Global Food Service Industry Overview

There are many current trends affecting the food service industry, such as new developments and regulations aimed to improve sustainability – and most lead to growth. The global food services market has witnessed significant growth over the past decade, and is now one of the most lucrative businesses in the global food and beverage industry. The food services industry, which refers to businesses or services responsible for serving prepared food or meals, is expected to welcome greater expansion soon, mainly driven by changing demographics, and growing customer demand on “food experiences”, coupled with increasing disposable income in emerging markets. Here is an overview of the industry.


Current trends affecting the food service industry


According to recent figures from US food service consultant company Technomic, total sales in the global food services market totalled over US$ 2.7 trillion in 2016. Although North America and Europe are still dominating as the two largest markets for food services sector, Asia Pacific is now the world’s fastest growing region for food services sector. In 2016, the United States, China, India, Spain and Japan were the top five global markets in terms of consumer spending on food services, based on USD PPP (Purchasing power parity).


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Food service industry statistics


In Asia Pacific, where the food services market experienced the biggest growth over the last decade, consumer spending on eating out in 2016 reached over 1 US trillion, representing more than 32% of global consumer spending on eating out, according to the latest report from Cushman & Wakefield. In 2016, China, India, Japan, Thailand and South Korea were the top five markets for food services. The report also suggests that the food service industry in Asia Pacific is expected to register an average annual growth of 7.5% over the next ten years.


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Food service industry market size


When it comes to other regions, Middle East & Africa were the second fastest growing regions between 2006-16, with average annual growth of 7.4%. This region also holds the second spot for strongest forecast growth in food services sector for the next ten years, with a CAGR of 7.3% till 2026. The Americas – specifically the United States and Canada – and Europe have arguably the most mature food services markets in the world and so historic growth between 2006-16 has been lower at 6.1% and 4.2% respectively, as these markets were more saturated prior to 2006. Annual average growth forecasts for the Americas and Europe are expected to remain positive but are lower than Middle East & Africa and Asia Pacific, with the Americas anticipated to grow by 5.5% over the period and Europe by 4.9%.


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