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How big is China’s foodservice industry? Very big, and growing!

Updated: May 13, 2019

China's foodservice industry experienced record-breaking growth in 2018, with over US$600 billion in revenue. This revenue represents a 9.5% increase versus the industry’s top line sales in 2017. In contrast, while the revenue from the US foodservice industry in 2018 was US$825 billion, its growth rate was only 3.3%. In nominal value, the United States’ foodservice industry is currently larger and more robust than China’s. However, China’s population is four times that of the US. The massive difference in population size and the growing Chinese middle class will undoubtedly fuel the industry’s growth in China for years.

Nevertheless, that is just the tip of the iceberg. A myriad of other data points prove the appeal of the Chinese market for restaurateurs, particularly those focused on non-Chinese cuisine given the uniqueness of their menus to the average Chinese consumer.

According to the Chinese National Restaurant Association, Chinese consumers spend US$432 per person per year on out-of-home dining experiences. This amount is less than 1/5 of what US consumers spend in the same segment

In Japan, one US or European QSR restaurant serves 12 thousand people. In China, however, the same US or European QSR restaurant currently serves 1.6 MILLION people. No wonder researchers at the Rosenberg International Franchise Center (RIFC) ranked China the No.1 country in Franchise Attractiveness under the Aggressive Growth category.

Stay tuned for more information from Alazan about the Chinese foodservice industry and market. If you have not done so already, subscribe to Alazan à la carte to be one of the first to read these short articles.

Data source: Chinese National Restaurant Association, USA National Restaurant Association

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