CHICAGO — Citing a larger-than-expected slowdown in discretionary consumer spending, foodservice consultancy Technomic Information Services revised its 2008 U.S. foodservice nominal growth forecast downward from 5.1 percent to 3.6 percent.
Among the two largest segments of the industry, restaurants and bars still are expected to perform slightly better than other "beyond restaurants" segments, at 3.8 percent and 3.1 percent, respectively.
In comments delivered to clients at its Foodservice Planning Program meeting, Technomic indicated that while the industry has enjoyed sustained growth up until now, weaker performance is expected in 2008. Factoring in a 4 percent rate of inflation, real spending likely will be down this year.
"Because the restaurant industry often serves as a leading economic indicator, our opinion is that the U.S. has most likely entered a recession, or is headed for one," said Ron Paul, president of Technomic.