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In-store Retail Sales Rise to Pre-pandemic Levels, as E-Commerce Growth Slows, Reports NPD

The steady, gradual growth of e-commerce dramatically accelerated during the pandemic, elevating the amount consumers spent shopping online to almost equal the amount consumers spent in stores. Now, with brick-and-mortar stores open across the U.S., online revenue growth is slowing down. At the same time, physical store sales have increased, rising to 64% of all retail sales in September 2021, according to The NPD Group.

“Physical stores are more relevant today than they were before the pandemic,” said Marshal Cohen... 

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Nov 29 1:57 PM, General News



Carry-out, Drive-thru, and Delivery Continue As Growth Areas for the Canadian Restaurant Industry

Online and physical visits to Canadian restaurants and foodservice outlets were flat in the year ending September 2021 compared to a year ago when traffic was down double-digits. Helping the industry recover was the growth in foodservice off-premises orders from carry-out, drive-thru, and delivery, reports The NPD Group. Although foodservice traffic has improved from the steep declines experienced last year, visits were 18% below the pre-pandemic level in September 2019, according to NPD’s continual tracking of the Canadian foodservice industry...

 

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Nov 24 8:19 AM, General News


Restaurant and More Convenient Lunch Meals Are Returning After A Pandemic Induced Hiatus

Before the pandemic, grabbing lunch from a restaurant or prepared foods from a grocery store was frequent because consumers were at work, school, or out and about. Restaurant lunch visits experienced steep declines early in the pandemic when 78% of lunches were prepared and eaten at home, but with more consumers returning to worksites, schools, and regular midday routines, restaurant and other convenient lunches are recovering, reports The NPD Group.

Online and physical restaurant visits during lunch increased by 4% in the year ending September 2021...

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Nov 11 8:00 AM, General News


Dine-In Traffic Remains A Headwind for U.S. Restaurant Industry Recovery

The U.S. restaurant industry continues to recover from last year’s steep declines, although not yet back to pre-pandemic levels. Total restaurant online and physical visits were up 5% in the year ending September compared to the same period last year, and down 6% from September 2019. While restaurant visits continue to improve overall, dine-in or on-premises traffic continues to struggle compared to pre-pandemic levels, reports The NPD Group.

Dine-in visits to restaurants were down 48% in the 12 months ending September 2021 compared to...

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Nov 3 8:31 AM, General News


Gen Zs and Millennials Will Drive Growth of Plant-based Foods in the U.S. Over Next Few Years

The consumer demand for plant-based beverages and foods for in-home meal prep has continued throughout the pandemic. Both dairy and meat plant-based alternatives are forecast to grow through 2024, driven almost entirely by Millennials and Gen Zs, who choose these products for better health and because of their interest in sustainability, reports The NPD Group.

The deep-rooted values of Gen Zs and Millennials behind their choice of plant-based foods enabled the category to continue...

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Oct 14 8:34 AM, General News


U.S. Fast Casual Restaurant Visits Rebound After Steep Declines in 2020

U.S. fast casual restaurants didn’t fare as well as traditional quick service restaurants early in the pandemic, but their customers are returning, reports The NPD Group. Online and physical visits to fast casual restaurants in the year ending August 2021 were up +8% compared to a year ago, which keeps traffic on par or flat to pre-pandemic visits in August 2019. In the quarter ending June 2020, at the height of pandemic lockdowns and restaurant restrictions, fast casual visits were down -23% compared to the prior year...

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Oct 13 7:57 AM, General News


The Popularity of Golf Throughout the Pandemic is Driving Increases in Foodservice Shipments

As an outdoor sport that enables players to socially distance themselves from one another, golf has proven to be the perfect pandemic sport. Golf equipment dollar sales grew by +37% from January through August 2021 compared to the same period a year ago, reports The NPD Group. Often indicative of new players, year-over-year sales of golf club sets and balls grew by +37% and +27%, respectively. In addition to golf equipment manufacturers, foodservice operators at country clubs and golf courses...

