‘COVID-19 public health measures and social distancing significantly affected food service sector sales in 2020,’ explains Jeewani Fernando, provincial consumer market analyst with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry.

‘However, with the easing of those measures, sales from the second quarter to the third quarter of 2020 improved.’

During this period, sales in food service and drinking places increased by 41%. The notable increase was for drinking places (alcoholic beverages) with a growth of 168%.

‘Full-service restaurants, the hardest hit sub-category due to COVID-19, reported a 73% growth in sales from the second to the third quarter of 2020.’

Fernando points out after achieving record sales during the COVID-19 public health measures in the second quarter of 2020, retail food and beverage sales values for all categories except specialty food stores, declined in the third quarter of 2020.

Overall, retail food and beverage quarterly sales in Alberta showed a 3% decrease from the second to third quarters of 2020. Despite the lower total sales value, specialty stores recorded a significant 23% increase.

‘Annual third quarter change percentages indicate that food service and drinking place sales have not returned to the pre-COVID-19 levels in the third quarter of 2020,’ says Fernando.

The Data Highlight section of Trends in Retail provides quarterly updates of retail and food service sales in Alberta.

Read the current issues of Trends in Retail – Issue 20


Connect with Jeewani Fernando:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-415-9773
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Email: [email protected]

For media inquiries about this article, call Alberta Agriculture and Forestry’s media line:

Phone: 780-422-1005

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