Sales of foodservice equipment and supplies increased 1.5 percent during the first quarter of 2018, according to the Commercial Foodservice Business Barometer published by the Manufacturers’ Agents Association for the Foodservice Industry. MAFSI reps project sales will increase 2.2 percent for the second quarter, though.
Sales by product type for the first quarter include: tabletop +2.8 percent, furniture +2.4 percent, equipment +1.4 percent and supplies +0.9 percent. A closer look at product sub-categories reveals negative results in some territories, i.e., ventilation in the South at -5.3 percent and cooking equipment in the Northeast at -3.2 percent.
By region, results were consistently sluggish with Canada at +2.1 percent, Midwest +2.0 percent, the South at 1.8 percent, West at 1.1 percent trailed by the Northeast at a skimpy +0.6 percent, per MAFSI.
Compared to the fourth quarter of 2017, 44 percent of MAFSI members report increased quoting activity. In addition, 38 percent of reps report no change in quoting activity while 19 percent report a decline. Comparing consultant activity from the fourth quarter of 2017 to the first quarter of 2018, 51 percent of MAFSI members report no change, while 37 percent report an increase in this area. Only 12 percent of reps report a decline in consultant activity.