In the food sector, only the fast food industry managed financial growth in 2009, much of which was attributed to China and its love of American-style burger outlets.

Globally the value of the food service industry fell by 3 percent in 2009, this was the first decline in the industry's value since 2001, according to a webinar (web-seminar) held by market monitoring group Euromonitor on August 10.

However despite a drop in the global value of food service, the fast food industry managed to emerge victorious growing by 0.5 percent in the same period. Euromonitor attributes this to a continuing demand for fast and, above all, inexpensive food.

The fast food industry in China experienced a 13 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR or year-over-year growth rate), in contrast the United States, which only registered a 2.9 percent CAGR. China is the second largest market after America for fast food retailers such as KFC and McDonald's.

KFC has over 2,300 outlets in China and a meal deal, including pieces of chicken, a sandwich and a soda retails for around 28 yuan or €3.15, McDonald's has around 1,200 stores where a burger, fries and a soda package retails for around 15 yuan or €1.69. KFC has long been considered more popular than McDonald's in China, however the hamburger chain has been fighting back, establishing a ‘Hamburger University' in 2000 to train its Hong Kong staff.

During the webinar, Euromonitor predicted that the Asia Pacific area will contribute to over 72 percent of the world's consumer food service over the next five years, while the value of Europe's food service industry is expected to shrink by €5 billion ($6.6 billion) over the same period.