—New York City and other major metro areas are coming back from pandemic losses 

Chicago, June 7, 2022 — Spring break 2022 was a stark contrast to two years ago when it was the height of the pandemic. Travel sources reported spring bookings up 134% from 2021, and the World Travel & Tourism Council projects that travel and tourism will reach pre-pandemic levels in 2022. As a result of more travel and tourism and the release of pent-up demand, case units shipped from broadline foodservice distributors to lodging and recreation foodservice outlets increased by 47% and 46%, respectively, in April compared to a year ago, reports The NPD Group. Despite the growth, lodging foodservice case shipments in April were down 13%, and recreation shipments were 6% below the pre-pandemic level in April 2019.  

Large metro areas, like New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles, recovered some of the lodging foodservice case shipments lost during the pandemic in April. Case units shipped from broadline foodservice distributors to lodging foodservice outlets in the New York City metro area increased by 127% in April compared to a year ago, although still 27% below the pre-pandemic level in April 2019. The Chicago metro area also realized a 127% lift in lodging case unit shipments, 30% below the pre-pandemic level. Los Angeles lodging foodservice case shipments increased by 124%, 9% below shipments in April 2019. Among the metro areas that have fully recovered and are now above pre-pandemic levels are Austin, Texas; Charleston, S.C.; El Paso, Texas; Las Vegas; Nev.; Nashville, Tenn.; and Savannah, Ga.,based on NPD’s SupplyTrack®, which continually tracks shipments and dollars from broadline foodservice distributors to commercial and non-commercial foodservice outlets.

The recreation foodservice venues that fully recovered in April from pandemic losses are amusement parks, stadiums/ballparks, bowling alleys, and fairs. Broadline foodservice case shipments to stadiums and ballparks increased by 106% in April compared to a year ago and were 18% above where they were n April 2019. Amusement parks increased foodservice case shipments by 35% in the month compared to last year, which was up 23% compared to April 2019. Foodservice case shipments to bowling alleys grew by 30% in April compared to a year ago and up 11% from the pre-pandemic level three years ago. Fairs realized an 83% jump in foodservice case shipments this April over last year, up 9% from April 2019.  

“With more consumers vaccinated and comfort levels higher, spring break 2022 made progress in recovering from the last two years,” says Tim Fires, president of NPD’s SupplyTrack. “If the momentum continues throughout the summer as AAA and other travel-related groups predict, foodservice distributors and manufacturers can expect a higher recovery rate for lodging and recreation this year.”

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