Foodservice Equipment Reports

MAFSI Unveils Expanded Business Barometer Report

The quarterly Business Barometer maintained by the Manufacturers’ Agents Association for the Foodservice Industry has been expanded to detail the sales trends of six new equipment categories, subcategories under the Barometer’s existing equipment sales indicator. The six new subcategories include primary cooking equipment, refrigeration and ice machines, storage and handling equipment, serving equipment, food preparation equipment and warewashing, sanitation and ventilation equipment. The Barometer is based on quarterly reports of sales trends for like lines from MAFSI’s rep members in the U.S. and Canada.

New York-based manufacturers’ rep Michael Posternak, who spearheaded creation of the Barometer in 2002 and oversees the research project, said that the expanded reporting will align the Barometer as closely as possible to the data from NAFEM’s biennial “Size & Shape of the Industry” reports--the industry’s base market numbers—and with Foodservice Equipment Reports’ annual equipment and supplies industry forecasts, which use the NAFEM numbers as a base. The Barometer already tracks sales trends of durable supplies, tabletop and furnishings. The category reports are weighted to allow the association to create an overall sales trend number.

In the first expanded report, released to FER Fortnightly last week, sales of cooking equipment rose 2% in the first quarter 2013 compared to the first quarter 2012. Refrigeration and ice machine sales jumped 3.8%, storage and handling equipment sales were up 1.5%, serving equipment sales increased just 0.6%, prep equipment sales rose 2.3% and warewashing and sanitation equipment saw a 1.3% gain.

MAFSI earlier reported that overall E&S sales rose 2.4% in the first quarter, the smallest gain since the Barometer moved into positive territory in the fourth quarter 2010, following the Great Recession. Overall equipment sales increased 2.3% for the quarter, sales of supplies posted a 3.9% gain, tabletop sales rose 2.7% and sales of furnishings were slightly negative, down 0.1%.

In addition to the category trends, the MAFSI Barometer also breaks down sales trends by five regions in the U.S. and Canada. More information on the MAFSI Business Barometer is available at

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