December 14, 2017

Trends to Watch for – From Our Manufacturers

Trends to Watch for – From Our Manufacturers

When manufacturers visit our offices, one thing we discuss is trends they’re seeing in their businesses and the FES industry. We think you’ll find it interesting to read some of their recent responses as we head into 2018.

Steven Pofcher, Channel Manufacturing: “I see a return to what I refer to as ‘value and total cost of ownership’… Buyers now realize it is not only about the initial cost, but they now look for a high value, long-lasting product.”

Mary Ann Graue and Rod Noll, Hobart: “A growing market is assisted living centers and similar places for the aging…Casinos dropped off during the recession, but they are on the way back.”

Jim Lund, Rational USA: “… there are more and more restaurants and eating facilities with smaller footprints and space constraints coming onboard.”

Olinka Heard, Rancilio: “There are a lot of small cafes popping up all over… Hotel chains are offering more coffee options also. Places like convenience stores and gas stations realize they need to offer high-quality coffee choices to keep up with their competition.”

Trends to Watch for – From Our ManufacturersMatt Wills, American Metalcraft: “Durable products that are care-friendly and safe are at the top of the list… That basically means something that will last a long time, is dishwasher-safe, and won’t shatter into pieces if dropped.”

Barb Heath and Kristin Witzack, San Jamar: “We’re seeing a lot of call for ‘sleek’ product designs and personalized colors and options, even for smaller accessories like tissue holders… Everything in the front-of-house needs to project a certain image and brand.”

Matt Meddaugh, Risch: “Menus are important. No matter what else your restaurant has, a menu is the one thing all customers see. As with fashions, materials and colors for menus are always changing. Right now we’re getting more calls for unique, one-of-a-kind items.”

Jeremy Motto, Browne USA: “Products as a reflection of lifestyle is trending… We’re also seeing companies, which were not previously in foodservice, developing lines and entering the market. In the FES industry, we’re seeing a lot of consolidation, the growth of different online distribution channels is something we’re all wrestling with.”

Hailey Hutchison, Traulsen: “There’s a clear move towards low GWP (global warming potential) refrigerants and greater energy efficiency for refrigeration systems. We’re also seeing increased use of reach-in type glass door refrigerators and freezers in the high-end lodging segment. This equipment supports their retail initiatives – small spaces that are starting to resemble bistro-like restaurants.”

Lynn Burge, Master-Bilt: “Of course, everything is moving toward being more environmentally friendly and energy efficient… In foodservice, we’re seeing more food in retail, like convenience stores and even dollar stores. These can provide challenges because of the space constraints and the small design footprints.”

We’d like to thank all the manufacturers that visited us. If you’re a manufacturer that publishes in the AQ Catalog and would like more information on visiting our offices for a Content Review Workshop, please contact your Content Account Manager for dates and details. If you’d like to comment on any of trends presented in this blog, please contact



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