A Look at Global Foodservice Trends, Opportunities

Technomic outlines consumer demands, trends, issues and how U.S. companies can maintain momentum.

Starbucks, shown here in Asia, ranks as the No. 2 U.S.-based global chain, according to Technomic. McDonald’s ranks No. 1.

There’s a lot going on in the world.

To help U.S. foodservice companies stay competitive, Technomic offered the blog post “Global Foodservice Trends and Outlook” on Feb. 12.

According to the post, provided by David Henkes, senior principal at Technomic, globally, the foodservice industry has “fully recovered (at least in value) from the effects of the pandemic.” It has grown 16.5% in 2023, reaching a value of US$3.6 trillion.

Other insights include the following:

  • Consumers’ demand for global menu categories coffee, Asian and Mexican has grown. But burger chains remain the top segment. The Top 3 U.S.-based global chains are McDonald’s, Starbucks and KFC, and the Top 3 chains based outside the U.S. are Tim Hortons, Haidilao Hot Pot and Mitchells & Butlers, according to the Technomic 2023 Global 150 Chain Restaurant Report.
  • Global uncertainty will increasingly impact the industry. Pointing to the war in the Ukraine and fighting in the Middle East, Henkes writes, “supply chains, inflation, economic slowdown and consumer uncertainty will play a role in the growth outlook.” Other issues or trends include an easing of inflation, continuing cost challenges (food and labor) for operators, and a growing interest in sustainability as well as technology that enhances the guest experience.
  • Overall, Technomic forecasts a global growth in consumer spending of 9.3% in 2024, or 4% after stripping out inflation. Those looking to maintain momentum, Henkes writes, should prioritize labor-savings solutions, such as ways to reduce back-of-house prep; show off “local” as much as possible because it helps meet sustainability demands and addresses supply and transport issues; and plan for slower growth ahead.

Technomic’s post comes at a time when many brands are announcing international expansion plans. Most recently, Popeyes said it would expand into Italy for the first time, Marble Slab Creamery, Jersey Mike’s and Jimmy John’s all have plans for Canada, and Starbucks will ramp up in India.



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