Bakers Journal

Canada’s food-service industry posted traffic and dollar gains in November

December 19, 2022
By Bakers Journal

Canada’s food-service industry recovery continued in November with an increase in consumer visits and spending, The NPD Group reports.

November traffic to restaurants and food-service outlets increased by seven per cent, and spending grew by 14 per cent compared to a year ago. Full-service restaurant visits increased by 17 per cent, and quick-service restaurant traffic grew by seven per cent.

Retail food service, meaning prepared foods from convenience, grocery, and drug stores, declined by nine per cent, which turned the food-service industry’s overall recovery trend slightly negative in November, down one per cent, compared to the pre-pandemic level.

Dining at a restaurant versus carry-out, drive-thru, or delivery continues to be an industry bright spot. In November, on-premises visits grew by 35 per cent; at the same time, off-premises traffic was flat compared to a year ago. The fact that Canadians are out and about more is suggested by the seven per cent increase in afternoon snack visits compared to a year ago. All the primary meal dayparts posted gains in the month. Customer visits at the morning meal of breakfast or morning snack grew by seven per cent; lunch traffic increased by six per cent, and supper visits by nine per cent versus a year ago, according to NPD’s continual tracking of the Canadian food-service industry.

“The positive trend this month in afternoon snack visits demonstrates that Canadians are visiting malls, gas stations, and other retail settings. This is consistent with the growth in brick-and-mortar retail traffic NPD sees across the general merchandise categories it tracks,” says Vince Sgabellone, NPD foodservice industry analyst. “This confirms that consumers will be more inclined to purchase food service when they leave their homes. The ongoing challenge for our industry, especially as the winter months approach, is encouraging consumers to leave their homes more often.”

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