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Canada’s Restaurant Count Declined by 5,000 Units in 2020

Before the pandemic, Canada’s restaurant count held steady at 66,000 units since 2016, but then 2020 happened, and the industry lost 5,000 units, a decline of -8%, reports The NPD Group. Independent restaurants lost 3,000 units, representing the bulk of the slide, according to NPD’s ReCount®2020 restaurant census, which tracked Canadian restaurants opened as of December 2020.

The restaurant categories hardest hit by closures are those that relied heavily on customers’ regular day-to-day routines, such as shopping, working, or schooling... 

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Jul 26 8:24 AM, General News



NPD: Addressing Safety, Changes in Workplace, and Digital are Key to Recovery for Europe Foodservice

According to the latest report from The NPD Group, COVID-19 Foodservice Sentiment Study: Europe, a large part of the European* population expects to return to dine-in restaurants as soon as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, with 93% stating they have either already returned to restaurants or expect to be returning to restaurants before the end of the year. But while many consumers expect to go back to dining occasions comparable to what they were doing before the pandemic, one-quarter of them expect...

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Jul 21 8:19 AM, General News


Restaurant Sales Grew in June as Industry Recovery Continues

Restaurant sales continued to grow in June as consumers looked for a much-needed night out, according to the National Restaurant Association.

For the month, eating and drinking places netted $70.6 billion in total sales on a seasonally adjusted basis, per preliminary data from the U.S. Census Bureau. That total was a 2.3% rise from May’s volume and is the fifth increase in the first half of the year.

The Association said that sales in June were $4.4 billion (6.6%) above pre-pandemic levels in 2020...

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Jul 19 8:20 AM, General News


Canadian Restaurant Industry Learns to Pivot and Adapt Despite Visit Loss Due to COVID-19

It has been over a year since the COVID-19 global pandemic began and the Canadian foodservice industry, one of the business sectors most impacted by restrictions, has had to learn to adapt. In the quarter ending March 2021, keeping in mind that the global pandemic was declared in mid-March of last year, total foodservice traffic in Canada was down -9% compared to same quarter year ago when visits were down -11% versus prior year, reports The NPD Group. Although there is improvement from last year, it’s also important to note that since the first quarter of 2019 through the first quarter of 2021, 326,000 foodservice visits (or orders) have been lost, according to NPD’s continual tracking of the Canadian foodservice industry.

The quick service segment, which prior to the pandemic was already equipped to efficiently handle off-premises operations, like carry-out and drive-thru, ended the first quarter of this year with...

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May 20 8:31 AM, General News


U.S. Restaurant Carry-Out and Delivery Digital Orders Soar During the Pandemic

Digital ordering was a lifeline for consumers and U.S. restaurants, particularly full service restaurants, during the pandemic, reports The NPD Group. In the year ending March 2021, which covers a full year since the start of the pandemic, restaurant digital orders grew +124% compared to prior year. Digital orders for carry-out, which represented 62% of all digital orders, increased by +130%, and digital orders for delivery grew by +142% in the period compared to year ago and held 38% share of total restaurant digital orders, according to NPD’s ongoing foodservice market research, CREST®.

Digital ordering offered full service restaurants, which operated under varying degrees of mandated dine-in restrictions throughout the pandemic, much needed...

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May 13 8:30 AM, General News


Retail Looks Forward as the US Emerges from the Pandemic

As the United States emerges from pandemic rules in the coming months, there will be changes, large and small, for retailers to consider, as they map their way forward. Companies will be setting new policies regarding returning to offices, more schools will reopen for in-person learning, and consumers will again start to travel, all of which have enormous implications for the retail industry, according to The NPD Group.

In a recent presentation to the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), NPD Chief Retail Strategist Don Unser outlined the retail industry headwinds and tailwinds expected in the coming year. Following are three of the most critical trends affecting retailers in the coming months...

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May 12 8:29 AM, General News


U.S. Restaurant Chain Customer Transactions Begin to Recover

In mid-March 2020, U.S. governing authorities, to get the COVID-19 global pandemic under control, restricted on-premises dining at roughly 70% of all U.S. restaurants, a historical defining moment for the industry. By the last week of March 2020, customer transactions at major restaurant chains had fallen by -43% compared to year ago and by -77% at full service chains, which were most impacted by the dine-in restrictions.

In March 2021, with the lifting of restrictions and more consumers vaccinated, customer transactions at major restaurant chains were up +32% compared to the steep declines year ago, although still down -6% compared to two years ago, March 2019. Major chain transactions at full service restaurants were up...

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Apr 19 8:29 AM, General News


Consumers Take Grilling and Outdoor Cooking to the Next Level

Eager for a change of pace during the pandemic, cooking outside has become a go-to activity for many consumers, and it extends beyond traditional grilling, or even the traditional grilling season. Consumers spent more than $4.9 billion on grills, smokers, camping stoves, accessories, and fuel in 2020, according to new Enhanced Retail Tracking Service information on the home improvement industry from The NPD Group, which blends retailer point-of-sale data with insight from NPD’s receipt-based Checkout information and additional data assets combined with advanced modeling.

