Foodservice Around the World Feels the Pinch of Sagging Consumer Demand in Second Quarter of Year, Reports NPD

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Foodservice industry traffic around the globe reflected the uneven, unpredictable path of the economy, with traffic down or flat in most countries with the exception of China in the second quarter of 2011, according to The NPD Group, a leading market research company.

The global foodservice market in the second quarter of the year reflected sagging consumer demand across the world.

“With so much uncertainty surrounding the local and global economy, consumer confidence remains low and hence it is difficult to forecast any real improvement in foodservice traffic,” says Guy Fielding, managing director of NPD’s UK foodservice.

As goes consumer confidence so goes the global foodservice industry and when consumer confidence sagged in the second quarter this year so did foodservice traffic in most countries around the world, according to The NPD Group, a leading market research company. Foodservice industry traffic around the globe reflected the uneven, unpredictable path of the economy, with traffic down or flat in most countries with the exception of China.

According to NPD’s CREST®, which tracks commercial foodservice usage in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, United Kingdom, and United States, foodservice visits declined in Australia (-1 percent), Canada (-1 percent), Japan (-3 percent), and Spain (-6 percent) and traffic remained flat in Germany, United Kingdom, and the United States. China showed the strongest visit gains with a +15 percent increase. Countries also showing traffic growth, although slight, were France (+1 percent) and Italy (+1 percent). Consumer spending at foodservice was flat in Japan and Spain but increased in the remainder of the countries tracked by NPD’s CREST service.

“With so much uncertainty surrounding the local and global economy, consumer confidence remains low and hence it is difficult to forecast any real improvement in foodservice traffic,” says Guy Fielding, managing director of NPD’s United Kingdom foodservice. “In addition, the recent riots in the UK will negatively impact the third quarter foodservice figures as consumers refused to venture into city and town centre’s due to the unrest.”

While full service foodservice concepts posted declines in most countries, quick service restaurants (QSR) increased some growth in every country, including Japan that continues to recover from last March’s Great East Japan Earthquake. At work (OnSite) foodservice traffic is generally down due in most part to high unemployment. Only in France where the economy is relatively stable is there growth in OnSite.

“The foodservice industry is truly a bellwether of the economy and, regardless of country, the consumers’ state of mind,” says Bob O’Brien, global senior vice president, foodservice at NPD. “The second quarter foodservice measures were a direct reflection of the times.”

About The NPD Group, Inc.
The NPD Group is the leading provider of reliable and comprehensive consumer and retail information for a wide range of industries. Today, more than 1,800 manufacturers, retailers, and service companies rely on NPD to help them drive critical business decisions at the global, national, and local market levels. NPD helps our clients to identify new business opportunities and guide product development, marketing, sales, merchandising, and other functions. Information is available for the following industry sectors: automotive, beauty, entertainment, fashion, food, home and office, sports, technology, toys, video games, and wireless. For more information, contact us, visit http://www.npd.com/, or follow us Twitter at https://twitter.com/npdgroup.

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