Foodservice Equipment Reports

Chain Traffic Falls In Most Major Global Foodservice Markets First Quarter

Foodservice chains, which helped drive the recovery from the global financial crisis, saw flat or negative traffic counts in the first quarter 2015 in most of the 11 major markets tracked by the NPD Group. On the positive side, the consumer research firm, whose foodservice practice is based in suburban Chicago, said lunch visits improved in several of the markets.

Australia and Great Britain posted steady growth in total visits. China continued its traffic rebound, up more than 2%, while visits in Russia continued to plunge, off 5%. Traffic counts in France, Spain and the U.S. were stable, while Canada, Germany, Italy and Japan saw traffic soften.

Visits to major chains grew in Australia, Spain, Great Britain and the U.S., but chain visits fell in China, France, Germany and Russia. Visits to smaller chains fell in Canada, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Russia and Spain.

NPD characterized the growth in lunch traffic as a positive sign, pointing to lunch gains in Australia, Great Britain, China and Canada. “Lunch traffic is ultimately tied to employment,” the research firm said. Lunch is not growing in countries with high unemployment, such as France and Spain.

“Lunch is the engine, and if it’s not driving the global foodservice industry, you can’t say it’s a healthy industry, said Bob O’Brien, NPD’s Senior V.P.-Global Foodservice.

Information on research from NPD is available at

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