Archive | January, 2013

2012 Foodservice Operator Update – A positive Change in a Challenging Economy

28 Jan

As a data company, there are several foodservice industry reports we put together based on our findings from constantly updating our foodservice database. One of our most popular reports is the Foodservice Operator Report, which we release twice a year.

This year, we are excited to announce that we are going to be hosting a free webinar to review the 2012 Foodservice Operator Update. This year we have some exciting news to share as we are finally starting to see positive change in the number operators in this challenging economy. We are hosting the webinar on on Feburary 6th at 2pm CST.  During the webinar, we’ll  be focusing on the 2012 operator openings and closings and the changes in operator footprinting in the foodservice market through the following topics:

  • 2013 Foodservice Market
  • 4 Years of Market Changes: Is the downward trend over?
  • 2012 Market Changes by State: Who emerged as the Foodservice winners of 2012?
  • The Restaurant Industry: Overview by Menu Types and Segments
  • Summary and Observations

In addition, we’ll also leave some time at the end to review some any questions you may have as we’ll be covering a lot of material in a short time. If you’d like to join us for this free webinar, please register by clicking here.

We have a lot of exiting things to share about the 2012 foodservice market and are looking forward to continuing the conversation about the state of the foodservice industry. Register for the free webinar now!


Bar Trends: Liquor Sales Continue To Increase In Commercial Foodservice Industry

21 Jan

By Nicolas Watson

As most Americans know, as soon as you turn 21 you are officially allowed into a bar, and can legally consume alcoholic beverages wherever they are served (in most cases of course!). So it is no surprise that despite the struggling economy we continue to see positive trends in the bar segment, as liquor is something people drink both when they are happy and when they are sad.

Even in this volatile economy we continue to see indicators and reports that liquor sales continue to grow. In early December, the Huffington Post published an article titled, Increase In Liquor Sales At Restaurants, Bars Linked To Economic Recovery: Study, where they discussed a report from our partners at Technomic, which confirmed this trend as it relates to the restaurant industry. The article said:

“The sale of beer, wine and spirits in restaurants, bars and other licensed locations increased 4.9 percent in 2011, according to a new a study by restaurant research firm Technomic, published Nov. 29. The increase led to a total of $93.7 billion in sales last year, and Technomic contends that those numbers will only rise more in 2012 and 2013.”

To read the whole article in the Huffington Post, click here.

After reviewing our own data, we too can confirm that their 2012 prediction were correct! As we are going to announce in our 2012 Restaurant Industry Update, the Bars segment grew during 2012. The number of bars in the US increased by 2.70 percent. The bars segment had the third largest net change in market segment in 2012, only after FSR-Family Style and LSR-Quick Casual, each of which increased the number of operators by 3.80 and 3.17 percent respectively. It’s great that we can use our foodservice database to verify that the 2012 predictions were correct.

If you’d like to learn more about the 2012 Restaurant Industry Update, or how the bar segment factored into the overall growth,  please email Brad Bloom:

Foodservice Trade Shows: Our Must Attend List for 2013

10 Jan

By Nicolas Watson

Every year there are a ton of foodservice trade shows and it becomes challenging to determine which ones to attend. However, there are a few shows that we know we are going to no matter what. We haven’t completed our entire, Must Attend Trade Show List for 2013, but we’ve selected a few great shows that we’ll be attending over the next two months!

One of the first shows that’s on our list is Technomic’s Foodservice Planning Program. This conference takes place on January 15th through the 16th in Newport Beach California. Not only is CHD Expert North America in partnership with Technomic, but, we believe that Foodservice Planning is an integral part of what we do and how we provide customized foodservice solutions to our clients.

During this conference, you get to learn many things about the foodservice industry. There are great sessions like The State of the Economy and Foodservice Industry, Best Practices Workshops, and Outlooks On How To Address Trade Spending In A Challenging Environment. Overall, this is one of our favorite conferences because as foodservice industry professionals, we get to come together and learn about our industry right at the start of the new year!

Another shows we are going to attend is the NAFEM Show. Here are the reasons why we are such advocates of this show:

  • It has a wide range of foodservice equipment and supplies solutions with over 500 exhibitors.
  • It allows foodservice professions to learn about the products and meet the manufacturers.
  • This year’s show has one of our favorite special guests: Jimmy Buffet! (Come on now, we all can’t get enough of Margaritaville!)

So, we’ll be there from February 7th through the 9th in Orlando, Florida.  Are you attending? Click here to learn more about the 2013 NAFEM Show.

Another big event that we’ll be attending is the 19th Annual FSMA Top2Top Conference on February 11th through the 14th in Palm Springs, California.

This is a great conference for foodservice sales and marketing executives.  One of the main reasons why we love this show is it brings together all of the key foodservice industry players to teach everyone how to “sell better together” as the Foodservice Sales Marketing Association puts it. And we agree! We are all in the same industry together, so it’s important that we learn from one another to better one another in this growing industry.

As soon as we’ve confirmed our attendance to other trade shows or conferences, we’ll let you know. We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about what shows are most important for us and why! Feel free to connect with us at any time. Or, email me, Nico Watson, at

Healthy Food Trends Having A Positive Impact On Chain Growth in 2012

8 Jan

Every new year starts with a New Year Resolution, and for most people, at least one of their resolutions includes the idea of becoming more “healthy.”

Interestingly enough, we are starting to see that trend come to life in the foodservice industry as well, as people become more health conscious in their buying decisions. And we believe that healthy food trends are having a positive impact on chain growth. Today we read a great article in The Packer titled, “Apple slices, small fruit gain ground in foodservice,” and we wanted to support their findings with our own foodservice data. In the article, they state that:

“The past three years, we’ve seen an increase in distribution of fresh-cut apples into the quick-service restaurants — this includes McDonald’s and Subway,” said Tony Freytag, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Crunch Pak, Cashmere, Wash. In fact, the sliced-apple giant reports a 51% sales increase over the past four years.”

While we can’t comment over the past four years, what we can say is that our foodservice industry data supports that there has been growth in the limited service restaurant quick service segment over the past year. According to our latest report on the 2012 Net Market Change (which we will be publishing by the end of the month) there has been a positive percent growth of 0.53% in the LSR-QSR market segment. Just to clarify, we define the LSR-QSR market segment as having an average check be under $7 and are considered traditional “fast-food” restaurants, like McDonalds or Subway.

In conclusion, we are seeing that healthy food trends are having a positive impact on LSR-QSR Chain growth, as more and more people are looking for grab-and-go ways for staying heathy durring their time crunched day. Additionally, as more people are pressed for time and money, we are starting to see LSR-QSR Chains cater to the changing consumers needs, for example the introduction and sale of packaged sliced apples.  This idea is supported by the fact that over the past few years, Crunch Pak, a sliced packaged apple provider, has seen significant growth as consumers change their habits and chains change their menu options to address their needs.

If you’d like to talk about the 2012 foodservice market, or learn more about what other type of foodservice data we offer, email me, Nico Watson at Happy New Year!

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