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    2016 Growth 40 - Medium Markets

  • For the fourth consecutive year, the Growth 40 leveraged data from market research firm The NPD Group to predict the top large, medium, and small U.S. markets for quick-service restaurant expansion. Rankings this year leverage a proprietary NPD Score, which measures market opportunity by balancing quick-service restaurant density in a market and the difference between traffic growth and population growth. Using this methodology, some familiar large cities—Minneapolis, Miami, and Washington, D.C., for example—landed in the top tier, while many medium- and small-sized markets surprised. And one year after Southern cities comprised have of the Growth 40 list, the result is not much different in 2016; 19 cities this year call the South home.

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    Designated Market Areas (DMA)Census DivisionScoresort descendingQSR TRAFFIC GROWTH FORECAST 2015-2020QSR UnitsUnit Density (Units per 100k population)2015 PopulationProjected 2020 PopulationPopulation Percent Change
    Tucson-Nogales, AZMedium188%1,11186.2006%
    Green Bay-Appleton, WIMedium174%1,01587.0002%
    Columbia, SCMedium166%1,00886.8005%
    Milwaukee, WIMedium14-1%2,02886.3001%
    Harlingen-Weslaco-Brownsville-McAllen, TXMedium131%1,17885.4004%
    Ft. Myers-Naples, FLMedium139%1,23691.1007%
    Greensboro-High Point-Winston Salem, NCMedium139%1,76795.4003%
    Roanoke-Lynchburg, VAMedium136%1,10294.4001%
    Omaha, NEMedium1116%1,205103.6004%
    Memphis, TNMedium118%1,86898.2002%
    Des Moines-Ames, IAMedium114%1,09991.7004%
    Shreveport, LAMedium108%1,03798.3002%
    Jacksonville, FL-Brunswick, GAMedium917%2,010105.2005%
    Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek, MIMedium89%2,069102.0001%
    West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce, FLMedium82%1,97388.8007%

    Methodology: The Score is a proprietary metric from The NPD Group that is the measure of market opportunity. It takes into account the quick-service restaurant density in a market, as well as the difference between traffic and population growth. A high score could be driven by a large difference between population and traffic growth and/or a low quick-service restaurant density.

    About The NPD Group

    The NPD Group provides global information and advisory services to drive better business decisions. By combining unique data assets with unmatched industry expertise, we help our clients track their markets, understand consumers, and drive profitable growth. Sectors covered include automotive, beauty, consumer electronics, entertainment, fashion, food/foodservice, home, luxury, mobile, office supplies, sports, technology, toys, and video games. For more information, visit and Follow us on Twitter: @npdgroup.

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