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New York City and Other Major Metro Areas are Coming Back from Pandemic Losses 

Spring Break and Pent-Up Demand Help to Advance Recovery of Lodging and Recreation Foodservice in April

Spring break 2022 was a stark contrast to two years ago when it was the height of the pandemic. Travel sources reported spring bookings up 134% from 2021, and the World Travel & Tourism Council projects that travel and tourism will reach pre-pandemic levels in 2022. As a result of more travel and tourism and the release of pent-up demand, case units shipped from broadline foodservice distributors to...

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Jun 8 9:11 AM, General News



Pent-up Demand for Restaurant Dining in Canada Continues in April

Canadians made 75 million more foodservice visits in April compared to a year ago

Canadians made 75 million more foodservice visits this April than last year when most of the country was still in lockdown, reports The NPD Group. Online and physical visits to restaurants and other commercial foodservice outlets increased by 18% in April 2022 compared to a year ago, although still 10% below the pre-pandemic level in April 2019. Consumer spending at foodservice outlets, which reflects higher food and operational costs, is...

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Jun 3 9:14 AM, General News


Sales of Food Preservation and Storage Products Grow by Double-Digits As Consumer Demand Increases

With 86% of meals sourced from home, food inflation at a 40-year high, the average U.S. household wasting $1,866 of food each year*, U.S. consumers are storing food and leftovers to stretch their food dollars and meals while reducing food waste. The return to worksites and schools and more extracurricular and outside activities has increased the need to pack food for away-from-home meals and snacks. These needs drive the demand for food storage products, reports The NPD Group. Consumers spent...

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May 11 8:22 AM, General News


U.S. General Merchandise Unit Sales Fell 7% in April, as Retail Revenue Declined 1%, Reports NPD

As demand softens, the retail product mix needs to attract both value seekers and premium buyers

The consumer’s willingness to spend has been crucial to maintaining a healthy level of retail performance throughout the pandemic, but demand has been softening for several months. April 2022 U.S. general merchandise unit sales were 7% lower than a year ago, creating a 1% decline in sales revenue, according to The NPD Group.

“Higher retail prices have buffered demand declines but their escalation, combined with rising gas prices..."

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May 9 9:59 AM, General News


Canadian Restaurants Enjoyed A Robust Return of Customers in the First Quarter

Full service restaurants benefitted from the pent-up demand to dine out

The Canadian foodservice industry continued to show promising recovery in the first quarter of 2022 compared to last year’s same quarter, reports The NPD Group. Physical and online visits to restaurants and commercial foodservice outlets increased by 18% in the first quarter compared to the same quarter last year, when traffic declined by 9% due to indoor dining restrictions. Consumer spending in the quarter grew by 27% compared to a year ago when spending declined by...

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May 6 8:19 AM, General News


US Restaurant Industry Ends Challenging First Quarter with Customer Traffic Down from A Year Ago

In the first quarter of 2021, the third round of stimulus payments, availability of COVID vaccines and relaxed pandemic restrictions helped increase online and physical visits to U.S. restaurants by 3% compared to the same period a year before, according to The NPD Group. The first quarter of 2022, in contrast, presented a host of headwinds, including higher food and energy costs, for restaurant consumers and restaurants. Challenged by these headwinds and compared to a 3% gain in last year’s first quarter, online and physical...

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Apr 29 7:52 AM, General News


The NPD Group Announces 2022 Top 50 US Restaurant Chain Rankings

The NPD Group has ranked the top 50 U.S. restaurant chains based on sales estimates representing each chain’s total U.S. system for the year ending December 2021. Recovery was evident for the U.S. commercial restaurant industry in 2021 as pandemic restrictions lifted, vaccinations increased, and pent-up demand led to consumers dining out more. Restaurant online and physical visits increased by 9% in 2021 compared to the 12% decline in 2020. Similar to the overall restaurant trend, aggregate sales for the top 50 chains grew 15%, from...

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Apr 28 8:00 AM, General News


Restaurant Carry-Out is Losing Out to Delivery and Drive-Thru As More Convenient Ordering Options 

More than half of carry-out orders are placed at the counter

Restaurant carry-out, which dates back to ancient Rome, has provided a convenient eating solution for time-strapped civilizations for ages. However, with consumers always looking for the next level of convenience, like not getting out of the car, delivery and drive-thru orders have taken hold, making carry-out the less convenient service mode, reports The NPD Group. Carry-out orders were lagging drive-thru and delivery orders before the pandemic...

