Issue 6/12

Europe’s Top 99 Foodservice Players – 13th European Foodservice Summit

The current issue of FoodService Europe & Middle East is on its way to readers in over 50 countries across the world. The highlights in this edition: a report on the 13th European FoodService Summit in Zurich and our exclusive market overview and analysis of the top 99 foodservice players in Europe.
Creative strategies for tougher markets: that is the motto of this year's European Foodservice Summit. At the end of September, more than 250 top executives from the international foodservice scene came to Zurich. Once again, a high-calibre line-up of speakers fascinated their audience. They included sector professionals like Ron Shaich, founder of Panera Bread, Joe Bastianich, the New York partner of Eataly founder Oscar Farinetti, Wagamama's creator Alan Yau and Ignasi Ferrer of the Spanish Eat Out Group. On the other hand, there were names such as FAZ co-publisher Frank Schirrmacher, Chris Sanderson from the Future Lab in London and Stéphane Garelli – world-renowned specialist in competitiveness.

Part 1 of our report summarises the most important messages from the summit and includes a résumé of the talk given by Jochen Pinsker, Senior Vice-President Foodservice Europe of the NPD group, on the most recent developments in the away-from-home market among the European lead markets. Further reports will follow in the next issue.

Then: market research across Europe. We present our exclusive 2011 sales ranking of Europe’s top 99 foodservice companies – presented in Zurich by FoodService Europe & Middle East Publisher Gretel Weiss. Together, the top 99 chalked up growth in sales of 5.5% - to more than €85 billion net - after 4.5% the previous year. QSR and contract catering alone account for more than two thirds of the total volume. With 7.7%, the QSR sector can boast the strongest growth, but all other market segments are up too.

In this issue's interview we talk to Summit speaker Ron Shaich, Chairman/CEO and driving force of the fast-casual chain Panera Bread – with more than 1,600 bakery cafés in the USA, it is the leading name in the fast-casual sector, alongside Chipotle. Making a difference –that is Shaich's credo. Why should people come to me rather than go to my competitors? Anyone who doesn't have a ready answer to that question simply doesn't deserve to exist – that is Shaich's message.

What attracts people to micro-breweries? Answers to that question are given in our pan-European survey of micro-breweries. As it happens, this type of operation is holding its own remarkably well in a difficult business environment, where we are seeing falling beer consumption in many countries in Europe. Craftsmanship, individuality, speciality beers, seasonal features – this is what is making micro-breweries successful up and down the country. In Part 1 of our European review, we observe the scene in Germany, Great Britain and France. Plus, we take a sideways look at the USA.

Craftsmanship is the magic word – and individually created ice-cream concepts are also profiting from this. Be they lone warriors or concepts with ambitions of growth, home-made quality and first-class, natural ingredients, sourced locally as far as possible, are what is making the running. Part 2 of our hot trend overview of artisan ice-cream presents examples from seven European nations.

With its high standards and insistence on quality, the New Zealand gourmet burger brand, BurgerFuel, has now also begun to conquer the international market. The first step on their journey is the Gulf Region. In our Middle East section, we follow this ambitious brand as they embark on their road to expansion in the direction of Dubai, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and beyond.

Also in this edition: observations from Top Summit participants on strategies for growth in difficult times. And a portrait of equipment manufacturer MKN.