The International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) has published its 2022 foodservice industry forecast, which projects 4.6% growth in 2022 compared to 2021. However, when compared to the figures for 2019, which IFMA used as a benchmark, the results are less positive.
IFMA based its projections on certain assumptions for this year, including a 2022 annual average inflation rate of 5% and other factors that continue to plague the industry, such as supply chain issues, labor shortages, and white-collar employees continuing to work from home. Taking these factors into consideration, while the total restaurant category is projected to be higher than in 2021, by the end of this year, it will still be 2% less overall than in 2019.
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For instance, full-service restaurant segments, including mid-scale and casual dining, are expected to reach only 83% of 2019 spend. The fast casual segment also is forecasted to perform below 2019 levels.
However, there are some segments that are expected to perform at levels equal to or better than those in 2019. For example, quick service restaurants are projected to outperform operator 2019 spend levels by 7%, and the education segments are expected to return to 2019 levels this year.
“Consumer demand for away-from-home meal occasions is back,” says Phil Kafarakis, IFMA president & CEO. “However, the infrastructure to support that demand, in the form of labor and supply shortages, is lagging, resulting in higher cost of goods.”
IFMA members can access all projections, including an early look at 2023, through the IFMA Scope portal, which provides real-time segment and market demographic information.