Foodservice Equipment Reports

Traffic Flat In Canada Past Year, Says NPD, But CRFA Forecast For 2014 Improves

The Canadian economy and its foodservice market have been stagnant the past couple of years. Growth of real gross domestic product is forecast at 1.7% this year, after growing only 1.8% in 2012, according to Blue Chip Economic Indicators. This has contributed to sluggish foodservice growth. The NPD Group reported Oct. 22 that traffic for the year ending May 2013 was flat, though spending was up 2% thanks to check average gains.

Unlike the U.S. market, which has seen continuing decline in casual dining traffic, the segment in Canada posted a 3% visit gain during the period, with total spending up 2%. Quick service, which represents a much lower percentage of total traffic in Canada (56% vs. 78% in the U.S.), experienced flat traffic, but saw spending increase 3%.

Separately, NPD said the total number of restaurants in Canada grew by 1% in 2012. The number of chain units rose 4% while independent units were flat.

But according to the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association, the market should be better next year. CRFA revised its forecast for 2014 to 4.7% current dollar growth, up from a previous forecast of 3.6%. The group expects the strongest growth, exceeding 5%, in the western provinces of Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, where the economies are fueled by the energy boom.  The group also forecasts growth of 4.6% for Ontario and 4.3% for Quebec. Foodservice growth in the Maritime provinces will lag the national average.

Information on NPD Group research products can be found at For details on CRFA research, go to
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