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NPD: Global restaurant spending improves

China shows most improvement in quarter ending in June

While traffic continued to decline in most foodservice markets around the world, increased spending spurred slight growth for the global industry in the quarter ended in June, according to the NPD Group.

China showed the most improvement in the quarter, with a 2.4-percent increase in check average and a 12.7-percent surge in foodservice traffic.

Spending at foodservice outlets rose slightly in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Germany, but fell in Japan, France, Italy and Spain.

“Around the world, most of our analysts describe their economic environment and industry performance as ‘not so good, but not as bad as it was before,’” said Bob O’Brien, senior vice president of global foodservice for Chicago-based NPD. “This amounts to faint hope for a broader environment of robust health.”

Foodservice traffic was flat to down in every country NPD tracks except China and Canada. The countries experiencing the steepest declines in traffic were Italy, Japan and Spain, NPD said.

NPD attributed China’s increase in foodservice traffic to the country’s economic recovery and revived consumer confidence.

“Chinese consumers cautiously increased their restaurant visits and new visitors started to dine out," said Christina Ma, NPD’s manager for China foodservice. “Visits to western quick-service restaurants increased significantly as consumers switched from full-service to quick-service restaurants.”

An increase in spending at foodservice outlets in the United Kingdom during the past two consecutive quarters reflected a somewhat improving economy, said Guy Fielding, NPD’s director of business development there.

“Although traffic was still down for most segments except quick service, the rate of decline in the second quarter was slower than in the first,” he said. “The travel and leisure foodservice segment and full-service restaurants saw the rate of visit declines halved.”

Contact Elissa Elan at [email protected].

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