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Business and glamour: at Host, the latest from the hospitality industry

wins over international operators and trend-setters

Reactions from buyers and exhibitors.

187,602  (+24.3% compared with 2015) professional visitors, of whom 39% were from overseas.

The areas experiencing the fastest growth included: Europe, China, the US, Russian-speaking countries and the Middle East

2,165 exhibitors from 52 nations: 1322 Italians (+4.4%) and 843 foreigners (+13.4%). Over 500 events

Milan, 24 October 2017 – After five days of intense networking across the latest trends and businesses, today fieramilano sees the end of HostMilano, the world’s leading exhibition for hospitality in its different shapes and forms. The results of this 40th edition are underlined by the numbers: professional visitors totalled 187,602 (+ 24.3% compared to 2015), of which 38.8% were international guests from 177 countries (72,699, +20.4% compared to 2015). As well as the European countries, China, the USA, the Russian region and the Middle East ranked among those generating the highest visitor flows. Not to mention substantial numbers from particularly distant or unusual countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Cambodia, Polynesia and several African countries (Botswana, Burundi, Eritrea, Rwanda, Zimbabwe).

The exhibition floor was mostly made up of purchasing managers and company decision-makers, notably including over 1,500 hosted buyers with specifically chosen profiles from all over the world, some of whom had been identified also thanks to close collaboration with the ITA-ICE Agenzia.

“Host is a success story – comments Fabrizio Curci, CEO and Director General of Fiera Milano Spa –; with a rise of 24.3% in the number of professional visitors, Host confirms its status as a true point of reference in the hospitality industry, the place where its different sectors meet to mould the trends of tomorrow and to do business and networking. In particular, the flows of foreign visitors are growing by double figures, reaching +20.4%: decision-makers and buyers are also arriving from more distant countries, eager not to miss the event.”

“We have been particularly impressed - continues Curci - by the ever-increasing efforts of exhibitors to contextualise their product with true storytelling techniques, often of great appeal. An ability that is internationally attributed to Italy and reinforces the value of Italian products as a fundamental asset, in a sector in which our industry is often a leader.”

Over 500 events are scheduled during the exhibition, notably including the FIPGC World Pastry Making Championships which, this year, in a stadium atmosphere, saw Italy claim victory over 20 teams from all over the world, including China (second place) and Japan (third place).

Institutions and players praise the exhibition’s success

The role of HostMilano is also confirmed by the increasing attention paid to it by international institutions.Business Beyond Borders, an international project promoted by the European Commission, involved 240 companies from 53 countries in over 200 meetings, whereas Grupo Consular de América Latina y el Caribe N.I. participated for the very first time, grouping together consular representations from Bolivia, Colombia, El Salvador, Ecuador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Uruguay and Venezuela. This edition has also obtained the prestigious Commercial Service certification, issued by the US Department of Commerce exclusively to a small number of international fairs that stand out for their ability to foster real business.

Host 2017 confirmed its status as an essential event for the coffee industry, both for the major brands and for the high-quality niche coffee roasters. “Out-of-home is an increasingly strategic channel for Lavazza - underlines Michele Cannone, Head of Food Service Marketing at Lavazza - and Host is the perfect place to present our extensive range of innovative and premium products to buyers from all over the world. This year, once again, the fair has confirmed its status as an important international landmark with high-quality initiatives, visitors and exhibitors”.

As for the coffee-making machine sector Simona Colombo, Marketing and Communications Director of the Cimbali Group, adds: “Host is for us the key appointment with our best customers and prospects, who come here from all over the world to discover our brand’s new developments and to discuss market trends. Every two years we specifically choose Host to launch our important, international and strategic projects”.

Another of the traditional core areas of Host, which continues to grow and evolve, is food equipment - both in the world of catering and in that of White Art.

