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Global Foodservice Market Posts Modest Fourth Quarter Gains

Despite rocky economic conditions, spending at and visits to foodservice establishments show slight improvement, according to NPD.

Global foodservice markets showed a slight improvement in the fourth quarter of last year, according to The NPD Group, a market research firm. Nearly all countries reported modest growth in foodservice consumer spending and traffic in the fourth quarter.

According to NPD's CREST® study, which tracks commercial foodservice usage in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States, China led the world with a 15 percent gain in foodservice visits and a 22 percent increase in spending over same quarter last year. Canada posted the fastest growth rate among developed markets with a 3 percent increase in visits while Germany grew slightly less than Canada.

"Economic conditions in Canada didn't do much to strengthen the environment for foodservice during the fall period but, as is often the case, foodservice begins to improve prior to any economic recovery," says Robert Carter, executive director, Canada foodservice. "Canada's foodservice industry posted a strong fourth quarter performance in 2011 with a 4 percent growth in spending and a 3 percent increase in visits. Canadians now visits restaurants more than 6.6 billion times a year and spending has reached an all-time high of $47.6 billion."

The quick-service segment continues to lead the global foodservice recovery, according to NPD data. In fact, the quick-service burger segment was the only category that grew in every country around the world.