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Sep 30 8:40 AM, General News


Canada’s Foodservice Industry Recovery Overall Is Steady in August, But Has Some Declines

Canada’s commercial foodservice industry remained on a stable course to recovery in August, reports The NPD Group. In August, online and physical visits to restaurants and other foodservice outlets increased by +16% compared to August 2020 and were down -4% compared to the pre-pandemic level in August 2019. Consumer spending increased by +23% in August compared to the same month year ago and is up +1% from August 2019.

While total foodservice traffic and consumer spending continued to improve in August, the...

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Sep 30 8:35 AM, General News


Cécilia Manget Joins The NPD Group as Head of Foodservice Europe

The NPD Group today announced that Cécilia Manget has joined the company as Head of Foodservice Europe. In her new role, Cecilia will oversee the continuing development of the company’s foodservice practice, and the expansion of NPD’s ongoing tracking of the foodservice markets throughout Europe. NPD offers its services in 19 countries worldwide, with operations spanning the Americas, Europe, and Asia Pacific.

Prior to joining NPD, Cécilia spent 18 years at Nielsen, which included 15 years in the global fast-moving consumer goods industry. In her last...

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Sep 29 9:05 AM, General News


U.S. Restaurant Industry Continues Gradual Recovery in August While Dine-in Visits Remain Low

Despite bad weather and the delta variant spread, consumer online and physical restaurant visits in August continued to recover from last year’s steep declines, reports The NPD Group. U.S. restaurant traffic increased by +5% over the -10% decline in August 2020 and declined by -5% compared to the pre-pandemic level in August 2019. Larger average check sizes drove a +13% increase in dollars compared to a year ago and a +3% gain in dollars over the same month two years ago, according...

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Sep 22 8:00 AM, General News


The Pandemic Lifted Average Retail Spending Per Shopping Occasion, Reports NPD

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increase in the average amount U.S. consumers spend on each shopping occasion, whether it is a trip to a physical store or a visit to an online shopping site. Since reaching $34 in March of 2020, average shopping occasion spending has remained elevated at or above that amount through July 2021, according to The NPD Group. This increase is partially due to a general shift toward online purchasing, where average selling prices (ASPs) and the amount spent on each transaction...

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Sep 15 8:32 AM, General News


The Majority of Meals Will be Consumed at Home For the Foreseeable Future

Most analyses during the pandemic have focused on discerning its impact on consumer behavior and forecasting how this might change going forward. However, before the pandemic structural changes in the workforce and the aging population already contributed to a home-centric lifestyle, and COVID accelerated it, reports The NPD Group. These long-term trends will continue to influence consumer eating patterns and how they use their homes well into the future, according to NPD’s recently released 36th edition of Eating Patterns in America.

“Our life stage and workplace behavior has a lot to do with how, where, and when we consume foods and beverages, and what we buy to help us...

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Sep 1 8:42 AM, General News


Consumers Are Accessorizing Amplified Grilling and Outdoor Cooking Needs in 2021

After taking grilling to new levels last year, consumers now seem to be adapting to the growing needs of accessorizing their outdoor cooking activities. Between January and June 2021, consumer spending on grilling accessories consistently outperformed last year’s numbers, delivering a 28% increase in sales revenue, according to The NPD Group.

“The pandemic compelled consumers to spend on grilling and outdoor cooking, as a way to gather safely, create new experiences with family, and even learn new skills, during...

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Aug 23 8:31 AM, General News


Broadline Shipments of Plant Proteins to U.S. Pizza Operators Jump in Q2 2021 

Pizza has repeatedly ranked in the top foods ordered at U.S. restaurants. According to The NPD Group, in the quarter ending June 2021, there were 1.2 billion servings of pizza ordered, up +4% from the same quarter last year. An aspect of pizza’s popularity is that it can be customized to serve many different tastes and needs, like the growing interest in plant-based proteins. Units of plant-based protein meat analogues and ingredients shipped from broadline foodservice distributors to pizza operators increased by +56% in the second quarter compared to a year ago, reports NPD.