“Coming here to Milan and taking part in Host is crucial to understanding where the international out-of-home market is going”, comments Ingrid Yllmark, VP of Corporate Communication at Electrolux Professional. Italians are unbeatable at creating ‘stories’ around products as part of a lifestyle, and as a multinational we’re committed to transforming these cues into business opportunities for our customers around the world. We do this above all while enhancing the points of contact between catering and beverages, an industry in which we have just acquired a company”.  

“We’re witnessing an an ever-closer partnership between catering and bakery, and an increasing number of mixed-concept businesses are offering bakery and gastronomy together. It’s a global trend but it also involves Italy, where industry professionals seek to balance innovation and tradition. Here at Host we’re seeing a particularly strong response from Europe and Asia, although historically we also have strong presence in Italy”, says Giovanni Gaibazzi, Export Manager at Tagliavini.

Machines are ideally complemented by ingredients and semi-finished products: “We've taken part in Host for many years, witnessing its steady growth - says Ennio Parentini, Business Manager of Italmill (Gruppo Mobe) - but particularly in the last two editions we’ve noticed a strong acceleration. At Host we build long-term relationships - often simple courtesy meetings during one edition have turned into business deals in the next, and we discover new opportunities that we may never have imagined: this year, for example, we’ve met new buyers from Uruguay and Tajikistan”.

The ice cream-pastry sector is also in a state of effervescence, and is among the most dynamic in grasping opportunities for hybridization.

“Ice cream really fits in everywhere, thanks to the most innovative technologies” - states Andrea Cocchi, Managing Director of Carpigiani Group -. In particular, at Host 2017 we’ve presented the new automatic SC-Cup  machine, the first to use capsule technology and researched together with Sarong, leader in the coffee market. Designed for convenience stores, hotels and tourist resorts, it enables customers to choose a capsule with their favourite ice cream flavour, and in 90 seconds they have a cup ready for tasting”.

As for the quality ingredients market, Gian Maria Emendatori, General Manager Middle East, Far East and Americas at MEC3 adds: “We’re definitely pleased with our participation at Host. We’ve had a very high footfall at our stand and we’ve noticed a great deal of interest above all from foreign buyers. Our aim isn’t so much to conclude contracts here, but to highlight this important moment for establishing a first contact and to get ourselves known in markets where we may not have a presence”.

And, at this edition in which even more glamour has come to the fore, the most design-related sectors - such as décor and tableware - are among those attracting the most attention.

“Even in a generally traditional sector such as tableware it’s possible to innovate - says Barbara Cincotto, Marketing & Sales Director of Arcturus Group, the parent group of companies such as Sambonet and Rosenthal -. Here, with Rosenthal, we’ve presented the Ardesia (slate) finish that makes it possible to add a dark grey border to any white model, thus becoming a mini ‘blackboard’ (hence the name) on which the restaurateur can write a hashtag, a website, a recipe of the day or any other information. We’ve also introduced a production method that makes it possible to create cutlery in the exact colour tones desired, so that it is perfectly coordinated with any other design element chosen by the restaurant. These are innovations that are meeting with great success at this edition of Host, where we’re noticing a particular attention to design.”

“More than the design of individual products it’s in our design philosophy that our research interacts with innovation, taking in wide-ranging projects in which light technology, the use of shapes and colours, the choice of materials, all contribute in offering the visitor an immersive ‘food entertainment’ experience - adds Mauro Alzetta, Managing Director of Tecnoarredamenti -. This is the guiding concept of our presence at Host 2017, where we’ve striven to create an emotional and engaging stand. This year, in fact, we’re definitely seeing a greater focus on design and formats among professional visitors”.

The satisfaction of international institutions and buyers

“Our organization constitutes an absolute novelty, so this is first time we’re taking part in Host - says Sergio Morales, General Secretary of the Gruppo Consolare Americana Latina e Caraibi N.I.-.  There’s been a real boom in guests and people interested not only in our novelty factor on the world market, but also in the activities and products that each of our countries can offer. We’re really very pleased with the reception we’ve had, the organization of the fair and above all the real business opportunities that we’ve found and that we’ll certainly continue to develop even after the end of Host”.