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Apr 27 8:52 AM, General News


As Soon As Pandemic Restrictions Lifted, Canadians Flooded Back Into Restaurants 

One of the most predictable behaviours that emerged over the past two years of the pandemic is Canadians will flood into restaurants as soon as restrictions lift, which happened in February, reports The NPD Group. Online and physical visits to Canadian restaurants and foodservice outlets increased by 17% in February compared to February 2021, when traffic declined by 23%. Despite the double-digit increase in visits, commercial foodservice traffic remains -9% below the pre-pandemic level in February 2020, according to NPD’s continual tracking of the Canadian foodservice industry...

 

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Apr 6 8:00 AM, General News


U.S. Restaurant Industry Traffic Improves in February After January Declines 

The U.S. restaurant recovery got back on track in February after January declines, reports The NPD Group. Online and physical restaurant traffic was up 2%, and consumer spending was up 8% in February compared to a year ago. Total restaurant visits in the month were down 8% from the pre-pandemic level in February 2020, according to NPD’s continual tracking of the U.S. foodservice industry.

Quick service restaurant traffic improved by 1% in February compared to a 7% decline in February 2021. This February, online and physical visits to...

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Mar 25 9:34 AM, General News


Digital Foodservice Ordering Continues to Accelerate in Canada

Digital foodservice ordering has been among the lifelines for Canadians throughout the pandemic. Although digital foodservice ordering was growing before the pandemic, the pandemic accelerated its growth, reports The NPD Group. Over the last two years, digital orders for carry-out and delivery from restaurants and other foodservice outlets have increased by 155%, according to NPD’s continual tracking of the Canadian foodservice industry.

Ordering through mobile apps represents the bulk of digital orders. In January 2022, mobile app orders represented 75% of all digital foodservice orders. 20% were internet orders, and 5%...

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Mar 21 8:00 AM, General News


U.S. Restaurant Recovery Hits A Rough Patch in January With Customer Traffic Down

Quick service visits were down in January on top of last year’s declines

After ten consecutive months of traffic gains over steep pandemic-related declines, the U.S. restaurant industry’s recovery stalled in January, reports The NPD Group. Physical and online visits to U.S. restaurants were down 2% in January compared to an 8% decline in January 2021. The 4% increase in consumer spending at restaurants reflects higher food and operational costs. Total restaurant traffic, online and physical, is down 10% from the pre-pandemic level in...

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Mar 8 8:55 AM, General News


Consumers Pull Back on Purchasing as Retail Prices Remain Elevated, Reports NPD

U.S. consumers have started to pull back on discretionary general merchandise purchases, but average selling prices continue at the pandemic’s elevated levels. Unit sales declined in excess of 8% for six consecutive weeks following the holiday shopping season, when compared to a year ago, according to The NPD Group. Despite higher prices, these unit declines kept retail sales revenue performance marginal, at best. The one exception so far in 2022 has been the pre-Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day week, ending February 12, which saw a...

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Feb 22 9:30 AM, General News


Fourth Quarter 2021 Revenue Grew 9% Over Last Year, While Overall Consumer Spending Grew 15%

U.S. consumer spending on general merchandise ended the year up 15% compared to 2020, with a 6% increase in unit sales. While the holiday shopping brought positive retail results, the early part of the year delivered more significant year-over-year gains. The fourth quarter of 2021 contributed 9% revenue growth and 1% unit growth over the prior year, according The NPD Group.

“Consumers’ grab-it-when-you-see-it mentality, especially related to pandemic-driven needs has not gone away..."

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Jan 25 8:06 AM, General News


Improvements Towards Breakfast, Morning Snack, and Lunch Business at US Restaurants

With students returning to schools, employees returning to workplaces, and more out-of-home activities, some aspects of the US restaurant industry adversely affected by schooling, working, and staying at home during the early stages of the pandemic are starting to improve, reports The NPD Group. For example, breakfast, morning snack, and lunch dayparts were impacted by people not being outside their homes during these times, and now that many are, restaurant visits for these meals and snacks are increasing.

In the last three months ending November, online and...

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Dec 23 7:52 AM, General News


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







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