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The global foodservice industry held steady in the third quarter and performed better than the previous quarter in spite of strong headwinds—an earthquake in Italy, a terror attack in France, a potential recession in Canada, concerns over the impact of Brexit, and two years of a deep recession in Brazil, reports The NPD Group, a leading global information company. Visits to European restaurants and other foodservice outlets were at least flat and sales were up. Australia, which has enjoyed nearly a generation of economic growth, out-performed all other global foodservice markets in terms of traffic growth. With its economy improving at a moderate rate, Japan’s foodservice consumers increased their visits. Canada, which had the largest decline in its GDP since the second quarter of 2009, realized a modest gain in traffic in the third quarter over last year.
Other global markets with weakened or slow moving economies didn’t fare as well in the third quarter. Given the challenging economic climate in Brazil where the GDP dropped nearly 4 percent in the quarter, foodservice visits declined by 7 percent, the sharpest declines in all of the countries tracked by NPD Group. Russia, also faced with economic challenges, realized a three percent decline in foodservice traffic. Although its macro economy is improving, a rise in China’s consumer price index slowed the development of its foodservice market and traffic dipped by one percent, according to NPD’s CREST, which continually tracks consumer use of foodservice outlets in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Russia, Spain, the United States, and now Korea.
Quick service restaurants again drove the growth of the European foodservice markets in the third calendar quarter of 2016. Market strength was more widespread in Australia, Germany, and Spain, where consumers felt the economy was on the upswing. The formerly widespread growth in Great Britain became more limited. The North American markets were held down by the two main restaurant segments, quick and full service restaurants. Japan’s huge retail foodservice segment helped to keep its market afloat.
“Despite economic and social turmoil, things were a little better for the global foodservice market in the third quarter of this year,” says Bob O’Brien, senior vice president, global foodservice at The NPD Group. “It really comes down to the fact that the foodservice marketplace around the world continues to meet its consumers’ needs, whether it be convenience, the social experience, or simply to eat. “