Foodservice Equipment Reports

FER Holds 2015 E&S Market Forecast At 4.8%, Prepares Annual Forecast Meeting

After a review of recent industry indicators, Foodservice Equipment Reports is sticking with its current equipment and supplies market estimates and forecasts for 2014 and 2015. Last July, at the magazine’s annual President’s Preview E&S Market Forecast, 2014 market growth—at the manufacturers’ level—was forecast at 4.4% nominal and 2.3% real. Growth was set at 4.8% nominal and 2.5% real for 2015.

“The slowdown in market growth in the fourth quarter last year gave us some pause,” said FER Publisher Robin Ashton. Ashton and John Muldowney, principal at Clarity Marketing, prepare FER’s market forecast. The nine public companies the magazine follows managed only 2.7% combined sales growth in the fourth quarter, while the MAFSI Business Barometer, which tracks sales changes by manufacturers’ representatives, rose only 2.9%. “This slowdown caught us a bit by surprise because, thanks to surging employment and plunging gasoline prices, the operators were finally seeing some genuine good news on the customer traffic and sales fronts all during the period,” Ashton said.

“But now that we have the MAFSI Barometer and the public company numbers for the first quarter 2015 [see articles this issue], we’ve decided our 4.8% for this year still looks good,” Ashton said. He noted that a reexamination of all of the numbers for 2014 also led him and Muldowney to maintain their 4.4% estimate for 2014. “We will rejigger the growth rates of some product categories for last year, however,” he said.

“As we’ve said before,” Ashton added, “we believe this year will be the peak of the current E&S market cycle.”

FER’s forecasts for 2016 and beyond will be unveiled during this year’s President’s Preview E&S Market Forecast meeting, scheduled for July 28 at the Westin O’Hare in Rosemont, Ill. Information about the meeting and the registration form can be found at

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