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Catering industry analysis: revenue on the rise
The demand for catering services is expected to increase in the coming years due to rising corporate profits and a strengthening economy. Consumers and business will expand their catering budgets for special events such as com- pany meetings, parties, and wedding re- ceptions.
Contract caterers will also be called on to fill on-going foodservice needs at an increasing number of universities, hospi- tal facilities, and senior living centers. Professional contractors are a popular option because they help free up organi- zations to focus on their core strengths and reduce overhead expenses.
The global contract catering market is forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4% from 2016- 2021, according to recent industry analy- sis conducted by Azoth Analytics.
The Global Market Landscape
Just how big is this market? The con- tract catering market encompasses a wide variety of sectors — such as busi- nesses, schools, hospitals, senior care centers, military institutions, athletic fa- cilities, and more.
The global market remains frag- mented, and opportunities vary by re- gion. North America is a relatively saturated market, but the APAC region has significant room for growth, espe- cially in the Indian and Japanese markets.
Top contract catering companies in- clude Compass Group, Elior Group, Aramark, Sodexo, Baxterstorey, MITIE Catering Services, and Ch&Co Catering.
Catering Industry Trends
As hospital patients, seniors, and busy employees seek a higher quality of
life, organizations are facing new pres- sures to provide more balanced diets and personalized menus. Consequently, caterers are increasingly focused on health and well-being.
Compass UK & Ireland is one such example. After signing a new contract to deliver catering services to a London hospital, Compass emphasized its "healthy food and drink options... pre- mium service, and bespoke approach." In January 2017, Compass launched a corporate responsibility report with a goal to increase ethically sourced ingre- dients, transition to 100% cage-free eggs, and introduce smart scales to reduce food waste.
Compass is not alone in its desire to have a positive social impact. Sustainability has become a buzzword in the catering industry. As another example, the CEO of the Elior Group called out the importance of quality, innovation, and a positive footprint on the planet by sharing this tweet to start out the New Year.
On its website, the Elior Group also describes its committment to develop- ing a sustainable supply chain with an emphasis on local produce.
Market Drivers and Constraints
The increasing focus on quality and taste will only heighten as the world economy strengthens and the middle class generates more disposable in- come. Catering companies must meet the expectations of a discerning cus- tomer base, and a growing senior de- mographic as well.
A recent market research report by Koncept Analytics pinpoints three key factors driving demand for contract catering:
u Risingdemandforcustomizedfood u Growingmiddleclass
u Increasingroleoftechnology
Challenges and threats to growth include:
u Foodsafetyissues
u Governmentregulations u Competition
To read more catering industry analy- sis and market research, explore the re- ports available on
About the Author: Sarah Schmidt is a Managing Editor at, a lead- ing provider of global market intelligence products and services.
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