Chicago, September 27, 2012 — If it wasn’t rainy, cloudy weather that kept foodservice customers away throughout much of Europe in the April, May, and June quarter, it was economic concerns that did, reports The NPD Group, a leading market research company. Other parts of the world fared much or a bit better than Europe; the United States, Canada, and China continued to show traffic gains and foodservice visits were stable in Australia and Japan in the second quarter of 2012, according to NPD’s CREST®, which tracks commercial foodservice usage in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, United Kingdom, and the United States.
Visits to major restaurant chains increased in the quarter in all countries NPD’s CREST tracks except France and Spain. Small chains and independents showed some traffic gains in Canada, France, and China but continued to struggle with traffic declines in Australia, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, United Kingdom, and the United States.
Source: The NPD Group/CREST, quarter ending June 2012 (*In US Dollars – converted 8/10/12)
Japan represents Tokyo and Osaka only
“Even with this being the Queen’s Jubilee Year and the Olympics, foodservice traffic in the UK hasn’t returned to growth,” says Guy Fielding, NPD foodservice director, United Kingdom. “Negative consumer confidence and the relentless cold and wet weather [the wettest June on record in the UK] didn’t help the situation.”
A different story played out in another part of the world, in China consumers continued to increase their use of commercial foodservice in the second quarter. Foodservice visits in China increased by 13 percent in the second quarter of the year, according to NPD’s CREST. Household penetration and visit frequency pulled the traffic increase across all dayparts and channels. Chinese consumers did, however, monitor their spending in light of increasing food costs and made more use of combo meals and other deals.
“Although China’s GDP growth rate is slowing down compared to last year, it is still keeping at a relative high level, and inflation continues to go down from last summer, all of which encourages Chinese consumers to increase their use of commercial foodservice,” says Christina Ma, NPD foodservice director in China. “Chinese consumers did, however, monitor their spending in light of increasing food costs and made more use of combo meals and other deals. Overall, however, the foodservice industry in China is growing.”
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