Foodservice Equipment Reports

Historical Moment For Foodservice! Restaurant Sales Exceeded Grocery-Store Sales Last December

Little did we know it, but an historic moment occurred last December. According to retail sales data from the U.S. Census Bureau, restaurant sales surpassed sales at grocery stores last December for the first time in history. Bruce Grindy, the Chief Economist for the National Restaurant Association, noted the milestone in his “Economist’s Notebook” commentary released May 13.

Grindy says the gap between grocery-store sales and restaurant sales started shrinking gradually beginning in 2010, a trend that was due, in part, to consumers buying groceries at lower-cost big-box stores. “However, the most striking [development] is the dramatic shift toward restaurants that occurred in the last 10 months,” Grindy wrote. He noted that in June 2014, grocery-store sales exceeded restaurant sales by $1.6 billion. As of April this year, the gap reversed, with restaurants taking in $1.5 billion more in the month than grocery stores.

In other notes in the “Notebook,” Grindy said NRA consumer research shows that low gasoline prices and increased consumer confidence are helping boost restaurant spending and pent-up demand for foodservice remains elevated. The entire “Notebook” can be viewed here.

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