There is a lot of attention in the marketplace and media about plant-based foods, but there is also interest in these foods from consumers, chefs, and restaurant operators. Based on NPD research, about 20% of consumers say...

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Aug 17 8:27 AM, General News


The U.S. Restaurant Industry Recovery Through Second Quarter has Been Slow and Steady

The second quarter of this year reflects a period during which state and local governments lifted pandemic restrictions, restaurants reopened, people got vaccinated, and consumers used restaurants more than they did throughout the pandemic, reports The NPD Group. Consumer spending at restaurants was up +32% in the April-May-June 2021 quarter compared to the same quarter last year, and for a pre-pandemic view, flat compared to the same quarter in 2019. Restaurant visits, dining in or off-premises, increased by +22% in the quarter compared to the same quarter last year and were down -7% compared to the second quarter of 2019, according to NPD’s daily tracking of the U.S. foodservice industry.

Quick service restaurants (QSRs), representing 81% of restaurant visits in the U.S., realized a gain of +15% in visits in the second quarter compared to a year ago and a -5% decline compared to the second quarter of 2019. Throughout the pandemic, QSR restaurants, particularly...

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Aug 11 8:28 AM, General News


U.S. Restaurant Industry Recovery Will Depend on Strength of Key Dayparts

The U.S. restaurant industry has shown remarkable resiliency, having lost as much as 35% of visits at the beginning of the pandemic, but still has a ways to go to get back to pre-pandemic levels, reports The NPD Group. Total restaurant visits were down -6 percent in May 2021 compared to May 2019 but were up +23% from a year ago, recovering from a -23% decline in May 2020. The key to the industry’s recovery will be the strength of each daypart. Each daypart — morning meal, lunch, dinner, and P.M. Snack — will recover differently depending on the new rhythms of home, school, and work-life, according to NPD’s continual tracking of the U.S. foodservice industry.

Visits, online or physical, at morning meal, which includes the breakfast and A.M. Snack periods, were down -5% in May 2021 compared to May 2020, and for a pre-pandemic view, down...

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Jul 14 8:19 AM, General News


Awareness and Retention Rate for Plant-Based Protein on the Rise in China

According to China Plant-based Protein Topical Report from The NPD Group, plant-based proteins are gaining acceptance in China as Chinese consumers seek more protein in their diets, and plant-based foods become more available and appealing. Although plant-based protein currently has a small serving share compared to meat proteins in China, awareness has reached 90%; and the retention rate for plant-based proteins is on the rise, increasing from 53% in October 2020, to 68% in January 2021.

“There is no doubt that consumers in China view plant-based proteins as healthier alternatives to traditional meat protein,” said Gimantha Jayasinghe, Senior Vice President of APAC Foodservice at The NPD Group. “Though these products have a long way to go in terms of...

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Jul 8 8:23 AM, General News


Nearly Half of Canadians Plan to Dine On-Premises Now that Pandemic Restrictions are Relaxed

Canadians were anxiously awaiting COVID lockdowns and restrictions to be eased and lifted, and so were restaurant operators. It’s been a long 15 months and 46% of Canadians told The NPD Group that they plan to physically eat at a restaurant, bar, or coffee shop now that COVID-19 restrictions have been eased. Restaurant operators are eager to greet them back and pick-up their dine-in business, which was most impacted by mandated pandemic restrictions.

Dine-in or on-premises restaurant orders/visits have improved since the beginning of the pandemic but, as a basis for comparison, were still down -85% in April 2021 compared to April 2019. Off-premises orders and visits, which include...

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Jun 16 8:30 AM, General News


The Road to Recovery for U.S. Restaurant Chain Customer Transactions Varies by Market

Geography matters when it comes to pandemic recovery for U.S. restaurant chains. A mix of factors, like pandemic-related restaurant restrictions, the closing or opening of units, or chain performance, even the weather or event, can impact restaurant chain customer transactions in a specific market area, reports The NPD Group.

