The International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) published its latest 2022 foodservice industry and segment growth projections on its IFMA Scope platform. While the industry will not yet reach 2019 operator spend levels in 2022, IFMA projects 4.6% growth in 2022 compared to 2021.

The forecast models were created in conjunction with Datassential, a foodservice research firm, and validated by operators from the Foodservice Leadership Councils, who act as advisors to IFMA and its Board of Directors. Due to recent volatility in the marketplace, the projections utilize calendar year 2019 as a benchmark and are based upon several key assumptions, including total 2022 annual average inflation of 5%, supply chain constraints, labor shortages, and many white-collar employees continuing to work from home instead of going into the office.

"The good news is that the foodservice industry is in full recovery mode," said Phil Kafarakis, IFMA president & CEO. "Consumer demand for away-from-home meal occasions is back. However, the infrastructure to support that demand, in the form of labor and supply shortages, is lagging, resulting in higher cost of goods."

Some of the key highlights from the segment comparisons to 2019 include:

  • The total restaurant category – including full-service and limited-service restaurants – is projected to nearly return to 2019 levels by end of 2022 (2% short of 2019). 
  • Quick service restaurants (QSR), which have performed significantly better than other segments overall, are expected to surpass 2019 operator spend levels by 7%. However, the fast casual segment will lag. 
  • Full-service restaurant segments, including Midscale and Casual Dining, will not see the same recovery as QSR, only reaching 81% and 91% of 2019 spend, respectively. 
  • Collectively, On-Site segments in 2022 are projected to only reach 83% of 2019 spend, constrained by slow recovery in most segments, except for Education segments which are expected to return to 2019 levels this year.

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.

Source: IFMA