Sales of foodservice equipment and supplies grew at 2.5 percent for the third quarter of 2018, according to the MAFSI Business Barometer. This represents increases of 1 percent and .7 percent compared to the first and second quarters of 2018.

Looking ahead, members of the Manufacturers’ Agents Association for the Foodservice Industry project a 1.8 percent sales increase for the fourth quarter of 2018 and a 3.4 percent increase for all of 2019.

MAFSI felt the slight uptick in the third quarter may have been due to the advancing of order placement as a result of mid-year price increases due to steel and aluminum tariffs. 

Looking at sales growth by product type, tabletop was up 3.4 percent, equipment 2.6 percent, supply items 2.1 percent and furniture 0.8 percent.

On a regional basis, sales in Canada were up 4.8 percent, South 3.1 percent, Northeast 2.5 percent, West 2.2 percent and the Midwest by 1.8 percent.

The number of reps reporting increased quoting activity in the third quarter was 39 percent, down from 44 percent in both the first and second quarters of this year. The number of reps reporting increased consultant activity in the third quarter totaled 33 percent, up 2 percent from the previous quarter.