Australia, Canada, and China rang in 2013 with an increase in foodservice consumer visits as other countries across the globe experienced weak traffic growth during Q1, according to The NPD Group.

The weakness in visits to restaurants and other foodservice outlets experienced in Continental Europe during Q4 2012 continued into the first quarter of this year and was augmented with soft traffic in North America and Japan, reports NPD's Crest, which continually tracks commercial foodservice usage in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, United Kingdom and the U.S.

Australia, Canada, and China were the only three countries that posted traffic growth in Q1 out of the 10 countries tracked. Even with foodservice traffic gains, China reported the weakest traffic and check growth since Crest China began tracking the country's foodservice industry in 2010.

There were foodservice spending gains in Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Japan and the U.S., while France, Italy, Spain and the UK experienced spending declines.

"Eurostat, the European Union's statistical agency, recently announced that Europe's recession was the longest since the creation of the single currency in 1999, and the foodservice sector has certainly felt the effects of it," said Bob O'Brien, global senior vice president foodservice.

Read more about trends and statistics.

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