Foodservice Equipment Reports

FER Presents Its Annual E&S Market Forecast Today, Aug. 7

Today is the day we present our annual forecast overview of the foodservice equipment and supplies market, the Foodservice Equipment Reports’ 2014 President’s Preview E&S Market Forecast. We’re at the Westin O’Hare Hotel in Rosemont, Ill., with an audience of manufacturers, dealers, reps and others in the industry.

Because we’re unveiling the forecast today, we don’t want to give too much away. Those who paid to come to the meeting get the first look.

But we can share some of the big picture. The E&S market is now in its fourth year of recovery from the Great Recession. The market has slowed this year, especially in the first half, compared with growth rates in 2011, the first full year coming out of the recession, and 2012, which had slower E&S growth than ’11. Part of the reason for the slowdown is not so much the market in the U.S., but those overseas in Europe, which was and continues to be in recession, and Asia, where growth slowed last year in many export driven economies, including China. The big E&S conglomerates in particular do significant business overseas, but so does any U.S. manufacturer that serves U.S. chains, which continue to build units aggressively throughout the world.

Next year looks like E&S growth will accelerate with one big caveat: The politicians in Washington, D.C., don’t muck it up. And chances are they probably will, with budget, debt and debt-ceiling fights looming this fall.

Still, the market fundamentals look positive. General economic growth is forecast to improve, including real disposable income and consumer spending. The employment picture is gradually getting better. And it looks like economies outside of the U.S. and Canada also will see moderately higher growth rates in 2014, even in Europe.

On the market side, there remains much pent-up demand for foodservice by consumers, many of whom remain financially stressed, and for E&S products, from both restaurant and other commercial operators and the noncommercial segments, which have had major capital funding problems since the beginning of the recession. The capital buying activities and plans of restaurant operators, as tracked by the National Restaurant Association, are running at post-recession highs. MAFSI quarterly survey for its Business Barometer see more quoting and consultant activities in the “spec” markets.

So all in all, we project growth of the E&S market will be moderately better the rest of this year and next. We’ll give you more—but not all—the details in two weeks in our next FER Fortnightly.

If you missed the President’s Preview today, you can now purchase the entire forecast for $1,295. It includes eight PowerPoint decks covering data and analysis of macro-economic, operator and materials-price trends as they impact the foodservice E&S market, as well as exclusive information on E&S manufacturer list-price trends from AutoQuotes. FER’s annual rankings of the top U.S. E&S manufacturers are updated. Additional data, buying group analysis and a full-ranking of dealers based on FER’s annual Top Dealers Report also is presented. Our forecasting partner John Muldowney, principal at Clarity Marketing, added some very interesting analysis of the share of the E&S market controlled by leading dealers and certain dealer buying groups. The merger and acquisition activity in both communities is detailed.

Not least, the package includes our hard-number forecasts of the E&S market in for the rest of ’13, ’14 and out through ’17. We detail the longer-term forecasts by product categories as well as overall industry growth.

If you’d like to buy the forecast, email me at or Christine Palmer at We’ll send you a credit-card form and, once we have that, all the materials.

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