A burgeoning foodservice market, nice weather, and an improved economy were factors contributing to foodservice traffic growth in Russia, Great Britain, and Australia, respectively, in the last calendar quarter of 2013, according to The NPD Group, a leading global information company. Against a backdrop of a still growing foodservice market, Russia experienced a 7 percent increase in foodservice visits, the strongest traffic gain among all the countries tracked by NPD’s global foodservice market research.

Warmer autumn and winter weather encouraged consumers in Great Britain to visit foodservice outlets more, which increased traffic by 2 percent in the fourth quarter over same quarter year ago, reports NPD’s CREST, which tracks commercial foodservice usage in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Russia, Spain, and the U.S. Positive shifts in the Australian economy boosted consumer spending and inspired a 1 percent gain in the country’s foodservice visits. A mix of challenging economies and low consumer confidence kept foodservice consumers away in Canada (visits down 2 percent), China (visits down 4 percent), Italy (visits down 3 percent), Spain (visits down 1 percent), and the U.S. (visits down 1 percent). Foodservice traffic in France, Germany, and Japan remained flat in the quarter, according to NPD’s CREST.   

“In spite of an economic slowdown and low consumer confidence, foodservice traffic in Russia showed a decent 7 percent growth in the last quarter of 2013,” says Maria Bertoch, director of NPD Russia Foodservice. “The key reason for this dynamic growth is that the Russian foodservice market is still very young and far from saturated.”

Foodservice chains across the globe grew traffic in all the strongest global markets in the fourth quarter of 2013, even in Germany where chains account for a relatively small share of the market. Independents, on the other hand, continued to struggle in the aftermath of the global economic crisis.

“It’s probably not quite an inflection point but this is the quarter where Northern Europe seems to have stabilized along with Japan,” says Bob O’Brien, NPD global senior vice president. “Quick service restaurants, on-premises dining, and chains are behind the growth in the markets that were strongest last year. Conversely, many markets were held back by their weak quick service segment.”    

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