S. sales of ethnic foods to a record high of $2.1 billion in 2009, according to research company Mintel.

Sales of ethnic food grew by more than 17 percent between 2004 and 2009, the company said.

Most of that food — 62 percent — is Mexican, which was cooked at home by nearly six in 10 respondents to Mintel’s survey. But growth is being driven by

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