Foodservice Equipment Reports Fortnightly

Welcome to FER Fortnightly Online Newsletter
January 31, 2006

Regulatory Report:
Sponsored by:
APW Wyott
FCC Delays Implementing Junk Fax Law
CEC Tweaks Language On Lighting, Equipment
Illinois Capital, Chicago Both Go Non-Smoking
K.C. Joins Ranks In Crackdown On Street Vendors

Industry Report:
Sponsored by:
MUFES '06,
Feb. 11-13, 2006

National Service Coop Names Best As 'CEO'
NRA Names 2006 Kitchen Innovations Honorees
Compass To Complete Levy Buyout
CFESA Announces 2006 Training Classes

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In This Section:
Value, Energy Efficiency Rank High In NRA Forecast
Blue Chip Forecasts Strong Growth For Most Major Economies

This issue's Regulatory ReportSponsor: APW Wyott Innovations Industry ReportSponsor: MUFES '06, Feb. 11-13, 2006

Economic Report FER's Customer Choice Dealer Awards

Value, Energy Efficiency Rank High In NRA Forecast
Operators plan to put more emphasis on "value" as they work to attract consumers strained by high energy costs and other economic pressures, according to the National Restaurant Association's recently released 2006 Industry Forecast.

The report also indicates operators will likely pay more attention to the energy efficiency of their equipment as rising prices for electricity and gas squeeze margins.

The increased emphasis on value and energy are among 10 key issues underscored in the NRA study. Other trends include more exploitation of information technologies, a heightened focus on health and nutrition and continuing efforts to feed Americans' demand for convenience.

The emphasis on "value," a foodservice euphemism for low-cost menu items, means operators will pressure suppliers to keep their own prices to a minimum as operators try to protect margins.

The increased emphasis on energy efficient equipment and systems has the same goal. A survey NRA conducted in October '05 found nearly 60% of operators claim to have invested in more energy-efficient refrigeration and HVAC systems during the past two years. Around 50% say they have purchased "energy efficient equipment." And about 40% claim to have purchased water-saving warewashing or plumbing fixtures.

With operators trying to absorb higher natural gas and electricity costs, equipment suppliers can expect their customers to be more receptive to energy efficiency sell points.

The full NRA forecast is available in print and electronic formats for $49.95, $24.95 for members, at


Blue Chip Forecasts Strong Growth For Most Major Economies
Despite energy price shocks and other factors, leading economists polled by Blue Chip Economic Indicators forecast strong and/or improved real growth for most of the world's major economies during 2006. And the outlook has improved during the past few months.

China will remain the fastest growing large economy on the planet, with '06 gross domestic product expected to expand 8.6% in real terms. That represents a slight dip from last year's 9.4% rate but still shows remarkable strength. Similarly, Singapore and Hong Kong are predicted to see a slight slowing of their growth rates, but they are forecast to remain robust at 4.9% and 4.8% respectively.

Growth rates in the other three major Asian economies, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan are expected to rise this year. Japan's economy will grow 2.4%, South Korea's 4.9% and Taiwan's 4.1%, according to the consensus forecasts.

Economies in Europe also are forecast to show improvement. Germany, Europe's largest economy, is predicted to post its best growth in five years, though it remains modest at 1.7% real. This compares with meager growth of 1% in '05. The outlooks for France and the United Kingdom also are better, with the French economy forecast to grow 1.9% and the U.K's 2.2%. Both are up 0.4 point from '05. Growth in the countries using the Euro is expected to rise to 1.9% in '06 from 1.3% last year.

Closer to home, both Canada and Mexico fare well, with the Blue Chip panel forecasting higher growth of 3.1% for Canada and 3.4% for Mexico. Both forecasts are 0.2 point higher than '05. And Brazil continues to post healthy real GDP growth with 3.6% forecast for '06, up from 3.3% in '05.

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