Foodservice Equipment Reports Fortnightly

Welcome to FER Fortnightly Online Newsletter
October 21, 2008

Regulatory Report:
Sponsored by:
Seattle Okays Sidewalk Cafes—Just In Time For Winter
County FOG Law Could Cost You $10K Per Day
Atlantic City Reviews Casino Smoking
Town Beats State To Punch On Latex Gloves

Industry Report:
Sponsored by:
Server Products
Editorial Opinion: Hanging Onto Energy Star
Financial-Rescue Plan Includes Shorter Depreciation Schedule
Silver Lining In Credit Crisis: Maybe Cheaper Leases
BK's Whopper Bar To Debut At Universal's CityWalk
FCSI Americas Division Gains Legal Independence

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In This Section:
Last Chance To Sign Up For FER's 2009 E&S Market-Forecast Webinar
Technomic Forecasts Tough Couple Years For Foodservice
Blue Chip Economists Whack Macro Forecast Again
NPD Releases Annual Report On Eating Trends

This issue's Regulatory ReportSponsor: Enodis
Industry ReportSponsor: Server Products
Economic Report Manitowoc Foodservice Group

By Robin Ashton

Last Chance To Sign Up For FER's 2009 E&S Market-Forecast Webinar

Want to know how much foodservice operator traffic has fallen this year? (You'll be surprised.)

Want to know how much and how often manufacturers have raised prices during the past year and how much steel prices are rising? (Let's just say the current market slowdown hasn't dampened upward mobility.)

Want to know what we really think will happen to the equipment and supplies market next year? (This is worth the price of admission, we humbly believe.)

There's only one way to get these and other questions answered: Foodservice Equipment Reports' revised forecast of the foodservice E&S market, offered through an online Webinar scheduled Oct. 28. Publisher Robin Ashton and forecasting partner John Muldowney, principal at Clarity Marketing, Tipp City, Ohio, will present a 90-min. overview of the forecast during the Webinar. Attendees will also be able to ask questions.

In addition, attendees will subsequently receive a copy of the six-deck PowerPoint forecast. The package will include detailed data, forecasts and analysis of general economic, operator and materials-pricing trends, and the magazine's hard-number forecasts of nine separate E&S product categories. Attendees will also receive an overview of growth of the top 150 E&S manufacturers from Muldowney, and data on E&S price increases from AutoQuotes Inc.

This update will include revisions of FER's earlier forecasts based on new data as well as recalculations of market-size estimates using new benchmark data from the just-released NAFEM Size & Shape of the Industry market numbers. Participants will receive all materials via e-mail.

The registration fee for the Webinar is $349, received beforehand. Attendees of our President's Preview meeting July 30 can attend for free. You must register by Oct. 24. Once you register, you'll be e-mailed information on how to access the Webinar. Those who have already registered should have received that information by now.

Information and a registration and payment form are available at Questions? Call Robin Ashton at 800/986-9616 or Chris Palmer at 847/336-2049 or e-mail Chris at


Section sponsored by Manitowoc Foodservice Group

Technomic Forecasts Tough Couple Years For Foodservice
Chicago-based Technomic Inc. has released its forecast for the foodservice market for 2008 and '09, and the news is not good. The research firm is predicting two of the toughest years for foodservice operators since it began forecasting the market in the early 1970s. Technomic released the forecast through its traditional series of Forecast & Outlook Seminars for the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association in September.

Following five consecutive years of positive real growth for foodservice from '03 through last year, Technomic forecasts real sales will decline a record 2.9% this year. And the firm expects another year of real decline in '09, with the market off 2.7%. Even with the declines, the total market including alcoholic beverages is forecast to exceed $610 billion this year. The number of unit and contact points has been revised and now totals 1,048,130.

Nominal growth is forecast at only 1.2% for '08 and 1.7% next year. The firm also expects menu-price inflation of 4.2% in 08 and 4.5% in '09, significantly above the 2.9% average for the last 20 years.

Technomic only expects a few segments to post real growth this year or next: supermarket foodservice, bars, colleges and senior living facilities. Full-service restaurants are forecast to be off a whopping 5% real this year and improve only slightly to a 4.3% real decline in '09. Even quick-service restaurants, sales for which have held up well during the downturn, are forecast to be off 1.6% this year and 1.4% next in real terms.

Information on the forecast and other Technomic research products is available at or by calling 312/876-0004.

 Section sponsored by
Manitowoc Foodservice Group

Blue Chip Economists Whack Macro Forecast Again
You get the sense that even the big econometric forecasting groups are getting a bit shell-shocked by all the turmoil in the markets. Even before the more than 50 leading economists surveyed monthly by Blue Chip Economic Indicators saw the worst of the financial meltdown a couple weeks ago and the dreadful retail-sales numbers last week, they cut their forecasts for both '08 and '09 dramatically.

Their consensus forecast for real growth of gross domestic product in '08 fell to 1.5%, down 0.3 point. They cut the GDP forecast for next year a full point, to a mere 0.5%. And they expect three consecutive quarters of negative real GDP from the third quarter '08 through the first quarter '09: -0.3%, -1.1% and -0.1% respectively. That's a recession by anyone's standards.

The macro numbers we look at most closely—real disposable personal income and personal consumption expenditures—are forecast at their lowest levels since the recession of '90-'91. DPI is predicted to grow only 1.4% this year and 0.9% next. PCE is forecast at a mere 0.9% in '08 and a basically flat 0.2 in '09. It's not pretty.

 Section sponsored by
Manitowoc Foodservice Group

NPD Releases Annual Report On Eating Trends
We love people who know things no one else does. Very few know more about what, where, when, how and how often American consumers eat and eat out than the folks at NPD Group and Harry Balzer, their v.p. and chief industry analyst.. That's why you might want to order this year's Annual Report on Eating Patterns in America. Taking data from its many research products, including its CREST studies of restaurant usage and its National Eating Trends, which is its consumer diary-based studies of what consumers really do, the study is full of insights into consumers food behaviors.

Some of this year's findings: Consumers are eating more at home, but not eating at restaurants less. Interest in dieting hit a new low this year. Breakfast bars and yogurt are very much up for breakfast, but so is stopping at restaurants. You get the picture.

Information on the report and other NPD products are available at or by calling 1-866/444-1411.

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