In spite of the continuous challenges in the global economic environment there has been significant and sustained growth in the global food service industry which currently amounts to USD 2.55 trillion, with more than 65% spending coming from the emerging markets. According to food service industry reports, the market sector can be broadly categorized into the self-operated caterers and contract caterers in which the providers are responsible for supplying food and beverage services to their customers which includes a wide variety of end markets.
The contract catering service in the food service industry usually operates through an outsourcing structure facilitated by a firm or a specialized organization on a contractual basis. Since organizations are always searching for cost effective ways that self-administers food and supports services, the demand for the contract food service caterers is always high. The contract caterers have defined patents such as civil servants, workers, and patients who resort to canteen food and meals at affordable rates on a regular basis. Depending on factors like financial risks, potential compensations, profit and loss, the contracts can be divided into three types of contracts:
- Profit and loss
- Fixed price
- Fee based or cost plus
The food service market provides different kinds of benefits to their clients. To cite an instance, their delivery structures are flexible and consistent and the clients do not have to bother about the health and safety regulatory regime about the products.
The market segment can be further classified into five major end markets, namely,
- Healthcare and senior
- Business and industry
- Sports, leisure, and defense
- Offshore and remote.
Of the five segments, the business and industry market accounts for the maximum revenues but the industry experts suggest that the long-term growth opportunities lie in the healthcare and education sector.
The international markets are some of places that display the potential for maximum growth. In 2012, the food service sales were recorded at USD 2.6 trillion and are forecasted to grow further to reach USD 3.4 trillion by 2017. The food service sales are expected to grow most rapidly in Asia Pacific – growing by 39.1%, while Latin America follows close behind with an increase of 62.1%. However, North America is expected to face slow growth because of the conundrum of fierce competition in a saturated market.
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