Foodservice Equipment Reports

Technomic Revises 2014, Releases Preliminary 2015 Forecasts

Technomic Inc., the Chicago-based foodservice research firm, released its new 2014 and 2015 operator forecasts to customers before the National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show held May 17-20 in Chicago. The new predictions take into account this winter’s brutal weather on foodservice sales and the run-up in wholesale food prices since the first of the year.

The result: a full percentage point cut in the forecast for real sales growth this year compared with Technomic’s revision in January. While nominal sales are forecast to rise 3.3% in 2014, real sales growth is pegged at only 0.1%, down from 1.1% in the January revision. The research firm also boosted its forecasts for menu price inflation to 3.5% in 2014 from the earlier estimate of 2.5% for commercial operators and to 1.8% from 1% for noncommercial operators.

The May forecasts cut the forecasts for full-service restaurant sales to only 2.5% nominal with real sales actually expected to decline a full point. This compares with an earlier forecast of 3.5% nominal and 1% real growth for full service. Growth forecasts for other key “commercial” segments such as bars and taverns, supermarkets and c-stores also were pared, though the forecasts for lodging and recreation foodservice were raised moderately. Healthcare foodservice “sales” forecasts also were cut slightly.

Technomic does expect a moderate rebound for 2015. Total industry growth will slow slightly in nominal terms to 3.1%, but with inflation also expected to fall to 2% for commercial operators and 1% for noncommercial segments, the group expects real foodservice sales to grow 1.2% in 2015.

Information on Technomic’s many research products can be found at technomic.com

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