MAFSI Barometer Shows ‘Continued Strong Recovery’ in Q3

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Q3 sales rose 15.4% year-over-year but fell short of the forecast increase of 20.7%. Courtesy of MAFSI.

MAFSI’s latest “Foodservice Business Barometer Report” indicates the industry is continuing to improve, as third-quarter sales rose 15.4% compared to the third quarter of 2020 when sales fell 24.4%.

While this didn’t quite hit the forecast increase of 20.7%, MAFSI says the industry showed continued strong recovery and predicts the market will “continue its rebound from the dismal 2020” with a year-over-year gain of 17.9% in the fourth quarter of 2021.

For 2022, MAFSI forecasts 11.3% growth as disruptions continue, which would put the market slightly above pre-pandemic levels.

Such disruptions include persistent supply and demand issues, as the relationship “is still out of balance as waves of COVID-19 and its variants continue to play havoc with normal order fulfillment parameters, particularly regarding pricing and availability.”

However, MAFSI representatives predict backlogs will gradually decrease, and order rates will return to “historic industry growth rates” as manufacturing capabilities expand.

“Only time will tell how long this de-escalation will take to unwind and whether pricing will hold as demand normalizes,” says the report.

A closer look at Q3

As for the breakdown of Q3 sales by category, tabletop led the way with 19.4% growth, followed by equipment (15.7%), supply (13.2%) and furniture (8%).

Breaking down equipment by subcategory, food preparation equipment saw the most growth year-over-year at 21.1%, followed by primary cooking equipment (17.9%), refrigeration and ice machines (16.3%), serving and holding equipment (13.2%), washing and waste handling equipment (12.3%), storage and handling equipment (11.5%) and ventilation equipment (8.1%).

Quoting and consultant activity was up in Q3 compared to Q2, with 60% more quoting activity and 48% more consultant activity.

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