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The numbers for the global foodservice industry are staggering.

Worldwide, there was about $26 trillion — with a “T” — spent in this sector last year alone, according to Euromonitor International Global Food and Beverage Lead Michael Schaefer,  who spoke before a session at the National Restaurant Association meeting in Chicago this weekend. And the U.S. isn’t the center of it all; Schaefer made a point of telling a crowd of rapt attendees that 80 percent of global food sales are now outside the U.S.

Where specifically? China and southeast Asia are the biggest players, and Schaeffer said in the next four years, the Chinese food market is expected to grow by more than $300 billion. That, Schaefer said, means that between now and 2020, the Chinese food market will grow “more than any other market on earth.”

But, China is by no means the only country or region where growth in faster food businesses is simply going to explode. Schaefer said Euromonitor research also indicated that smart investors will watch and potentially invest in these five countries or regions:

  • Indonesia
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam
  • The Middle East
  • Turkey:

But, a word of warning …

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Schaefer said, however, that the market for chains and other foodservice businesses outside the U.S. is a different beast entirely. Unlike the U.S. and much of the Western world — where chains and large combined entities like Yum! Brands reign — in Asia and Indonesia, the market is very fragmented, he said.

Instead, these markets are populated by many thousands of small mom-and-pop shops, including lots of street vendors, food kiosks and rolling restaurateurs.

“This is how much of the world eats,” Schaefer said. To accentuate this fact, he highlighted that globally,  just 15 mega-brands, like Yum! and McDonald’s, control about 10 percent of global food sales.

It leaves a cavernous hole in the global market for new players to rush in, but only the strong and nimble will survive.

Part 2 of this series will take a look at some of the foodservice research and observations about which specific restaurant sectors will rule the world in the immediate future, which audiences will drive which trends and which features will attract customers to rack up sales.

Reprinted with permission from www.QSRweb.com

S.A. Whitehead

Award-winning veteran print and broadcast journalist, S.A. Whitehead, has spent most of the last 30 years reporting for TV and newspapers, including the former Kentucky and Cincinnati Post and a number of network news affiliates nationally. She brings her cumulative experience as a multimedia storyteller and video producer to the web-based pages of Pizzamarketplace.com and QSRweb.com after a lifelong “love affair” with reporting the stories behind the businesses that make our world go ‘round. Ms. Whitehead is driven to find and share news of the many professional passions people take to work with them every day in the pizza and quick-service restaurant industry. She is particularly interested in the growing role of sustainable agriculture and nutrition in food service worldwide and is always ready to move on great story ideas and news tips.

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