U.S. foodservice sales forecast downgraded

Foodservice research and consulting firm Technomic on Monday revised its 2010 U.S. restaurant industry forecast.

The Chicago company now expects U.S. foodservice sales to fall 1.6 percent this year, compared to the 0.8 percent drop it had previously predicted.

Upward of three-quarters of the U.S. seafood supply is consumed away from home.

Concerns over the economy and unemployment will continue to keep consumers’ dining-out habits in check in 2010, according to Technomic. Weaker-than-anticipated sales in fast food and business dining were among the factors that caused Technomic to revise its forecast.

“Given current dynamics among consumers, we don’t see the industry returning to the sales levels it previously enjoyed until 2011 or even early 2012,” said David Henkes, the company’s VP. “With demand remaining weak and bundled deals and promotions driving down check averages, topline sales growth among foodservice operators won’t bounce back quickly.”

Technomic’s revised forecast comes less than a week after the National Restaurant Association released its 2010 Restaurant Industry Forecast, which projected U.S. foodservice sales to reach USD 580 billion (EUR 411 billion) this year, up 2.5 percent from 2009.

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