The Food Service, Equipment and Supply sector is an important branch of the Food & Beverage Industry that operates on a big, dynamic market with lots of opportunities and challenges. Despite the not so efficient growth rate, the industry is experiencing this year, the potential is great. In order for the companies to reach their maximum, however, they need a reliable partner in one very important field – the translation and localization of their documentation.

If you want to speak the language of the Food Service, Equipment and Supply industry, you need to speak the language of the end users. You can do that by learning some interesting facts and taking into account the most important steps in document localization that can be beneficial for your business.

A “Less Vibrant” Range of Growth

It is interesting to look at some key statistics, market characteristics, and current performance of the major companies in the Food Service, Equipment and Supply sector. The hard numbers show that the sales growth in the industry has slowed down in 2017 compared to previous years.

In the 2016 “Distribution Giants” top dealer ranking report by the Foodservice Equipment & Supplies Magazine the figures show a 11.3% increase in sales among the top 100 foodservice equipment and supply dealers in 2015. An overall 74% of the dealers reported an increase in their sales with only 16% reporting a decline, which was 8 percentage points better than the previous year.

However, during the annual 2018 President’s Preview E&S Market Forecast webinar held by Foodservice Equipment Reports from August 14th to August 17th, the magazine has cut its forecast for sales growth. Based on the data from the first two quarters of 2017, the forecast growth for the year were cut from 4.2% in April to 3.5%. The 2018 forecast was adjusted to 3.6%.

The MAFSI Barometer that measures the sales growth of manufacturer’s representatives also ended up with the figure of 3.5% for the second quarter of 2017. This figure, however, is encouraging, since the first quarter read of 3.3%. In comparison, the average growth for 2015 was 4.9% and for 2016 – 4.4%. Even though the figures are a sign that the market growth is slowing, Michael Posternak, principal at PBAC & Associates, and the founder of the MAFSI Barometer, commented that the market “now has settled into a less vibrant range of 3% to 4%.” In other words, the situation is not so grim as it may seem to some industry players.

One of the possibilities to enter new markets and increase the sales is by adding another language to your portfolio. Here is how to do it right.

How to Boost Industry Sales with Document Localization

The Food Service, Equipment and Supply Industry deals with a lot of complex documentation that contains specific terms, technical terminology and references to laws, regulations and requirements. Therefore, it is important to have these items properly translated into a foreign language, especially when entering a new market. In order to assure accuracy, the dealer or manufacturer should look for experienced professionals in the field of translation and localization. The bonus is to find a language service provider, who has knowledge of the Food & Beverage industry as well and has worked with Food Service, Equipment and Supply representatives long enough to offer sustainable service quality.

Here is a list of the areas that should be covered as part of a successful translation and localization process to ensure that it will bring all the benefits for the industry players:

  • Technical Specifications
  • Operator & Maintenance Manuals
  • Safety Information
  • Quality Standards & Guidelines
  • Packaging & Labels
  • Drawings
  • Marketing Collateral
  • Cookbooks & Recipes
  • Websites & Online Help

When the entire documentation related to a particular service or equipment is properly localized, its demand is expected to surge. A future user is more willing to choose a product or service that is presented in their own language, with easily understood and clear graphics and illustrations. Reference to the local requirements and using the local currency and measurement system makes the product stand out to the others offered on the market. Simply having the manual translated in the target language makes a particular piece of equipment more desirable.

The Food Service, Equipment and Supply representatives can rely on the support and guidance of a trusted translation agency throughout the entire of translation and localization process. Here are some tips to keep in mind while preparing the original English version of a document that can facilitate the process:

  • Use short clear sentences
  • Choose high quality graphs and images without text embedded in them
  • Use neutral fonts that are supported in most languages
  • Leave a bit more white space for the translated text
  • Provide the translator with all the acronyms and abbreviations used, especially if they are specific for your company, product or service
  • Remain open for any questions or suggestions

Remember that any language added to your service or equipment documentation creates a path to a new market niche with great potential. You can give your sales a boost with the right translation and localization partner.


Sources: 2016 Distribution Giants, by Foodservice Equipment & Supplies Magazine

FER lowers Its E&S Market Forecasts for 2017, ‘18 by Robin Ashton, Foodservice Equipment Reports

The Numbers Don’t Lie by Robin Ashton, Foodservice Equipment Reports

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