2020 MAFSI Foodservice Industry Market Forecast Report

MAFSI Reps Forecast +3.0% Increase in Overall Sales for 2020

Throughout its 18-year history, the MAFSI Business Barometer has tracked both current and future business trends with great accuracy within 1%, plus or minus. Reflecting the positive attitude of typical salespeople, the bias has largely been to the plus side. 

For 2019 the forecast was for a +3.4% gain which will likely turn out to be closer to +2.0% when final numbers are tabulated. For 2020, the forecast is showing a more moderate gain of +3.0%. In view of the positive bias of the past two years, this likely translates to an “adjusted” forecast of +2.0%. By any measurement, it is obvious
that the market rate of growth is slowing. This conclusion is further supported by the recent sales reports of our industry’s largest manufacturing conglomerates.

By product category, the projection calls for an advance of +3.2% in Supplies, +3.0% in Equipment, +2.9% in Tabletop, and +1.9% in Furniture.

By region, the breakdown calls for increases of +3.6% in Canada, +3.5% in the Midwest, +3.1% in the West and +2.5% in both the Northeast and
the South.

Reps seem to be less buoyant about Quoting levels and Consultant activity. In 2019, 55% reported more Quoting activity vs. 39% more activity
for 2020. For Consultant activity, Reps reported 44% more activity in 2019 vs 36% more activity for 2020, both of which are downward trends.

Reps are most enthused about the following markets as leading avenues of growth: Healthcare, Education (both K-12 and Colleges), Chain
Accounts, and Business and Industry. 

Lastly, Rep firms are merging and consolidating, similar to Dealers, Servicers, and Manufacturers. Rep firms reported that 43% added new employees and 55% added new lines in 2019. For 2020, 54% of Rep firms plan to increase their staff by 1 employee.

Overall, 2019 was a tough year to meet and/or exceed goals and it is looking likely that 2020 might be even tougher.

Only MAFSI can give you the whole picture in one place.  The entire industry...at your fingertips...with the 2020 MAFSI Foodservice Industry Market Forecast Report.

2020 Foodservice Industry Market Forecast Report
2019 Foodservice Industry Market Forecast Report
2018 Foodservice Industry Market Forecast Report
2017 Foodservice Industry Market Forecast Report
2016 Foodservice Industry Market Forecast Report
2015 Foodservice Industry Market Forecast Report
2014 Foodservice Industry Market Forecast Report

How to Use the MAFSI Market Forecast:

1. What does the MAFSI Forecast mean to us as MAFSI Reps and Manufacturers?

The bottom line for everyone who sells in the United States and Canadian foodservice markets is that we want to know how we’re doing versus the market as a whole. The MAFSI Market Forecast provides a look at the market as a whole, and each of the MAFSI geographic regions in some depth. Since we may be operating in a limited regional market we also need to get deeper to understand our results and outlook. For example, seeing an overall drop to 3.4% of the market for Canadian provinces. This is a 20% drop if you have a significant portion of your sales in this region. You certainly want to know how the market is changing and how you’re doing vs. this important market.

Measuring your company against the market overall is the starting point for your company’s strategic planning. The deeper you go, the more important these comparisons are. Evaluating your company’s activity as it relates to quoting and consultant activity is vital. Knowing what’s happening in these segments is critical if one or more of these segments comprise a substantial portion of your business. Studying your business as it relates to highly-focused segments of the market means a lot to the future. How much difference does it make? Like an attorney, we have to say, “it all depends”… MAFSI’s information is more or less valuable to your company as you evaluate the position of your company segment by segment.

2. What your customers need to know about the MAFSI Market Forecast…

As a member of MAFSI, you receive the MAFSI Market Forecast as a tangible benefit of membership. Using the forecast to your advantage can be very beneficial to your business. For example, chain restaurant operators can benefit from knowing chains increased their activity during the most recent quarter. And knowing chains are the fastest growing segment of the market in the past year gives them a basis of comparison. It will better help your customers judge their business versus other chains of comparable size.

3. Your firm benefits by being exposed to the MAFSI Forecast.

The more MAFSI Reps and Manufacturers know about the market, the better it’ll be for their business, and for you as their Representative. By making sure your sales manager, head of sales, and chief financial officer are exposed to the MAFSI Forecast, you’re doing everyone a great service. MAFSI Rep members are the closest resource manufacturers have in the marketplace, and what MAFSI members see can make a real difference. We provide the Market Forecast as a tangible benefit of your membership. By being thoroughly familiar with the data, and having ideas of how to capitalize on market trends and conditions, you can be a very powerful force for your Rep firm. Using the MAFSI data as a starting point for discussion of your market for our Manufacturer's products is one more way that MAFSI Rep firms demonstrate professionalism and competence. The Bottom Line of the MAFSI Forecast:

This is an outside-in forecast. Reps bring a real world, on-the-street perspective to what’s going in the marketplace.

All Reps and Manufacturers need to understand and appreciate the information within the Forecast.  After digesting the data, members need to interpret the forecast for his or her channel partners and staff and help them see a path to effectively capitalizing on the facts of the market to increase market share and profitability.

The MAFSI Forecast is a working tool that can help all members of the sales channel grow and prosper.

We hope you enjoy the 2019 MAFSI Market Forecast Report only available to members and we would love to hear your feedback. Here’s wishing you good planning and a successful 2018.


Questions? Please contact us today at (404) 214-9474 or [email protected].