Foodservice Equipment Reports

MAFSI Reps Forecast 4.4% Growth For 2017

Manufacturers’ representatives surveyed by the Manufacturers’ Agents Association for the Foodservice Industry remain optimistic about their sales in 2017. MAFSI released its annual market forecast last week. The reps forecast sales growth for like lines will increase 4.4% next year, very much in line with the current forecast of 4.5% growth this year. In comparison, Foodservice Equipment Reports forecasts 4.6% growth this year and an increase of 4.1% next year.

The outlook is positive across the five MAFSI regions and the product categories. Reps in the Midwest expect growth of 4.6%, those in the South and West predict 4.4% growth, while reps in the Northeast peg next year’s increase at 4.2%. Growth in Canada, where the economy has been challenged by low oil and other commodities prices, is forecast at 4.1%.

The reps forecast growth of 5% for tabletop products, 4.6% for furnishings, 4.4% for equipment, and 4.1% for durable supplies.

Factors that are driving the optimism include strong outlooks for both quotation and consultant activity. A majority of reps surveyed, 52%, predict more quotation activity in 2017, while 48% expect to see more consultant activity.

Growth is coming from segments across the foodservice spectrum. The reps said the fastest-growing segments include chains, healthcare, schools, business and industry, and college and university.

Michael Posternak, principal at PBAC in New York, mentioned in his commentary accompanying the forecast that the positive outlook doesn’t preclude some concerns. He mentioned the economic impact of the election, rising minimum wages, a shortage of skilled foodservice labor, and the slowdown in quick-service restaurant sales.

But he concluded, “All in all, we have the momentum, fueled by a strong pipeline to weather most storms.”

The complete 2017 MAFSI Market Forecast is available at In addition to data from the reps’ survey, it includes forecast overviews from FER, Foodservice Equipment & Supplies, Technomic Inc., AutoQuotes Inc., and Canada’s Foodservice & Hospitality. We suggest you check it out.


Robin Ashton


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