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    Global Foodservice Sees Slow & Steady Growth

    QSRs boost overall traffic despite fourth-quarter slowdowns.

    CHICAGO — Diners around the world continued to dine out and fuel slow and steady growth of the global foodservice industry in 2015, according to The NPD Group. Customer traffic strongly contributed to overall consumer spending in most markets tracked by NPD's CREST, which continually tracks consumer use of foodservice outlets around the world.

    CREST markets include Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Russia, Spain, Brazil, Korea and the United States.

    Australia, China, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Spain and the U.S. posted traffic gains, while France and Japan joined Canada and Russia with declining traffic counts in the fourth quarter. Higher average checks made a noteworthy contribution to consumer spending growth in most NPD-tracked countries. And while the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris halted the modest visit recovery that France began during the third quarter, consumer spending remained steady due to a slight increase in average check size.

    An uptick in visits to quick-service restaurants was the primary contributor to total traffic growth in nearly all countries tracked by NPD. Japan continued to struggle in the last quarter, losing visits in all foodservice segments, including quick- and full-service outlets, retail and non-commercial, while full-service restaurant visits declined in Australia, Canada, China, Italy, Japan, Russia, and the U.S.

    "Unfortunately the last quarter of 2015 didn't bring the best of conditions or a high enough level of consumer confidence to bolster more growth for the global foodservice industry," said Bob O'Brien, senior vice president, global foodservice at The NPD Group. "But hope springs eternal with the New Year and there are signs in place that the global foodservice industry will continue to recover, albeit slowly."

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