Global foodservice traffic reflects economic health

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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CHICAGO ─ The state of global foodservice in the third calendar quarter of 2010 reflects each country’s economic state – from the enthusiasm for the strong Chinese recovery to the persistent economic concerns in Spain, according to foodservice market research by The NPD Group, a leading market research company.

Visits to China’s foodservice outlets increased by double-digits in the third quarter of this year compared to the same quarter last year, whereas foodservice traffic in Spain, which has an unemployment rate of 19.8%, declined by 3% from one year ago.

Restaurant traffic counts declined in most of the countries, with the exceptions of Australia and China, according to NPD’s CREST, which tracks commercial foodservice usage in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, United Kingdom and the US. Average eater checks are up in all countries except Japan and in many countries the boost in checks is enough to overcome all or most of the continuing declines in traffic counts.

“Restaurant chains in the countries NPD tracks are beginning to lift consumer spending, but that growth is due to increases in average eater checks and not increased consumer demand,” said Bob O’Brien, global senior vice president of foodservice at NPD. “We’re seeing some recovery for quick-service restaurants in North America but little across Europe. Families with kids have begun to grow in most countries while we have yet to see adult-only parties growing.”
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