Study: Road to foodservice growth paved with cafe concepts, healthy food

Study: Road to foodservice growth paved with cafe concepts, healthy food

China has many more foodservice outlets, but the U.S. far exceeds the Asian nation in total foodservice sales. That's just one of the findings in a Coca-Cola Company/Technomic global restaurant study that aimed to provide insights to restaurant owners and operators looking to expand their brands.

Th report's global market overview stated that the U.S. leads the planet in total foodservice sales, with $872 billion, while China is No. 2 with $624 billion, followed by Japan with $345 billion. But when it comes to total locations for grabbing a bite in different nations, China outdoes everybody with more than 8.8 million outlets. 

The sprawling nation's leadership in that category is followed in a distant second by India with slightly more than half that number at just under 4.6 million stores and bringing up the No. 3 and 4 positions respectively are the U.S. with 1.4 million and Brazil with $1.34 million. The news release said the study found that as far as overall usage of foodservice, actual patronage is highest in the United Arab Emirates and Colombia.

The study found that as far as trends for foodservice growth, there's a strong indication that the world is fast becoming a cafe-centric place, with the cafe category found to be the fastest-growing menu category globally, showing 9.9 percent sales growth in 2016. 

And while cafes meet the need of consumers to connect with others, another solid growth category is all about getting the food and going somewhere else, with a proliferation of off-premise business. In fact, the study found that 59 percent of foodservice meals globally are consumed off-premise.

And the world does love its restaurants, particularly healthy ones

Wherever meals are ultimately consumed, the study said that it's clear that foodservice businesses are now becoming the go-to source for a convenient alternative to firing up the home oven. At least one-third of consumers in each country tracked viewed restaurants as a convenient alternative to cooking at home.

Final,ly healthful options are the order of the day, whether that be for items picked up for the day's "3 squares" or for the increasingly popular between meal or instead-of-meal snacks. The study found that 69 percent of people worldwide identified healthful options as being a very important factor in their eating-out decisions. 

In fact, this is most consistently the case in China, where 87 percent of consumers said the health qualities of what they eat made a difference, while the U.K. was the place where consumers found healthful options the least important to their foodservice choices, with just 52 percent of consumers pinpointing it as being an important factor. 

What does "healthy" mean? The study found that depends where you are, with the U.S. most often saying it means "low-calorie," while Canada said it means "low-sodium," the U.K. translated it as "low fat" and "low-sugar" and Australia said low sugar. 

The rest of the known world? They believe it means "natural ingredients."

Topics: Business Strategy and Profitability, Franchising & Growth, Trends / Statistics

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