For example, restaurant chain customer transaction declines in the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) designated market area improved from double-digit declines last year to -4% in May 2021 compared to May 2019, a pre-pandemic basis of comparison. DFW ranks in the top 10 markets to recover from the steep customer transaction declines caused by the pandemic last year. In addition to Texas lifting COVID restaurant restrictions in March, the market's May customer transactions reflect...

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Jun 14 8:25 AM, General News


Plant-Based Protein Shipments to U.S. Restaurants and Foodservice Outlets Grew by 60% in April

As pandemic-related restaurant restrictions lift across the U.S., chefs and foodservice operators are refreshing their menu offerings and recipes. Plant-based proteins are one of the food categories they’re using to help update, reports The NPD Group. Shipments of plant-based proteins from foodservice distributors to commercial restaurants increased by +60% in April 2021 compared to the same month a year ago, when the category realized declines because of pandemic restrictions.

Shipments are up +16% compared to April 2019, according to NPD’s SupplyTrack®, which tracks every product shipped from leading distributors to more than...

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Jun 11 8:23 AM, General News


A Strong but Changed Retail Industry Looks to the Future

The retail industry is now doing better than many retailers expected last year as stores, offices, and schools shut down across the country. In fact, compared to last year, discretionary retail sales revenue in the U.S grew 17% from January 1 through May 8, 2021, according to The NPD Group. Even more strikingly, retail sales increased 18% over 2019. Growth in the U.S. economy continues to rise as vaccination rates increase and as more consumers, as well as businesses and schools, begin to map their post-pandemic paths forward.

A recent “Future of Style” event, hosted by The NPD group, explored the major trends affecting global industries, including...

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May 27 8:26 AM, General News


How COVID-19 has Changed Eating Out Over the Last 12 Months In the UK

It’s 12 months since the UK’s first COVID-19 lockdown, and one of the sectors that has been most heavily impacted is hospitality. Here, The NPD Group picks out eight eating out/eating in trends from the pandemic’s first year (March 2020 to February 2021) and suggests how they will unfold as lockdown eases. From a surge in home deliveries to the growth of collection, the rise of eating on a deal, the surge of drive-thru, treating to beat boredom, a doubling of choosing vegan and veggie options, the rise of al fresco dining and a laser-like focus on delivering the best customer service, here’s how COVID-19 has changed the way we eat out (and in).

Delivery: In the 12 months of COVID, delivery’s share of out of home eating has more than doubled

Ordering takeaway main meals for home delivery has been a big part of locked down life and, according to The NPD Group’s consumer data, spend increased...

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Mar 24 8:24 AM, General News


Londoners Driving Trend for Delivery of Snacks and Coffee

There’s a new food trend emerging in the capital. Latest analysis from The NPD Group shows a significant rise in families in London ordering snacks and coffee delivered to their home. Demand from families for snacking delivered by foodservice operators and delivery platforms like UberEats and Deliveroo increased strongly, up +95% in London in 2020 versus 2019. This is significantly ahead of the +11% increase in orders placed by families across the country as a whole.

London currently represents one quarter of the UK’s snacking via delivery market. Dominic Allport, Insights Director (Foodservice), The NPD Group says “During 2020, London was the only region to see a rise in snacking via delivery. The main reason is the greater use of delivery subscriptions such as...

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Feb 12 8:30 AM, General News


The Dark Clouds of 2020 Yielded Silver Linings for U.S. Restaurant Industry

Throughout one of the most challenging years for U.S. restaurants the industry demonstrated its resiliency against a variety of headwinds throughout 2020 by rising from a -35% traffic decline in April to a -11% visit decrease in December compared to year ago, reports The NPD Group. Although mandated dine-in restrictions have held back all restaurant segments, particularly full service, consumer demand for restaurant meals and the ability to serve the demand with a host of off-premises services, like digital ordering, delivery, drive-thru, and carry-out, are the silver linings that enable the industry to persevere.

Restaurant digital orders, which were growing prior to the pandemic, increased by +19% in January of last year to +145% in December compared to year ago, according to NPD’s daily tracking of consumers' use of restaurants and other foodservice outlets. Like digital ordering...

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Jan 29 8:30 AM, General News







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