Oversees exhibitors flock to Milan for ‘most international’ Host show yet

Milan’s Host show has always been a bellwether for the wider fortunes of the foodservice industry. The presence of 2,000 exhibitors at Host2015 bodes well for the market, says Michael Jones

The key numbers being logged by the exhibitors for Host2015 make for impressive reading. They also paint a positive picture of the general health of the foodservice industry.

The show, held between 23-27 October 2015 at Fiera Milano in Milan, Italy, featured just short of 2,000 exhibitors, figures up by 17% compared to the 2013 show. 714 overseas companies representing 47 countries accounted for 37% of the total exhibitors, a 26% growth from 2013, with firms from Norway, Malaysia and Cyprus all exhibiting for the first time.

There was double-digit growth for exhibitors at the show from the main manufacturing countries too, the increased presence of companies from Germany (+24%), France (+29%), Spain (+27%), the US (+26%), Switzerland (+37.5%), the Netherlands (+25%) and the United Kingdom (+20%) triggering an expansion of the exhibition space from 12 to 14 halls this year.

“With its strong internationalisation strategy, Fiera Milano is facilitating and supporting the recovery in industries where Italy represents excellence in the world,” says Corrado Peraboni, CEO of Fiera Milano.

“Moreover, it acts like a catalyst for foreign companies, which are more and more represented in our exhibitions. Host attracts companies from all over the world. It is not just as a business facilitator, but also as a meeting point for dialogue and discussion among professionals, as well as a trendsetter in innovation and style, and an observatory on markets and tomorrow’s trends,” says Peraboni.

Simona Greco, exhibition director at Host Fiera Milano believes that the show has been a success because it combines an unparalleled overview of the whole sector with expert detail of niche, vertical markets, as well as offering exhibitors a unique insight into foodservice trends in Milan itself.

“Host is the recognised trendsetter for the hospitality industry worldwide. Many of our foreign exhibitors and buyers reported that they took the chance at Host to study the emerging hospitality trends in the city, besides those anticipated in our halls,” she says.

For Greco there were many highlights of this year’s show. “The increasing presence of ‘starred’ chefs and gelato and pastry maestros was a huge success,” she says.

“They offered convincing live demonstrations of how technology enables them to be more creative and achieve original and unprecedented results, a message that we’ve been conveying for years now, and we are very glad that it finally seems to go through to both professional customers and end consumers.”

Host2015 also featured over 400 events across its five days, including workshops, seminars, tastings, show-cooking events, exhibitions and competitions. Prestigious awards were also bestowed during the show. Created by HostMilano and Fiera Milano in partnership with POLI.design and with support from ADI, Italy’s Association for Industrial Design, the awards include HOSThinking, dedicated to innovative formats for future hospitality, and Smart Label, acknowledging the most sustainable products and services.

For one recipient of a Smart Label award, GRANULDISK – who won for their 2-in-1 heat recovery unit, exhibiting at this year’s show was justified through increased footfall at their booth. “The Host exhibition was a success for GRANULDISK. We could see a +20% increase of visitors during the first two days of the show in comparison to last time,” says Cecilia CARLSTEN, product manager at GRANULDISK.

According to Greco, the contests and championships made the event “even more intriguing,” this year. “The pizza segment proved to be particularly vital, with its new focus on traditional stone-milled flours, ‘free-from’ options and gourmand recipes, while very interesting aspects came from the World Pasta Day and Congress that we hosted at the Conference centre,” she says.

“The coffee area increased its spaces by 50% and was represented at the highest worldwide levels, not only in terms of exhibitors, but also of coffee culture with seminars, tasting moments with the exclusive cupping method and exciting challenges that engaged the most renown barista champion.

“This cultural component was essential to Host’s positioning as a global trendsetter, as the FCSI workshops and seminars themselves demonstrated. We are already looking forward to Host2017, for which we plan even more novelties,” she says.


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