INTERNORGA 2018 preview: craft beverages, hotel trends and a varied conference programme

The leading European trade fair for hotels, restaurants, bakery and confectionery will this year boast three major meetings featuring leading academics, practitioners and consultants, reports Michael Jones

INTERNORGA 2018, held on 9-13 March in Hamburg, Germany, will this year once again also host a unique conference programme, with a standout line-up of international speakers. As well as the standard trade fair exhibition, where 96,000 visitors and 1,300 exhibitors will tread the halls of Hamburg Messe, the show will see three significant industry events featuring leading academics, operators and FCSI-member consultants, who will give exclusive insights into their fields of expertise.

The International Foodservice Forum

First up, the INTERNORGA event series will open one day prior to the show on 8 March with, what show organisers Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH, term “Europe’s biggest conference for professional foodservice” – the International Foodservice Forum. The theme of the conference is ‘Think ahead – get ahead! Professional foodservice 2018+: consumer trends, market potentials, success factors’ and it will be held at the Mehr! Theater am Grossmarkt. Presentors include Stavrola Ekoutsidou of Ikea Food Deutschland, who will demonstrate how the Swedish furniture giant has succeeded in implementing food as a customer pull factor, and a strategic element for success. Ekoutsidou will also discuss the sustainability, using the example of the new global benchmark store in Düsseldorf-Kaarst. Mirko Silz, CEO of the fast growing food service chain L’Osteria, and Jan Knikker, a Dutch architect and expert on change management, will also address how urban lifestyles create a new relationship between shopping, eating and home furnishings. The session will be chaired by Boris Tomic, editor-in-chief of Foodservice, and Axel Weber, Axel Weber & Partner, Bochum.

The German Catering Congress

On Monday 12 March, The German Catering Congress Current will focus on the theme ‘The future builds on the past” learning and action – success factors in practice’. Marcell Jansen of restaurant start-up concept, Ben Green, will address how the traditional lunch break is increasingly outmoded and why catering companies must adjust to flexible working styles. Horst M. Kafurke of innogy Gastronomie GmbH will look at how corporate outlets can show catering companies how to respond to changes in eating and consumer behaviour as they move towards eating on the go. Dr. Volker Busch, a psychiatry and psychotherapy specialist at Regensburg University will also speak on the rising demands of “a new world of work” and how catering companies can respond to it.

The Forum School Catering

The Forum School Catering will focus on vegetarians in 2018. This is, say the Forum’s organiser’s, still a neglected area within German schools. Speakers include Petra Hottenroth, of Berlin’s new School Meals Quality Inspectorate and brain researcher Dr. Henning Beck, Carola Petrone, an author known as the ‘Organic Mum’, who is convinced children need the best possible nutrition for their growth. Tickets for the International Foodservice Forum, the German Catering Congress and the Forum School Catering are now available at

Hotel trends at INTERNORGA

At the main INTERNORGA show itself, the theme of travel will loom large, particularly within Halls B5 and B7, which will showcase a wide range of ideas for hotels big and small, and  individual properties. “Individuality, authenticity and storytelling are the key concepts for the hotel of the future,” says Corinna Kretschmar-Joehnk, interior architect and CEO of JOI-Design, one of Europe’s leading interior architecture and design studios. “Hotel guests are getting more sophisticated. They can look at any number of hotels online and compare them with one another. That makes it all the more important for hotels to offer their guests something new, and to stand out clearly from the rest of the market,” she says.

“INTERNORGA is Germany’s only international trade fair for the HORECA industry and gives hoteliers a unique showcase to explore current trends under one roof. From customised design and décor to digital solutions and new trend beverages for the bar, hotel operators can find a tremendous range of offerings for their own hotel,” says Claudia Johannsen, business unit director at Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH.

Hand-crafted expertise

The Craft Spirit Lounge (Hall B4 (upper floor) is a new area at INTERNORGA this year and will look at all things hand-made in beverages. Capitalising on the popular Craft Beer Arena at INTERNORGA 2017, the newly developed concept is all about artisan spirits, expanding INTERNORGA’s coverage of ‘hand-crafted’. It will, say the organisers, provides “a relaxed environment with the perfect atmosphere for connoisseurs to savour new products and indulge their passion for strong drink”. Producers of classic distilled products such as gin, whisky, rum, fruit brandies and vodka will present their products here in a unique setting close to the Newcomers’ Area and Craft Beer Arena.

Johannsen is delighted with this expansion of exhibitor areas. “The Craft Spirit Lounge is a highly specialised area inviting visitors to explore, and showcasing a variety of distillery products at one location. Hand-crafted spirits such as gin, rum and also schnapps are a big trend and give restaurants and hotels ideal opportunities to offer their own customers something new. We see great potential in the new exhibitor area, becoming another popular highlight like the Newcomers’ Area and the Craft Beer Arena,” she says.

Best of the rest

Elsewhere, the Food Truck Village (Central Entrance Forecourt) is back again in 2018, showcasing not only tasty snacks, but also hosting a ‘Truckers Talk” giving useful know-how from mobile catering practice.

The Pink Cube (B2, ground floor) is INTERNORGA’s trend centre for foodservices and bakeries, and will feature Karin Tischer, a trend researcher much in demand throughout Europe, and publisher of food & more magazine. Tischer will give an overview of the most popular food trends worldwide, and will present exciting products and trailblazing concepts.

Café FUTURE live (Foyer East, ground floor), is the hospitality lounge and for professional foodservice, and will include creative culinary tasters, “a cool and relaxed atmosphere, genuine hospitality” and talks with three well-known industry personalities, about the future of the foodservice world: Jürgen Thamm, regional director continental Europe, Compass Group, and Vapiano CEO Jochen Halfmann, plus a surprise guest). For three days, it will be held at 12pm each day.  

Further details:

INTERNOGA 2018 is offering free entrance for members of FCSI EAME. Register now by emailing: and using the subject line ‘Internorga – FCSI’.

Michael Jones



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