FEA launches database of in-use catering equipment

Keith Warren of FEA during the Industry Insight launch crop
Keith Warren, chief executive of FEA, during the Industry Insight launch.

FEA has launched Industry Insight, a database that shows what type of commercial equipment is in use in which sectors of the foodservice market.

Based on live, constantly updated information, the database can drill down to individual sites to show what equipment each one has, and can also inform users as to whether the site is open or closed, due to the pandemic. Industry Insight is also designed to give an overview of the market as a whole, and information on all points in between.

The database is the result of collaboration between FEA, its members, equipment suppliers and consultants, and foodservice database specialist Caterlyst.

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In development for 2 years, its aim is to create what FEA chair Steve Hobbs describes as: “An industry first: a genuinely unique set of data that offers a deep understanding of the installed base of foodservice equipment in the UK.” He added: “There is nothing like this on the market, the grass root granularity of details is incredible.”

During the launch event this week, Nichola Gallagher of Caterlyst gave a tour of the database, showing how users could drill down from the macro to the micro. The database is supplied in modules covering specific product areas – the first three to launch being cooking and warming products, warewashers and refrigeration.

Each module gives an overview, with the total number of outlets and appliances in the market, then users can drill down by sector or by product type. For example, they might look at passthrough dishwashers in small, medium or large pubs. They can also look at the twenty largest pub groups, and split the outlets by region. Or they might look at the schools market, in similar detail. There are links on the database to individual sites, so that the user can look them up in greater depth.

Gallagher explained that the individual site data is refreshed every week, with equipment numbers reviewed quarterly. Each quarter, subscribers receive an executive summary report, highlighting trends and changes and giving a top line commentary.

Simon Frost, chair of the FEA Statistics Committee, led the project since its conception. “By detailing the product penetration by sector, the database shows users where the gaps and opportunities are, allowing them to optimise their marketing and sales efforts, based on live data. There is so much potential here – for example, the regional breakdown can help direct a sales force’s efforts. I believe it will become the bedrock of many companies’ sales, marketing and new product development strategies.”

During the Q&A at the end of the launch event, facilitator Keith Warren, chief executive of FEA, was asked who had decided what data was required and how to split it. “That work was carried out initially in the FEA’s Product Group Forums – refrigeration, warewashing and so on. Each Forum’s members come from specialist companies and are all experts in the relevant field. Their work was then verified by independent consultants, Julie Barker and Steve Loughton, before the project was linked to the site-relevant data by Caterlyst. We’re as sure as we can be that no stone has been left unturned.”

Tags : caterlystdatabaseFEAIndustry Insight
Clare Nicholls

The author Clare Nicholls

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