The satisfaction of international representations is also shared by the hosted buyers who, this year more than ever, have truly come from across the five continents.

From the “new” Europe Vesselin Halachev, President of United Business Clubs (Bulgaria), an organization that supports small and medium-sized enterprises, says “I’m enthusiastic about Host and the opportunity I’ve had to take part in the European BBB program, during which I was able to discuss numerous opportunities for collaboration and cooperation on behalf of the companies I represent. I've had nearly 20 meetings, finding many partners with good investment opportunities in Bulgaria, and that’s fantastic for me”.

Among the former Soviet countries, Georgia is one of the most dynamic. As Tamar Dzidzigur, whose company represents Western brands such as Wendy’s or Dunkin’ Donuts throughout the Caucasus, explains:“Host is very interesting for our type of business because here we find a state-of-the-art overview of the most in-demand and cutting-edge formats. The former Soviet countries are developing very quickly and, while until a few years ago it was sufficient for a Western brand to win customers, today’s consumers are much more design-sensitive”.

One of the most interesting markets opening up in the Middle East is Iran. Mohammedreza Davari is CEO of one of the country's biggest contractors: “Iran has an ancient tradition of hospitality that today, thanks to the reopening of markets, is undergoing a strong revival. New luxury hotels are being built and new restaurants are being opened throughout the country. Iranian cuisine, like Italian, is based on a large variety of combinations of simple flavours and for this reason appeals to international tastes, so we predict a great expansion in catering also related to tourism. 

Made in Italy products are very much appreciated in Iran, where of the European cultures that of Italy is perceived as the most kindred to our own, and there is a great desire for Italian products”.

Michael Jasco, on the other hand, operates in a now well-established Middle Eastern market, the Emirates: “We’ve been working for some time with important European partners, and Host is the best opportunity to meet them. Only here can you find, at every edition, not only new but also unexpected products, which is ideal for by now highly evolved and sophisticated markets like those of the Gulf nations. This year in particular I was very much impressed with the innovative new offerings in tableware and décor. 

From India Shivprasad Bale, whose company is active in the opening of new McDonald's restaurants, explains that:“I've known Host for several years and I know that here you can find all you need for hospitality. At the moment, however, we’re particularly pushing the opening of new McCafés, and who knows coffee better than the Italians? I’m very happy from this point of view because here I’ve found everything I was looking for in terms of both machines and coffee roasters, all of very high quality”.

Still in Asia, from Vietnam comes Tina Hua, buyer for one of the country's leading coffee companies, who comments that: “In Vietnam the fashion for coffee already took hold a few years ago, and now we-re entering a new phase in which capsules are expanding, above all in hotels but also in out-of-home. Ours is a market that’s receptive to technological innovations, but also to aesthetics, and in the products presented here I’ve found a perfect combination of high tech and design - for example espresso machines with very stylish touch screens.”.

Crossing the Pacific, from Peru comes Roxana Roxana Chichizola tells us that “people’s desire to enjoy their social lives as a multi-sensory experience is growing in the South American market too, and the good design of eating and drinking venues is also increasingly appreciated. Here at Host you can find quality products and ideas to take home with you. Not only at the fair but out and about in the city: being in Milan is undoubtedly another added value for the event.

In conclusion, this strong orientation towards design detected during the event is also confirmed by Joseph G. Cephas, Vice President, Communications at the American Society of Interior Designers (USA): “This year a number of our associates have taken part as professional visitors, because among American interior designers there’s a widespread desire to expand their business in the contract sector. Here at Host they’re finding lots of ideas and products to help them expand into this new market. The size of this event is hugely impressive, the range on offer is very wide, but the show’s organization by sector nonetheless enables visitors to easily find everything they’re looking for”.

The next edition of HostMilano will be held at fieramilano from 18 to 22 October 2019.

For real time updates:

www.host.fieramilano.it, @HostMilano, #Host2017         

Fiera Milano Press Office

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Flaviana Facchini - Public Relations

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