Canadian Foodservice Visits in Winter Quarter Reach All-Time High, Reports NPD
Chicago, June 26, 2012 — Winter 2012 was a strong quarter for the Canadian foodservice industry, according to The NPD Group , a leading market research company. NPD’s foodservice market research reports that total restaurant visits increased by four percent compared to the same quarter year ago, an all-time high for the winter quarter (December, January and February). The winter quarter also signaled the third consecutive quarter of strong performance for Canadian commercial foodservice, which posted a five percent increase in dollars, the strongest sales increase of the past four years.
Quick service restaurants (QSR), retail, and fine dining segments saw the strongest visit gains in the quarter, according to NPD’s CREST®, which continually tracks consumer use of Canadian commercial and non-commercial foodservice outlets. Casual dining traffic experienced a modest increase, with gains occurring entirely on weekends. Family/midscale remained flat despite some gains for morning meals and lunch, as consumers visited less for key supper occasions.
Traffic growth was spread across all day parts, a consistent trend during the past three periods. All meals grew faster on weekends than on weekdays during this period, likely related to mild winter weather encouraging people to venture out more, reports NPD. QSR surged at all day parts, especially the beverage-driven morning and afternoon snacks. Casual dining enjoyed strong growth at supper.
“Winter 2012 was a strong quarter for the Canadian foodservice industry,” says Robert Carter, executive director of foodservice at The NPD Group. “It’s often the case that foodservice improves before the economy begins to strengthen. Let’s hope the current positive trend in foodservice visits is a bellwether for better economic times ahead.”