the catering market
United States


1.1 Definition and presentation

The catering market is one of the five segments that compose commercial catering, together with: traditional catering, fast food, coffee shops and pubs. This market is closely linked to the events market and is aimed both at professionals (welcome coffee, business lunches, cocktails, corporate seminars, etc..) and individuals (weddings, baptisms, etc..). In this context, the caterer - although he can be in charge of a wide range of services around an event (e.g. decoration, service, entertainment) - is generally the one who prepares dishes or meals, to be delivered or taken away.

The Global catering market’s outlook is positive: estimates a CAGR of 6% until 2024. Asia is the largest market, followed by North America and Europe. The US catering market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 4% from 2017 to 2023, where the largest revenue segment is sports and leisure. The US catering market is moderately concentrated and the top five players include Compass Group, Sodexo, Aramark Services, Delaware North, and Elior Group.

Demand is dependent on high-income households and the performance of businesses; IBIS projects that consumers in these segments will spend more on catering service, driven by stronger corporate profits. Moreover, demand trends will pertain to more healthy and organic eating habits;  the incorporation of seasonal and local food, and for example vegetarian meals will be key to market growth.

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