The foodservice markets of Russia, Great Britain and Australia experienced growth during Q4 2013, with Russia generating a 7-percent increase in visits, the strongest among all countries tracked by The NPD Group.
"In spite of an economic slowdown and low consumer confidence, foodservice traffic in Russia showed a decent 7 percent growth in the last quarter of 2013," said Maria Bertoch, director-NPD Russia Foodservice. "The key reason for this dynamic growth is that the Russian foodservice market is still very young and far from saturated."
According to a news release, the increases in the other two markets were driven by nice weather and improved economies.
Great Britain's visits were up 2 percent in Q4, according to NPD's Crest, driven by warmer weather. Positive shifts in the Australian economy boosted consumer spending and led to a 1 percent gain in that country's foodservice visits.
Conversely, challenging economies and low consumer confidence kept foodservice consumers away in Canada (down 2 percent), China (down 4 percent), Italy (down 3 percent), Spain (down 1 percent), and the U.S. (down 1 percent).
Foodservice traffic in France, Germany, and Japan remained flat in the quarter, the release said.
Chains vs. independents
Foodservice chains across the globe grew traffic in all of the strongest global markets in Q4, even in Germany where chains account for a relatively small share of the market. Independents, on the other hand, continued to struggle in the aftermath of the global economic crisis.
"It's probably not quite an inflection point but this is the quarter where Northern Europe seems to have stabilized along with Japan," Bob O'Brien, NPD global SVP, said in the release. "Quick-service restaurants, on-premises dining, and chains are behind the growth in the markets that were strongest last year. Conversely, many markets were held back by their weak quick-service segment."