This time it’s not terrifying! If you haven’t had the opportunity to take a look at the Economic Indicators Report FPI puts out four times a year, you might want to. FPI collects data from the United States government on the U.S. food and beverage industries to produce our Economic Indicators Report for our members.
Data collected from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service is compiled in a manner that allows our members to have a snapshot of what is going on in the marketplace without having to go seek the information out.
What kind of information do they provide?
Well, the Census Bureau data provides insights into how the foodservice industry is doing and is further broken down into subsectors of full-service restaurants and limited-service eating places. Comparisons are provided for previous months and previous year. Finally, we also include longer term look back over the last couple of years’ worth of data.
On the USDA side, the Economic Research Service data provides insights into all food expenditures. The data includes a break out of “food at home” versus “food away from home,” and comparisons are again provided for previous months and previous year. This is a members-only publication, but the information contained in it is publicly available (if you know where to look!), so I’m not giving too much away by saying that last year was a bit groundbreaking in that “food away from home” actually exceeded “food at home.” The media even picked up on this story – you may have seen something online or in print back in the spring of 2015. This is pretty great news for anyone in the “food away from home” business (or for the people that say, sell the foodservice packaging items those folks need).
As I mentioned, FPI publishes this report on a quarterly basis, providing regular data on the state of the foodservice industry and “share of stomach” expenditures. We publish this report with data from the previous quarter, so our latest report released includes information from the fourth quarter of 2015. Our reports are always made available to members in our resources section on the FPI website, so come check it out!