Foodservice Equipment Reports

E&S Manufacturer List Prices Rose An Average 3.3% During Past Year, Reports AutoQuotes Inc.

Equipment and supplies manufacturers raised list prices an average 3.3% during the year ended June 30, according to data from AutoQuotes Inc. released during Foodservice Equipment Reports annual President’s Preview E&S Market Forecast meeting held July 28 in Rosemont, Ill. Based on data for more than 407,000 product items from more than 500 manufacturers in the AutoQuotes database, the average increase is the highest since 2008-09. The average increase last year was 3.1%.

But AutoQuotes CEO Kent Motes told FER the increase is a bit misleading. “Manufacturers were very selective in their increases,” he said, noting that the median price increase was only 2% during the 12-month period, down from 2.9% in 2013-14 and the smallest median gain since 2011. “For 45% of the products in the database, there was no increase at all,” Motes said.

There was wide disparity in average increases by product category during the period. The average increase for holding and heated cabinets jumped 6% in the past year, while prices for custom fabrication rose only 0.7%. Average list prices rose only 1% for shelving and 1.1% for coffee equipment. But prices for cooking equipment increased 4.7% and cookware prices were up 4.5%. Motes noted that the data is for list prices; actual prices are different and probably lower.

“Manufacturers were dealing with rising prices for stainless, aluminum, copper and other materials when they were planning their pricing strategies last year,” FER Publisher Robin Ashton told the President’s Preview attendees, in explaining last year’s gains. “While commodities price trends are not a major factor this year, the dramatic changes in the rules on refrigerants by the federal government are adding significant R&D and engineering costs for many manufacturers,” Ashton said. FER forecasts total industry prices will rise 2.3% in 2015 and 2.1% next year.

The complete analysis of the AutoQuotes pricing data, including detailed historical trends and data on the timing of manufacturer increases, is available as part of the FER E&S Market Forecast package. For information on purchasing the forecast package, email Christine Palmer at cpalmer@fermag.com. Information on AutoQuotes can be found at aqnet.com.

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