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Foodservice Market Research & Business Solutions

No one knows more about how people eat than The NPD Group. For over 20 years in Canada, we’ve been the definitive source of information on food and beverage consumption. Our flagship information service for the foodservice industry, CREST®, and our other foodservice market research, can help you with strategic planning and positioning, product/menu development, customer targeting, competitive analysis, and product performance tracking. All around the world, CREST is considered the food industry’s common currency.

We monitor a wide range of critical food industry trends and track consumer behaviour, attitudes, and usage motivators — from diet and nutrition, to food safety and brand awareness.

The largest and most strategic companies in the food and beverage industry depend on our information, insights, and expertise to understand what consumers eat and drink. CREST’s harmonized methodology across 13 countries delivers clear and dependable data for critical business decisions.

Tracking and Premium Services


Since 1981 CREST®, NPD's flagship information service, has been monitoring all aspects of how consumers use restaurants and foodservice. Over 100,000 consumer visits to commercial and non-commercial foodservice establishments are continually and rigorously tracked. CREST arms manufacturers and operators with market dynamics from the consumer perspective and allows them to monitor the total foodservice industry or examine specific segments, categories, chains, or food items. CREST tracks consumer foodservice usage in the Australia, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. A new service launch in underway in Brazil. Category and data availability varies by country.

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CREST OnSite reports on consumer dining experiences in the vending, business and industry, secondary school, college and university, recreation, lodging, hospital, senior care, and military segments. Clients receive an in-depth view of what foods and beverages are purchased, where and when they are consumed, how much they cost, and how satisfied consumers were with their dining experiences.

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Know more with ReCount®, a census of commercial restaurant locations in Canada and the U.S. It includes both chain and independent restaurant locations. Restaurants are categorized by service type and food specialty within the QSR and FSR segments, and by geography, from the national level down to specific unit address.

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Uncover answers with this market benchmarking service for participating chains in North America and Europe. It delivers monthly reports on total system sales, branded units, and same-store sales trends, based on actual sales data.

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Analytics & Modeling

Analytics & Modeling solutions help uncover what's behind sales and market share to drive more effective business decisions. Our analytic team leverages NPD information and industry expertise – sometimes combined with third-party data – to identify an opportunity, evaluate the effectiveness of a marketing effort, uncover threats, forecast a category, or optimize pricing.

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Custom Market Research

Custom market research lets you go straight to consumers for answers to your product development, advertising, packaging, and other business questions. When should you release a new product? Why are sales declining among some specific demographic? What do consumers really think of your brand?

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Robert Carter

Executive Director, Foodservice

Robert Carter is a highly-respected consumer behaviour industry expert and a dynamic speaker with a passion for tracking trends and consumer activity. Robert is a sought-after and energetic presenter who is regularly recruited to deliver subject matter expertise on consumer behaviour trends, market activity, and operator and retailer performance. A regular keynote speaker at numerous industry events such as The Canadian Coffee conference, The Canadian Tea conference, the Foodservice Interchange, The Canadian Restaurant Investment Summit, The CRFA Show, and The BC Foodservice Show, Robert is frequently quoted in major newspapers and magazines, appears on television newscasts, and writes a regular column for Foodservice and Hospitality Magazine.

As Executive Director of Foodservice with The NPD Group, Robert provides key insights and strategy on consumer behaviour, guiding Canadian, U.S., and global manufacturers, suppliers and operator business decisions.

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