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CHICAGO, August 19, 2020  The International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) published its 2021 Foodservice Industry and segment growth projections on its IFMA Scope™ platform. The projections are based upon several key assumptions, including COVID-19 vaccine availability, domestic and international travel, and government regulations/mandates.

The forecast models were created in conjunction with Datassential, a leading foodservice research firm, and validated by IFMA’s Operator Advisory Councils, comprising of senior executives across all segments of the industry. Overall, foodservice operator spend in the United States is estimated to grow at a real rate of 7.3% in calendar 2021, when compared to final 2020 spend projections. U.S consumers are expected to spend an estimated $583 billion in foodservice in 2021 while operators are projected to spend $227 billion during that same time frame.

This growth projection for 2021 is the beginning of the recovery from the significant consumer spend declines of 2020. IFMA and Datassential models estimate that at the end of 2020, overall operator spend will have declined 28.4%, compared to initial 2020 projections. This projection ties directly to the impact of COVID-19 on consumer and operator spending behavior.

Some of the key highlights from the segment projections include:

  • Overall, the total restaurant category is projected to grow 7.4% in 2021 off of an annual decline of 28% in 2020.
  • Quick service restaurants (QSR), which have done significantly better overall, are expected to recover more than half of the spend the segment lost in 2020.
  • Full-service restaurant segments, including Midscale and Casual Dining, will not see the same rebound as QSR, growing only 3.7% and 4.7%, respectively. This comes off of declines of over 35% in 2020 for each segment, mostly due to limited delivery and off premise dining.
  • The On-Site segment as a whole is projected to grow 9.7% in 2021, off of a 30% decline in 2020.
  • On-Site segments Healthcare and Education are projected to recover substantial lost spend in 2021 while the Lodging, Recreation, and Business & Industry segments are projected to only recover a small portion of their lost 2020 spend.

IFMA anticipates that these projections will be revised in Q1 2021 to account for changes in COVID-19 vaccine availability, changing government protocols, and other factors that will influence consumer spending in 2021. At that time, IFMA will publish revised projections.

For more information, please contact Charlie McConnell, Senior Director, Insights & Best Practices at IFMA at charlie@ifmaworld.com.


Access IFMA Scope >>


About IFMA

The International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) is an established trade association serving foodservice manufacturers for over 65 years to improve industry practices and relationships while equipping every foodservice manufacturer with the tools to navigate their future with confidence. By providing insights, developing best practices and fostering connectivity through events, we enlighten members and motivate change that leads to betterment for the individual member organization and the industry at large. 

About Datassential

Datassential, based in Chicago, makes the food industry smarter with the most reliable and forward-looking culinary trends and consumer intelligence.  Learn more at datassential.com