Market Reports

Milan gets set to Host

The world’s retail hospitality industry will descend upon the second largest city in Italy for a five-day extravaganza of coffee, business and culture at Host  2013. Taking place from 18 – 22 October, the biannual exhibition will feature more than 1600 exhibitors from 50 countries at the Fiera Milano complex in Rho, just outside of Milan. Michele Perini, President of Fiera Milano, says this year’s event promises to be a global business platform like no other. “Host is just the right place to present market previews of new products needed to face an increasingly discriminating and demanding market,” says  Perini. In 2011, 1600 exhibitors from 40 countries worldwide participated at Host, an increase of 10 per cent compared to the previous edition. These buyers, stakeholders and distributors met more than 125,000 professional operators, of which 33,000 were foreigners from 153  countries. At this year’s Host, exhibitors will exceed the 1600 mark set in 2011. Two months ahead of the event 330 new entries had been received from 172 foreign companies. Representatives will travel from 45 countries, with 10 new countries represented at the 2013 event including Bahrain, Brazil, Egypt, Hungary, Israel, Japan, Romania, Slovakia, Venezuela and Vietnam. Foreign companies will account for 38 per cent of the total attendance, an increase of more than 50 per cent on 2011. Perini says it’s Host’s “four milestones”, including the launch of new products, new ideas, services and business, that attracts such large-scale attendance and makes the event one of the most internationalised exhibitions in the world. “Besides being the leading marketplace for the sector, Host stands as the unrivalled trendsetter for the entire HoReCa (hospitality, restaurant, catering) world,” Perini says. “Host is where the pulse of the market can truly be taken, where one meets the competition as well as new and loyal clients.” The eight traditional segments of the HoReCa market will be organised in three macro-areas that optimise synergies between overlapping specialisations: food service equipment with bread, pasta and pizza; coffee and tea with gelato, pastry, bar and coffee machines; furniture and tableware. The exhibition layout will be complemented by a rich calendar of training and information events and special areas. This year is the first time that Host is opening up to the world of tea, with a dedicated area to meet continued market demand. From teahouses to bars, restaurants to hotels, tea is now spread across the HoReCa sector. As a result of such interest, Host will dedicate an entire section to this business in synergy with the coffee sector for the first time. Perini says that the coffee segment of Host remains a large and important division not only to the event, but to the European market. Figures from the Italian Federation of Public Establishments highlight why Milan is the perfect place to host this leading trade fair for the HoReCa and the retail world. Aaccording to November 2011 figures, Italians drink as many as 7 billion cups of coffee a year in coffee bars, which adds up to an average of 171 cups a day for every bar in Italy. “Italy boasts a coffee culture that has been exported to the world, increasing its business potential,” Perini says. “Italy is the world’s third most important exporter of ground coffee after Germany and Belgium, and one of the most important green coffee importers.” A 2012 study from Italian business publication MarkUp indicates that approximately 266,000 tonnes of coffee are consumed in Italy each year, half of which is consumed away from home, 38 per cent through the HoReCa channel and 10 per cent through vending. The single-dose sector (pods and capsules) currently accounts for only 6 per cent, but is experiencing double-digit growth rates, up by as much as 65 per cent. On the other hand, Perini says espresso machine technology is on the rise too. “Technology has made the espresso brewing process more and more automated, and this has helped to further enlarge the market,” he says. “Among other trends [we are likely to see at Host], sustainability is paid special attention, in terms of organic beans, energy saving, and environmentally friendly materials for capsules, packaging and machines.” Host will operate a busy schedule of training and information opportunities on coffee research, quality control and professional training. At the designated coffee bar, the Specialty Coffee Association of Europe (SCAE) will host 10 workshops, including sensory and cup tasting and their application in businesses, and barista skill workshops for basic, intermediate and advanced levels that will cover brewing coffee through to techniques for milk and barista menus. Participants will also have the opportunity to take exams for SCAE qualifications. The Italian Federation for businesses will host a series of focus groups, seminars and trade events each day. In the Coffee Village, experts will run training and information sessions, seminars and practical workshops with some of Italy’s most authoritative industry associations. Visitors will also be able to witness an attempt to make the biggest cappuccino in the world and see performances of top coffee masters creating crafted coffee and espresso-based drinks. To celebrate this year’s 14th edition of the World Barista Championship (WBC), World Coffee Events (WCE) will thrill visitors at Host with a WBC all-stars event. The lineup will feature present and former WBC baristas including 2013 champion Pete Licata, 2010 champion Michael Phillips, 2009 champion Gwilym Davies, and 2007 champion James Hoffman, along with other WBC finalists.
The champion baristas will gather in a rare opportunity to see them interviewed live with feedback on their award-winning performances.
Over the five days, the baristas will also challenge each other in an on-demand signature beverage performance, judged by members of the public. Whether it’s the latest espresso machine, cocktail maker or gelato invention, Perini says there will be something for everyone to discover at Host. 

Leave a Reply

Send this to a friend