NRA Forecasts Modest Restaurant Industry Sales Growth In 2009
WASHINGTON, DC — Restaurant industry sales are expected to reach $566 billion in 2009, according to the National Restaurant Association’s 2009 forecast. While overall restaurant industry sales are projected to increase in current dollars by 2.5% over 2008 figures, the numbers translate to an inflation-adjusted decline of 1%.
Sales at full-service restaurants are projected to reach $182.9 billion in 2009, up 1% over 2008. Quick-service restaurants are expected to post sales of $163.8 billion, a year-over-year gain of 4%. Eating-and-drinking places will see an increase in sales from 2008 of 2.2%, totaling $395 billion.
Employment in the restaurant industry outperformed the overall economy in 2008 for the ninth consecutive year, despite several months of modest industry job losses, and is expected to continue to outpace the economy in 2009.
The restaurant association projects that the industry will employ 13 million people in 2009 as the nation’s second largest private sector employer, representing more than 9% of total U.S. jobs. The long-term outlook is for continued growth – the industry is expected to add an additional 1.8 million positions over the next 10 years, boosting its workforce by 14% to 14.8 million people in 2019. Restaurant industry job growth will actually grow faster than the U.S. population, particularly in the key demographics of teens and young adults, according to NRA.
Texas is expected to post the fastest sales growth at 4% in 2009 ($35 billion), followed by Nevada at 3.5% ($5.2 billion); Colorado at 3.4% ($8.4 billion); New Mexico at 3.3% ($2.7 billion); and Arizona at 3% ($8.7 billion). The top states by restaurant sales volume in 2009 will be California at $56.2 billion; Texas at $35 billion; New York at $27.8 billion; Florida at $27 billion; and Illinois at $18.8 billion.
Texas, Nevada and Florida are expected to experience the fastest growth in restaurant-industry jobs between 2009 and 2019, expanding their restaurant workforces by roughly 23% – far faster than the 14% growth rate expected for restaurant jobs nationally in this period.
Not surprisingly, the top trend restaurateurs see for 2009 is an expanded focus on value, with 36% of quick-service operators and 16% of casual-dining operators seeing the demand for value as the year’s top trend in their segment.
Oregon Governor Proposes Cigarette Vending Ban, Tobacco Tax Hike
SALEM, OR — Gov. Ted Kulongoski has submitted a bill for the 2009 legislative session that seeks to ban cigarette vending machines with the stated purpose of blocking access to tobacco by underage smokers. Additionally, the governor’s proposed budget for the coming year includes a proposed 60¢ per pack cigarette tax increase and a 25% increase on other tobacco products.
Currently, tobacco vending machines are allowed in Oregon taverns, cocktail lounges, hotels and motels. Kulongoski claims that this offers identification-free access to cigarettes to minors and increases the likelihood that children will begin smoking.
“It’s just bringing these vending machines in line with the laws that everyone else who sells tobacco products have to play by,” Kulongoski spokeswoman Jillian Schoene told Oregon’s The Register-Guard. She noted that a state Department of Human Services survey found 7% of eighth-graders who smoke said they obtained cigarettes through vending machines. The majority reported getting cigarettes from friends, with 61% receiving them from peers over 18, and 69% from friends younger than 18.
The governor’s bill represents the first effort to impose a cigarette vending machine ban in Oregon. It’s supported by a coalition of anti-smoking groups that have been pushing for tougher enforcement of the state’s proof-of-age requirement for cigarette purchases at retail outlets, according to The Register-Guard. Between 1995 and 2006, the percentage of cigarettes Oregon retailers sold to minors dropped from 39% to 11%, according to data from the state’s ongoing undercover cigarette purchasing surveys.
Restrictions on vending machine sales of cigarettes have been debated in Congress but rejected. The United Kingdom has also considered such measures and is reportedly considering a requirement that buyers produce proof of age before being allowed to purchase cigarettes from a vending machine.
Kulongoski projects his proposed cigarette tax increase would generate $112 million in revenue over the next two years, which would fund public health, tobacco cessation and health promotion programs. According to the governor, the taxes would help recoup some of the costs to the state of tobacco-related illness. He estimates that every pack of cigarettes sold costs Oregonians $11.16 in healthcare costs and lost productivity.
Report: Carbonated Beverages To Register Modest Worldwide Growth In 2009
BASINGSTOKE, England — Despite the weak economic climate, volume in the global carbonated beverage category is expected to grow between 1% and 2% in 2009, according to global market research firm Canadean. Deteriorating financial conditions across much of the globe prompted Canadean to downgrade its earlier projection by around 1%.
