Foodservice Equipment Reports

China, Canada and Japan Saw Good Traffic Growth In First Quarter

The numbers on first quarter 2012 restaurant traffic in the leading economies from The NPD Group tell a tale of economic disparities. Traffic soared in China, rose strongly in Canada and Japan and sputtered in nearly all of Europe.

“The first quarter of the year brought a mix of good and bad news for the global foodservice industry,” said Bob O’Brien, NPD’s senior v.p. of global foodservice. While a recovery of the global foodservice industry seemed possible at the end of 2011, lack of consumer confidence and economic uncertainty entering into the new year may have put the recovery on hold.”

Total spending at commercial foodservice in China soared more than 25% in the quarter vs. the same period last year, with more than half of that gain from increased visits. Traffic in Canada grew 4% as the mild winter was a factor. And Japan posted its second consecutive quarter of traffic growth as its economy continues to recover from last year’s tsunami. But not all Asian markets saw growing visits: Traffic fell in Australia.

In Europe on the other hand, only France experienced an increase in traffic. Traffic was flat in Germany, after an increase in the fourth quarter ’11. And the United Kingdom, Spain and Italy all saw declining visits.

Traffic in the U.S. rose 1% in the quarter, also helped by the mild winter. With check average added, total spending rose 2.8%.

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