Foodservice equipment sales are down 50% on pre-covid figures, with two thirds of companies reporting they have fallen to 30% or less, according to the Foodservice Equipment Association (FEA).
The latest UK Market Update shows that the situation is unlikely to improve much in the next six months, with over half predicting their sales to be no more than 50% of pre-covid levels by December 2020.
However, the prospects lift considerably after 12 months, with most predicting sales levels getting to 70% or beyond. And by December 2021 over a third except to be back at 100% of pre-covid figures.
The research, conducted in June 2020, enlisted members of FEA and included UK manufacturers, distributors of imported equipment, dealers and service companies.
The research also reveals how over 60% of companies are experiencing problems collecting payments from customers. Adding salt to the wound is the fact that government support is clearly not working for everyone. Just over 30% of respondents had applied for business grants, but worryingly over 60% of these had been turned down. Perhaps not surprisingly, companies reported more success with business support loans: of the 36% who had applied for a loan, 53% were successful.
While the report predicts an increase in second hand equipment on the market as credit becomes tight, one area that looks likely to gain is innovation as foodservice operators demand new technologies to answer the ‘new normal’ needs and manufacturers develop them in response.
FEA is the authoritative voice of the foodservice equipment industry, representing over 200 companies who supply, service and maintain all types of commercial catering equipment - from utensils to full kitchen schemes.