“The need to cook more meals at home combined with the desire to experiment with new ways to create those meals helped fuel growth for almost all types of grills,” said Joe Derochowski, home industry advisor at NPD. “Layer on our cravings to be less...

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Apr 15 8:35 AM, General News


Canada: Dine-In Restaurant Visit Declines Soften in February when Restrictions were Eased
The pent-up demand for indoor dining was evident in February after dine-in restrictions were eased in Canada’s largest provinces. Dine-in restaurant visits increased by 4 percentage points in February compared to January, an increase of 10.5 million visits versus prior month. The downside of this news is the still deep traffic declines in on-premises dining. Dine-in visits declined by -79% in February compared to same month last year and were down -85% in January compared to last year, according to NPD, which continually tracks consumers’ use of Canadian restaurants and other foodservice outlets.

Off-premises dining, like carry-out, delivery, and drive-thru, has been the beneficiary of the indoor dining restrictions. In January off-premises visits, digital or physical, were up...

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Apr 8 10:25 AM, General News


NPD Group: Flexible Routines Help to Boost Visits to Restaurants During Late Afternoon

Although total U.S. restaurant traffic has been down across dayparts for most of last year and through February 2021, late afternoon and after dinner snack visits — what the restaurant industry calls the p.m. snack daypart — have increased, reports The NPD Group. Consumer visits to restaurants during the p.m. snack period, which ranges from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., increased by +1% compared to year ago in February, which was a rough month for the industry with the continuing pandemic...

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Mar 31 8:49 AM, General News


U.S. Restaurant Customer Transaction Declines Steepen in February

Severe weather in many parts of the country in February hampered the softening of customer transaction declines at major U.S. restaurant chains reported in the last few months of 2020 and this January, finds The NPD Group. Major restaurant chain customer transactions declined by -13% versus year ago, compared to a -9% decline in January, according to NPD’s CREST® Performance Alerts which provides a rapid weekly view of chain-specific transactions and share trends for 75 quick service, fast casual, midscale, and casual dining chains representing 53% of the commercial restaurant traffic in U.S.

Record-shattering cold, snow, and rain affected a large swath of the U.S. in February. Texas, the second most populated state after California, was hit with a winter storm in mid-February that dropped significant amounts of...

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Mar 12 8:19 AM, General News


Challenges Facing Foodservice Industry in 2020 Spurred Significant Growth in Off-Premises Services

The COVID-19 pandemic shook the world in 2020, leading to one of the steepest declines the global foodservice industry has experienced in recent history, according to global information company The NPD Group.

The pandemic interrupted years of growth in foodservice, causing a 20% drop in global sales and a 21% decline in total visits in 2020, to 958 billion euros ($1.157 trillion USD).

While mandated lockdowns restricted dine-in options, consumer demand for restaurant food was not abated, leading to unprecedented growth in...

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Mar 9 8:17 AM, General News


While Chicken Sandwich Wars in the U.S. Intensify, Burgers Still Rule the Roost

No doubt that chicken sandwiches have gained a lot of attention over the past few years as more chicken restaurant concepts open and more chicken sandwiches appear on menus. The question is though, have these sandwich sensations knocked burgers from their perch as the top entrée item ordered at U.S. restaurants? That’s a hard “no,” says The NPD Group.

In the year ending 2020, burgers were included in 13.5% of all restaurant orders, which translated to 7 billion servings of burgers. Chicken sandwiches (breaded and grilled) were included in...

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Feb 26 8:27 AM, General News


From Animal Meat to Fungi, U.S. Consumers Tap into A Host of Sources to Get Protein into Their Diets

The want of more protein in their diets have U.S. consumers seeking the coveted macronutrient from a variety sources, reports The NPD Group. Protein, the nutritional counterpart to fat and carbohydrates, is considered the body’s building blocks, and can be found in a long list of foods, like seafood, meat, poultry, eggs, legumes, and vegetables.

In order to get more protein into their diets, consumers are availing themselves to all of these types of foods in addition to whatever might be the trendy protein of the day, like fungi, according to NPD’s Eating Patterns in America, an annual compilation of the company’s daily tracking of U.S. consumers’ eating behaviors away from and...

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Feb 24 8:22 AM, General News


Over the Past Five Years, U.S. Consumers Added 25 Between-Meal Snacking Occasions Per Capita

Whether it’s for a nutritious treat, comfort from stress, or a quick meal, U.S. consumers increasingly turn to fruits, nuts, and ready-to-eat snack foods throughout the day, reports The NPD Group. Over the past five years, Americans added 25 between-meal snacking occasions per capita, from 505 between-meal snacking occasions per capita in 2015 to 530 in 2020, and consumption of snack foods at meals increased from 21% of eatings in 2010 to 26% in 2020, according to NPD’s Eating Patterns in America, an annual compilation of the company’s daily tracking of the who, what, when, where, why, and how of U.S. consumers’ eating behaviors.

Snacking and snack food consumption follow a daily rhythm in most U.S. households with better-for-you snack foods, like fruit or yogurt, being eaten in the morning; more savory snacks, like...

