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    Study: Global Foodservice Remained Weak in Q3 2009

    NPD finds visits and spending flat or down in most countries.

    CHICAGO -- While there are positive signs that economies around the world are improving, the global foodservice business remained weak in the third quarter of 2009, according to The NPD Group.

    "The news for the foodservice market is largely disappointing, although there is growth in some segments or some dayparts in every market except the United States," according to an NPD statement.

    According to NPD's CREST restaurant traffic counts declined in the third quarter across Europe, with the steepest declines in Spain (down 4.1 percent) and the United Kingdom (down 2.7 percent) compared to the third quarter of 2008. Japan (down 5.2 percent) and the United States (down 4.3 percent) also experienced steep declines in traffic during the third quarter. Canada had the only increase in foodservice visits, up 3.3 percent, but posted a flat average eater check compared to the third quarter of 2008. Consumer spending declined in nearly every country during the quarter, except in Canada.

    "The global foodservice business in the third quarter of this year shows how far the global consumer economy has to come before it can again be described as healthy," said Bob O'Brien, senior vice president of global foodservice at NPD. "While many of the countries we track had relatively good quarters across their whole economies, the news for the foodservice market is largely disappointing, although there is growth in some segments or some dayparts in every market, except the United States."

    Visits to quick-service and fast food outlets grew or held to last year's level in six out of the eight countries NPD tracks. Retail foodservice, such as convenience stores, experienced a relatively healthy third quarter in terms of traffic compared to the same quarter in 2008,however.

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