Chicago, July 11, 2016 — Most of the global foodservice markets, with the exception of Russia, ended the first calendar quarter of 2016 with traffic gains or no visit losses and consumer spending up, reports The NPD Group, a leading global information company. After years of uneven growth around the world, foodservice performance improved throughout 2015 and now into the first quarter of this year, according to NPD Group’s CREST®, which continually tracks consumer use of foodservice outlets in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Russia, Spain, the United States, and now Brazil and Korea*.
Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Great Britain, Japan, and Spain posted foodservice traffic gains in Q1 while visits in France, Italy, and the United States were flat. Germany showed a 1 percent foodservice traffic increase in the first quarter following three consecutive quarters of growth. The average eater check at German foodservice outlets grew by 3 percent, which led to consumer spending growth of 4 percent. Russia, suffering from weakness in oil as well as embargoes and a sharply weakened currency, experienced a 2 percent decline in foodservice visits in the first three months of 2016, reports NPD Group.
Quick service restaurant (QSR) traffic was up or flat in every global market tracked by NPD Group, and was the driving engine behind the broad health of the industry. Japan was the exception, with flat QSR traffic but growth in the country’s dominant retail (e.g. convenience stores) foodservice segment. The European markets were also supported by visit gains in the full-service restaurant segment, which is a major shift from recent years.
“Positive reports from the global foodservice industry first emerged in the second quarter of 2015, but after years of uneven growth around the world, it was hard to get too excited about it at the time. The news did get better throughout 2015, and culminated in this quarter’s broadly upbeat global performance,” says Bob O’Brien, senior vice president, global foodservice at The NPD Group. “Since anything can happen, like England’s and Wales’ recent vote to leave the European Union, it is with cautious optimism that we look forward to the remaining three quarters of 2016.”