Foodservice Spend and Visits Around the World Post Modest Gains in Fourth Quarter Despite Rocky Global Economy, Reports NPD

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With no assist from the global economy, except for Germany, there was a glimmer of recovery for the global foodservice markets in the fourth quarter of last year, according to The NPD Group, a leading market research company. Nearly all countries reported modest growth in foodservice consumer spending and traffic in the fourth quarter.

Countries Across the Globe Saw Modest Gains in Foodservice Traffic and Spending

“The broad-based increases in [foodservice] traffic counts represent a continuation of the trends we’ve seen over the past quarters,” says Bob O’Brien, senior vice president of global foodservice at NPD.

With no assist from the global economy, except for Germany, there was a glimmer of recovery for the global foodservice markets in the fourth quarter of last year, according to The NPD Group, a leading market research company. Nearly all countries reported modest growth in foodservice consumer spending and traffic in the fourth quarter.

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, China led the world with a 15 percent gain in foodservice visits and a 22 percent increase in spending over same quarter last year. Canada posted the fastest growth rate among developed markets with a 3 percent increase in visits while Germany, with the most robust economy, grew slightly less than Canada, due to a boost in eater check.

“Economic conditions in Canada didn’t do much to strengthen the environment for foodservice during the fall period, but as is often the case, foodservice begins to improve prior to any economic recovery,” says Robert Carter, executive director, Canada foodservice. “Canada’s foodservice industry posted a strong fourth quarter performance in 2011 with a 4 percent growth in spending and a 3 percent increase in visits. Canadians now visits restaurants over 6.6 billion times a year and spending has reached an all-time high of $47.6 billion.”

According to NPD, chains continue to grow outside of Spain and Italy while the health of independents was broader than in the third quarter of last year. The global recovery continues to be led by the quick service segment with the quick service burger category being the only category that grew in every country around the world. The lunch and dinner day parts, both a bit more broadly positive than in prior quarters, are helping to lift traffic in most of the markets.

“The broad-based increases in [foodservice] traffic counts represent a continuation of the trends we’ve seen over the past quarters,” says Bob O’Brien, senior vice president of global foodservice at NPD. “More foodservice visits on top of check boosts are driving the growth in consumer spending, which gives us some hope that a global recovery is underway.”

NPD CREST is currently piloting a foodservice usage tracking program in Mexico and will issue a report mid-year. In addition, NPD’s Food and Beverage Unit is planning an overview study of in- and away-from-home food and beverage consumption habits in the BRMIC countries of Brazil, Russia, Mexico, India and China, and will release the findings in a report expected to be published late fall 2012.    

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 2,000 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 on Twitter at https://twitter.com/npdgroup.

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