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QSR visits grew at expense of FSR in Q4 of last year


May 11, 2015
By Canadian Pizza

May 11, 2015, Chicago – Visits to quick-service restaurants in Canada grew at the expense of full-service restaurants in the fourth quarter of 2014, suggests research by the NPD Group.

Visits to quick-service restaurants, which represent the bulk of foodservice traffic, were more a reflection of consumer sentiment than each country’s economic state, the NPD Group said in a news release.

Visits grew in Australia, Canada, China, Great Britain, and United States, where consumer confidence is higher or improving in spite of recovering, slowing or stabilizing economies, the research firm said. Traffic was flat in Japan, Russia and Spain, expressing decreasing consumer confidence in the weakened economies of Japan and Russia and increased consumer confidence as a result of an improving economy in Spain. High unemployment in France, a strengthening German economy, and negative consumer sentiment in a prolonged economic downturn in Italy, contributed to quick-service visit declines in these countries, according to the company’s global foodservice market research.

Traffic gains to quick-service restaurants often came at the expense of visit losses at full-service restaurants in economically unstable countries as a result of consumers trading down to less expensive meals. Full-service visits dipped in Canada, France, Italy, Russia and Spain. However, consumers in China, Germany, Great Britain, and the U.S. increased their visits to full-service restaurants, according to CREST foodservice market research.  

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Overall, the last quarter of 2014 marked a slight turnabout for the global foodservice market. Total foodservice industry traffic was down in Canada while up in the U.S., a different scenario compared to the past few years. Great Britain remained the strongest European country, and traffic increased in Germany. Foodservice traffic was weak in the rest of continental Europe. China once again showed the strongest traffic growth as the market recovered from weak performance in 2013. Total foodservice traffic in Russia dropped by two per cent due to a sharp decline in consumer confidence based on economic uncertainty. 

“The quick-service restaurant segment serves a variety of consumer needs regardless of positive or negative sentiment,” said Bob O’Brien, global senior vice-president of foodservice, in the release. “For those consumers who are optimistic, quick-service serves their need for convenience and grabbing a meal or snack on-the-go, and for those less positive quick-service enables them to treat themselves to an affordable meal out.”