Host 2013 records impressive figures

Coming to a close last week Milan’s Host 2013 demonstrated that the European foodservice industry is showing positive signs of recovery, reports Michael Jones

It was more than apparent from the anecdotal feedback of delegates and exhibitors that the European foodservice industry is slowly getting its mojo back, but the impressive attendance figures for Host 2013 seemed to also concur. 133,000 attendees from 162 countries paced the seemingly endless floors of the Fiera Milano exhibition pavilions between 18-22 October. Those numbers were up 7% on the previous Host in 2011 while there was a 21% increase in international attendees at the event, making up 38.7% of the total attendee profile.

There was double-digit growth in attendee numbers from the US (+28% from 2011), Russia (+64%), UAE (+141%), Japan (+24%), and Germany (+14%). On the exhibitor side 1,700 exhibitors came from 48 countries (+6.5% from 2011, with 350 new firms), of which 559 were from outside Italy (+16.5%).

A chocolatier showcases products at Host 2013

Compared with the 2011 event, overall attendance registered a rise of 7%, with growth in international professional visitors hitting 51,600 (+21%).

Event organiser Fiera Milano also had a winning idea on its hands with its Expo Matching Program, responsible for organising 38,400 engagement meetings between manufacturers, suppliers and retailers. Elsewhere more than 400 events were organised as part of the event, including workshops, seminars, press briefings and cooking demonstrations by top chefs such as Chicco Cerea.

Going global

“Strong signals confirm the world leadership of Host in the professional catering industry,” said Michele Perini, president of Fiera Milano. “The entire world considers this event a key engagement to build and reinforce business opportunities. The results remind players not to just fall prey to the mindset of decline. For Host operators, it represents an opportunity to project into the global markets, because the five days give attendees the ability to make contact with all the industry players and recognise the excellence of this industry.”

Food showcase at Host 2013
Fine dining showcased at Host 2013

There was also a major increase from 2011 figures in exhibitors from established Western countries such as Great Britain (+33%), the Netherlands (+28%), Spain (+19%), and the U.S. (+17%). For the first time, Host welcomed exhibiting companies from as far flung as Bahrain, Israel, Kenya, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, Hungary, Taiwan, Venezuela and Vietnam.

Luciano Cattaneo FCSI, president of FCSI Italia said, “The success of this edition of Host should be noted. We saw an Italy that was hardworking, positive and able to be very attractive. Over the course of the event, 96 consultants have come from all over the world to the FCSI booth and registered with us. For us it was a really satisfactory event. It was focused and fully achieved the desired results.”

Achievements at Host

Cattaneo was keen to stress the following three points relating to the success of Host 2013. “First, our booth was an important point of reference for all consultants present. Second, our booth was able to showcase both Italian and overseas companies. And finally we were able to showcase important cultural achievements through seminars and case history at the booth.”

Of particular note on the FCSI booth, Roger Obeid FCSI gave an excellent presentation on the subject of educational kitchens in Lebanon, showcasing super flexible and multi-function zones for student training. Coverpoint’s Ian Hanlon FCSI also gave an engaging presentation on the foodservice consultancy he spearheaded on the recently opened, award-winning Titanic Belfast venue in Northern Ireland. More can be read about the Titanic Belfast project here.

The next Host event will take place from 23 to 27 October 2015, during the World Expo in Milan.

Michael Jones

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