Q1 Global Foodservice Traffic Has its Ups and Downs: Growth in Canada, Japan, and China; Declines in Europe and Australia, Reports NPD

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Global foodservice traffic in the first quarter of 2012 reflected each geography’s mood and economy, according to The NPD Group, a leading market research company. NPD’s foodservice market research finds that restaurant and foodservice visits increased in the first quarter of the year for the more stable economies of Canada and China, and Japan’s traffic continued to rebound in the aftermath of Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. Foodservice visits declined in Australia and Europe where there is economic uncertainty.

Global Foodservice Traffic in Q1 2012

“The first quarter of the year brought a mix of good and bad news for the global foodservice industry,” says Bob O’Brien, senior vice president of global foodservice at NPD.

Global foodservice traffic in the first quarter of 2012 reflected each geography’s mood and economy, according to The NPD Group, a leading market research company. NPD’s foodservice market research finds that restaurant and foodservice visits increased in the first quarter of the year for the more stable economies of Canada and China, and Japan’s traffic continued to rebound in the aftermath of Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. Foodservice visits declined in Australia and Europe where there is economic uncertainty.    

The Canadian foodservice market continues to lead the developed markets with visits up 4 percent in the quarter versus same quarter year ago, 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. Chinese consumers continued to increase their use of commercial foodservice although controlled their spending by selecting combo meals and other deals. Japan, which posted several solid quarters before the earthquake and tsunami, is returning to form with its second consecutive quarter of traffic growth. France was the only European country experiencing traffic gains in the first quarter. Foodservice traffic in Germany was flat in the quarter, following gains in the preceding quarter, and traffic declined in Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

The independent (non-chain) foodservice segment improved in several countries in the first quarter after several years of declines. Lunch posted broad growth across the world and breakfast, which is a big market driver only in China and Italy, is up or flat in most markets. Dinner, which looked very strong in the last quarter of 2011, appears to have fallen slightly in the first quarter of this year.

“The first quarter of the year brought a mix of good and bad news for the global foodservice industry,” says Bob O’Brien, senior vice president of global foodservice at NPD. “While a recovery of the global foodservice industry seemed possible at the end of 2011, lack of consumer confidence and economic uncertainty entering into the new year may have put the recovery on hold for the time being.”    

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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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