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Jan 15 8:27 AM, General News


U.S. Restaurant Industry Ends 2020 Making Its Way Out of the Steep Declines Caused by Pandemic

The U.S. restaurant industry closed one of the most unpopular years in history moving its way out of the steepest declines the industry has experienced since the Great Recession, reports The NPD Group. Customer transaction declines at major restaurant chains in December were down -10% compared to same period year ago, a 27-point improvement from April, the height of the shelter-at-home and restaurant dine-in closure mandates, when transactions declined by -37% from a year ago, according to NPD’s CREST® Performance Alerts, which provides a rapid weekly view of chain-specific transactions and share trends for 75 quick service, fast casual, midscale, and casual dining chains representing...

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Jan 11 8:22 AM, General News


Britain’s Drive Thru Spend Up 45% September to November 2020

The trend for ordering food and drinks from our cars at Britain’s growing number of drive-thru restaurants soared from September to November 2020 according to global information company The NPD Group. There were 121 million visits to Britain’s 2,000 quick service restaurants (QSR) that offer drive-thru in those three months in 2020, a 14% increase on the same period last year. Spend was up 45% to £723m over this time frame, with consumers tending to place larger-than-average orders at the drive-thru window.

According to footfall analysis from NPD’s SnapMyEats data, the growth in drive-thru in these three months was a result of consumers switching from eating in and takeaway options during lockdowns and tiering, rather than...

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Jan 6 8:28 AM, General News


The Catering Sector in France Adapts and Absorbs the Shock from COVID-19 Lockdowns

According to the latest data from The NPD Group, the share of “take-out” visits in France has doubled in catering, comprising 35% of total visits between March and October 2020, versus 17% over the same time period last year.

Restaurant owners have been able to adapt in order to develop their offerings toward take-out. They have reviewed the composition of the menus, developed the product mix, worked on the packaging and found new ways of communicating with...

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Dec 23 8:22 AM, General News


Despite COVID Surges, US Restaurant Transaction Declines in November Improved Slightly from October

Even with COVID cases surging throughout the U.S. and some states reducing restaurant capacity, customer transaction declines at major restaurant chains improved in November from October to -8% compared to a year ago, a 1-point gain from October’s -9% decline, reports  The NPD Group.   This improvement was aided by major quick service restaurant chains’ proficiency in offering off-premises services, like carry-out, drive-thru, and delivery. Transaction declines at quick service restaurant chains, which represent the bulk of industry transactions, were down -7%...

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Dec 11 8:35 AM, General News


UK Restaurants Look Set to Recover as Consumers Still Prefer to Dine Out

The NPD Group says amid the severe and unprecedented COVID-19 business pressures affecting Britain’s out-of-home (OOH) foodservice industry, the delivery channel has been a welcome success story. Comparing the January-to-October period this year with the same period in 2019, delivery is up 14% in visit terms to 804 million and has seen a 40% increase in spend to £5.7 billion. However, although delivery has met a need during this unprecedented period of enforced home living, working and entertaining, NPD’s research shows... 

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Nov 25 8:24 AM, General News


The NPD Group Reveals Consumers' Top Plant-Based Product Choices 

When it comes to eating plant-based foods, consumers are definite in which types of these foods they want to eat at home and which they want to eat from a restaurant or foodservice outlet, finds The NPD Group. About 93% of meals or snacks that include milk alternatives are consumed at home and 7% are at/from a restaurant or foodservice outlet.

When it comes to meat analogues, restaurants and other foodservice outlets have the largest share of eating occasions at 78% while at home represents...

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Nov 24 8:19 AM, General News


U.S. Restaurant Chain Customer Transaction Declines Stabilize at -9% Compared to Year Ago in October

Customer transaction declines at major U.S. restaurant chains held steady at  -9% every week in October compared to same weeks year ago, reports The NPD Group.  Quick service restaurant chains, which have been able to leverage their off-premises operations during the pandemic, also stabilized transaction declines at  -9% throughout the month. Full service restaurant chains, which are more heavily reliant on dine-in services, saw transaction declines fluctuate from  -16% in the first week of October to  -14% in the last full week of the month, according to NPD’s CREST® Performance Alerts, which provides a rapid weekly view of chain-specific transactions and share trends for 75 quick service, fast casual, midscale, and casual dining chains representing 53% of the commercial restaurant traffic in U.S...

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Nov 10 8:09 AM, General News


U.S. Restaurant Dollar and Traffic Declines Ease in August as Consumers Gain Comfort in Dining Out

While August restaurant trends reflect an environment in which slightly less than 25% of restaurant units were under restrictions for on-premises dining during the course of the month, similar to June and July, the rate of traffic and dollar declines for the month eased slightly to  -10% and  -9%, respectively, compared to same period year ago, reports The NPD Group.

“As the summer progressed and mandated restrictions were lifted, an increasing number of consumers became more comfortable dining out based on the safety protocols restaurants put in place,” says David Portalatin, NPD food industry advisor and author of Eating Patterns in America...

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Sep 25 7:36 PM, General News




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