The researchers now expect the market to reach 208 billion liters by the end of the year, equating to 31 liters per year for every global consumer. Canadean anticipates 2009 will see a similar growth rate to 2008, and that growth will accelerate to a little over 2% in 2010.
The carbonated beverage category continues to dominate the global soft drink sector, with almost four in every 10 liters of soft drinks consumed around the world being a carbonated soft drink, according to Canadean. Despite the category’s showing signs of maturity in many developed parts of the world, significant growth is anticipated in the developing countries in the coming year.
Declining sales in North America, which accounts for a quarter of worldwide volume, have pulled down the global carbonated beverage category, according to the research firm. Excluding North America, the global carbonated beverage growth rate would double in the coming year.
In 2008, North America lost its place as the biggest market for carbonated drinks to Central and South America. North Americans, however, remain by far the biggest per-capita consumers of carbonated beverages in the world, having consumed more than 130 liters a year more than the average global consumer.
The Middle East and North Africa and Asia are both expected to see an 8% expansion of the carbonated category this year, and are projected to be the main driver behind the global growth.
Public, Private Sectors Save $100M Annually With USAT Energy Miser
MALVERN, PA — USA Technologies reports that installations of the EnergyMiser are spreading across the United States, generating increasing environmental interest and “green” programs that are saving upwards of $100 million annually.
When equipped with the VendingMiser or VM2iQ, refrigerated beverage vending machines use as little as half the energy and are comparable in daily energy performance to new Energy Star qualified machines, according to USAT. Nearly 60 utilities are offering EnergyMiser for free or for rebates to tens of thousands of their energy customers, and 36 utilities joined the rebate program in the past 12 months alone.
Gainesville Regional Utility, one of the biggest community-owned energy utilities in Florida, is the latest to implement a program using the technology. The utility is buying, then giving away EnergyMisers to its energy customers, and expects to save Gainesville nearly $200,000 a year in energy savings as a result.
Other recent “green” programs to emerge include a Napa Valley vending operator installing EnergyMiser in all his customers’ vending machines at his own expense, and a vending machine efficiency initiative launched in Humboldt County in Northern California resulting in several hundred machines being equipped with EnergyMisers and expansion planned for hundreds more machines.
Fifteen cities in the South Bay area of Los Angeles are pooling their resources to fund the installation of EnergyMisers in vending machines to save on energy cost. And six major vending machine management companies in San Francisco and northern California have banded together to form a “green” vendor program to encourage the use of vending machines equipped with EnergyMiser technology.
USAT also reported that Connecticut’s Trinity College is installing EnergyMisers on vending machines on campus to save nearly $10,000 a year in energy costs.
Cadbury Divests Remaining Beverage Unit With Sale Of Australian Operation
LONDON — Cadbury announced that it has agreed to sell its Australian beverage business to Asahi Breweries, Japan’s largest beer producer, for $808 million. The transaction will complete Cadbury’s transformation to a dedicated confectionery maker after the spinoff last spring of its U.S. soft drinks unit. The agreement is subject to customary regulatory and closing conditions.
Cadbury chief executive Todd Stitzer said that following the sale of Schweppes Australia, Cadbury will focus solely on growing its chocolate, gum and candy business.
Schweppes Australia is the second largest nonalcoholic ready-to-drink beverages business in Australia and its portfolio consists of both owned and franchised brands, including Schweppes and Pepsi. With 1,500 employees, it generated $487 million in revenues in 2007.
The transaction is subject to an agreement between Cadbury and Coca-Cola Co. inked in 1999 that grants Coca-Cola rights to negotiate a purchase of Schweppes Australia until March 2009. If Cadbury and Coca-Cola do not enter into an agreement, the sale to Asahi will be completed by April 30, according to Cadbury.
Macy’s Installs Electronics Vending Machines In 400 Stores
CINCINNATI — Macy’s has installed “e-Spot” vending machines in half of its 850 department stores. The venders allow customers to purchase a range of electronic devices without the assistance of a sales associate, reported Cincinnati.com.
Manufactured by San Francisco-based ZoomSystems, the machines dispense iPods, digital cameras, headphones, camcorders and other items, ranging in prices from $14.99 to $349.99. The machines accept major credit cards and Macy’s gift cards.
“Customers tell us they love the no-pressure environment e-Spot provides,” Chris Mizer, senior vice-president of Macy’s customer operations told the online new agency. “Not waiting for someone with a key to unlock a cabinet or get the product from a back room – this is the type of comfortable shopping environment that today’s technology buyer appreciates.”