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THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE BY USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARIL... - page 14 / 38

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Table 4. Share of Restaurant Sales by Type of Outlet (2009)

General restaurants

70.3%

Noodle shops

8.4%

Sushi shops

10.7%

Others

10.6%

100.0%

Source: Food Service Industry Research Center

Source: Food Service Industry Research Center

Restaurants The restaurant segment generated approximately US$ 135.3 billion in sales in 2009 and offers the best export prospects to the United States among the four food service segments. Restaurants generate more than a half of the current food service sales and comprise four main types of outlets as shown in the Table 4. When looking into the figure in detail, ―general restaurants,‖ ―noodle shops‖ and ―sushi shops‖ all had declined in 2009 by 2.1%, 0.3% and 1.0% respectively, while ―others‖, which includes fast food shops, showed an increase of 1.5%. Due to the current slumping economy in Japan, fast food shops, which offer low-priced menu, showed growth.

As with the retail sector, the HRI sector is quite fragmented and most restaurant businesses are small. However, small family-owned restaurants have been disappearing due to increased competition with HMR, food retailers and restaurant chain operators.

Several major ―family restaurant‖ chains are becoming increasingly important for international suppliers. Because they compete primarily on price, they are active in global sourcing. These chains thus represent a significant opportunity for U.S. food exporters. Chain restaurants are particularly interested in semi-processed or precooked foods. Premixed ingredients, seasonal fruits and vegetables, specialty sauces and seasonings, and desserts are particularly attractive products for chain operators.

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