Research shows consumers cutting back on foodservice visits

Posted by Isobel Drake on 28th August 2009

Feeling the sting of a bleak global economy, consumers around the world cut back on visiting foodservice outlets in the first part of the year, according to market research firm The NPD Group.

NPD’s CREST, which tracks consumer usage of foodservice in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, United Kingdom, and United States, reported foodservice traffic declines in all of these developed economies aside from Canada where visits were flat. Total spending at foodservice outlets fell in all of the reported countries with the exception of Canada and the United States.

Most foodservice daypart segments (i.e. morning meal, lunch, dinner, and evening snack) declined in nearly every country. Full service foodservice outlets were, not surprisingly, the hardest hit, but fast-food outlets were also seen to be doing it tough.

“It appears this economic downturn has affected consumers similarly, regardless of the country in which they live,” Bob O’Brien, Senior Vice President of Global Foodservice at NPD, said. “They are controlling their expenses by eating out less frequently, snacking less, cutting back on family visits, and when they do dine out, they are trading down to less expensive channels, and carefully managing their check size.”