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Analysis: The Danish foodservice sector is still the food market of the future despite the Covid-19 slowdown

In line with countries across the world, the Danish foodservice sector experienced a marked decline in revenue during the Covid-19 pandemic. At the same time, the lockdown has presented opportunities for attracting customers, with the result that the sector is expected to return to previous levels by 2023. This is shown in an analysis recently carried out by the Danish Agriculture & Food Council.

Over the past decade – until the start of the Covid 19 pandemic, the foodservice sector experienced significant growth in Denmark. Between 2009 and 2019, revenues grew 70 % in the Danish foodservice sector. The Covid 19 pandemic, however, had a particularly adverse impact on foodservice with total revenues falling from DKK 47 billion in 2019 to 37.3 billion in 2020, and with a decline in revenue of just over 20 per cent from 2019-2020.


Graph: Statistics Denmark’s revenue overview for own label foodservice, DKK billion

Source: Statistics Denmark, FIKS44, ongoing prices. NB: Statistics Denmark has adjusted previous years’ figures

Despite the difficult conditions brought about by the pandemic, the Danish foodservice sector still looks set to continue as the food market of the future.

Danes have become used to take-aways
The extensive restrictions that hit the foodservice sector during the Covid-19 lockdown forced the market to seek out new initiatives. Takeaway solutions have proved to be a vital sales channel, as is reflected in the statistics.

Read also: Consumer trends in the aftermath of Covid

According to Euromonitor, takeaways accounted for approx. 15% of the total revenue of the Danish foodservice sector between 2015 and 2019. In 2020, this rose to 26 per cent. Takeaways replaced restaurant visits in 2020, which went from accounting for 80% of sales from foodservice in 2019 to 66% of sales from food service in 2020.

Future potential for growth in Danish foodservice
The Danish foodservice market is expected to grow again as restrictions are lifted while new takeaway solutions will contribute to growth in the sector.

Figures from Euromonitor also show that foodservice revenues will not reach pre-pandemic levels. until 2023 and 2024.

Graph: Euromonitor’s calculation of developments up to 2020 and expected development until 2025 in market size of the Danish own label food service sector. Current prices in DKK billion.

Source: Euromonitor International 2021, Consumer Foodservice in Denmark, historical/forecast of market sizes, current prices, DKK billion 2015-2020 are calculated figures, whereas figures from 2021-2025 represent a forecast.

However, there are opportunities for growth in the sector, particularly because during the pandemic, the Danish foodservice has succeeded in adapting to modified customer requirements and has proved its willingness to change.

The Danish foodservice sector therefore remains an attractive growth market for food producers in future.

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