(Chicago, Ill – December 18, 2012) – Chicago-based food service database, marketing, and analytics firm, CHD Expert provides a unique 2012 overview of the Canadian food service market landscape, specifically focusing on full service and limited service restaurants.
The economic environment is stabilizing in the U.S. and in Canada, which brings confidence for 2013. The foodservice industry is expected to steadily grow throughout the year in North America.
The Canadian restaurant industry roughly represents a tenth of the size of the U.S. industry and the market landscape looks increasingly similar across the border. The number of U.S. restaurant chains entering the Canadian market has been significantly growing during 2012.
The first noticeable difference between the U.S. and Canada is the number of limited service restaurants compared to full service restaurants. LSRs represent 40.8 percent of the restaurant industry in Canada, whereas LSRs account for 48.5 percent of the U.S. industry. Consumers tend to look for quicker and cheaper eating options, which explains why the LSR segment has been performing better than FSRs for the past few years. The LSR segment in Canada is expected to gain market share over FSR in the years to come.
While the Canadian food service market is substantially smaller than the U.S. market, the top three types of eating establishments are the same in both countries. However there is one noticeable difference between the two countries operator counts by simplified menu type, and it occurs between the fourth most popular menu types. In Canada Beverages rank at the fourth position, as opposed to Mexican in the U.S.
As Mexican food continues to increase in popularity in the U.S. this could become a trend that will soon reach Canada. Therefore it might behoove Canadian establishments to consider this growing menu type as they forecast into the future and attempt to project what consumers will be eating.
The other Asians menu type ranks at the fifth position in Canada, whereas in the U.S. hamburgers occupy that position. One of the explanations is that the Thai menu type has emerged as a favored ethnic cuisine in Canada during 2012. It is not surprising to see hamburgers ranked at the fifth position in the U.S. since it is America’s quintessential comfort food.
“Establishments with varied menus hold the most market share,” stated Catherine Kearns, General Manager of CHD Expert. “This data shows that food service establishments who offer diverse menus attract more consumers as they appeal to wider populations and meet consumer preferences. For instance, TGI Fridays has seen an opportunity arise in Canada and entered the market during 2012. As we move into the New Year, existing and aspiring food service operators throughout Canada can consider adding new and varied dishes to their menus in order to meet diverse consumer preferences.”