World foodservice growth slows

‘Sluggish’ and ‘weak’ were terms used to describe the state of the foodservice industry globally in 2012 – and the last quarter was the worst.

But on the bright side, increases in the average check saw spending increase in many countries, according to research house The NPD Group.

Outside of China, most countries experienced traffic declines and no country posted an increase in visits greater than one per cent.

Foodservice visits in Australia were up one per cent in the fourth quarter of 2012 while Canada, the UK, and the US finished the year with stable traffic counts. France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Spain reported traffic declines in the quarter with Spain experiencing the steepest declines at three per cent.

Traffic increased by eight per cent in China while foodservice spending increased in Australia, Canada, China, Germany, the UK, and the US.

“Quick service, full service, and cafés are experiencing weaker traffic at dinner and morning/afternoon drink occasions as consumers trade down or eat at home more. Only the foodservice lunch business at quick service and full service restaurants managed to resist declines in the quarter,” said Christine Tartanson, director, NPD France Foodservice

Lunch is generally the largest day part in all the countries tracked. Lunch foodservice visits were flat in many of the countries with overall traffic declines, and China and Spain saw visit growth at the lunch day part.


“Without growth at lunch, it will be hard for any country’s foodservice market to be seen as on the path to health,” says Bob O’Brien, global senior VP foodservice.

“The relative health at lunch this quarter, even in the weak countries is a glimmer of hope for positive momentum in the coming quarters,” said Bob.

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