Foodservice Consumer Spending Increases In Most Global Markets, But Visits Decline in Many Countries, Reports NPD

Chicago, January 26, 2015 — The good news is that consumers across the globe spent more money when they did visits restaurants and foodservice outlets, but the bad news is that they visited these outlets less in many countries in the third calendar quarter of 2014, finds global foodservice market research by The NPD Group, a leading global information company. There was consumer spending gains in Australia, Canada, Continental Europe, except for Italy, China, Great Britain, and Japan, but traffic losses in Canada, China, Italy, and Spain, according to NPD Group’s global foodservice market research.

Consumer foodservice spending in Australia grew by 4 percent in the third quarter compared to same quarter year ago, and traffic increased by 2 percent. Good weather in Great Britain contributed to the 2 percent increase in foodservice consumer spending and 1 percent gain in visits, reports NPD Group’s CREST® foodservice market research, which continually tracks commercial foodservice usage in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, Spain, Great Britain, and the United States. The United States foodservice market posted a 1 percent increase in traffic in the quarter after more than a year of no visit growth.

* Russia represents 8 cities
^ China represents 8 cities
Trend data not available for Japan for 2014
Source: The NPD Group/CREST©
(*In US Dollars – converted 11/06/14)

Visits to quick service restaurants (QSRs) were mostly flat around the world in the third quarter compared to same quarter year ago. The traffic growth in the U.S. was driven by slight gains in the full service and QSR segments. The Russian market was propped up exclusively by QSRs, however, on the flip side; China was brought down by a weak QSR segment. All segments grew in Australia for the first time since NPD Group launched CREST®Australia, in 2009.

Breakfast traffic was healthy in many global foodservice markets this quarter. The growth in the breakfast daypart propped up the weak Continental European markets. Lunch, the key daypart for the foodservice industry in every country, was up in six of the global markets tracked by NPD Group. Without a strong lunch daypart, no foodservice market is likely to grow. This upturn for lunch may be a sign of a turn toward growth in some global markets.

Restaurant chains drove many of the markets tracked by NPD Group. Australia, the strongest global foodservice market this quarter, is the only country where both chains and independents grew. Food safety concerns had a significant negative impact on restaurant chains in China.

“The state of the global foodservice markets in the third quarter of 2014 was a reflection of each country’s economic conditions and its consumers’ confidence in their own financial situation. There were, at that time, some growth areas and foodservice traffic increased in those areas,” says Bob O’Brien, global senior vice president foodservice. “The more stable economies will see foodservice continue to grow in 2015, but recent developments in monetary valuations, travel alerts, and growing consumer concerns will most likely have a negative impact for many foodservice markets across the globe at least in the first half of the year.”

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