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NRA Forecasts Slightly Stronger Operator Sales Growth For 2017

The National Restaurant Association predicts the total foodservice industry will grow 4.3% in current dollars and 1.7% after factoring out price increases in 2017. The association partially released its annual forecast Feb. 28. The real growth projection is slightly higher than the 1.5% gain the group estimates for 2016. Total sales are expected to reach $798.7 billion this year, up from $766 billion in 2016.

In comparison, Technomic Inc. forecasts nominal operator growth of 4.1% with real growth of 1.7% in its latest forecast revision, released in November.

Among the segments, NRA forecasts total eating-place sales will grow 4.4% or 1.8% in real terms. Limited-service restaurants are expected to grow 5.3%, significantly faster than full-service restaurants with growth of 3.5%. Among segments forecast to grow faster than the industry average are snack and nonalcoholic beverage bars at 6%; managed care in hospitals and nursing homes with 6% growth (but NRA predicts growth of only 3.8% for self-op institutions); and recreation and sports centers (managed venues forecast at 5.8% growth, self-op at 6.1%).

NRA expects significant variations in growth rates among states and regions with the strongest growth forecast for the Mountain states with sales growth of 5.3%, the Pacific region with 5.2% growth, and the South Atlantic region (running from Maryland and Delaware to Florida) pegged at 5.2% growth. Regions with slower than average growth include the Middle Atlantic at 3.8%; the East South Central region (including Texas) at 3.7%; East North Central with growth of 3.6%; and the West North Central Region, which encompasses the Plains states, at 3.5% growth.

For further details, go NRA Forecast 2017.


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