Bakers Journal

HostMilano sets agenda for must-see show

March 15, 2017
By Bakers Journal

Are ice-cream makers and confectioners the rising stars of food and cooking shows? Figures and trends observed by HostMilano – one of the world’s top events for equipment, coffee and food – confirm so.

A recent survey carried out by Statista has revealed some facts on eating-out behaviour in the United States. The favourite dessert for 71 per cent of Americans is homemade ice cream and for 40 per cent, Italian gelato. And the record of Italian ice-cream machines confirms this success. ANIMA-Assofoodtec has estimated a 2016 turnover equal to 325 million euros (+1.2 per cent), 245 million of which from the export business alone (+2.5 per cent). Moreover, innovative trends are opening up new prospects. Ice-cream parlours and pastry shops are increasingly providing a home delivery service through the most popular apps, and mini-portions are leading to new consumption opportunities.

The most effective formula for future markets
A challenging scenario where ice cream and pastry masters must also be entrepreneurs and managers. They must be able to combine technology, creativity, and high-specialisation, and have an overall picture of the latest food trends. They must always be focused on what happens worldwide, as trends and tastes have become global phenomena.

This is why ice-cream makers and confectioners will find new professional opportunities at HostMilano 2017 in Milan, Italy, Oct. 20-24. This international event, the only one in Italy of its kind, is divided into three macro-areas, which open up to new business opportunities, combining vertical specialization and continuous interactions and exchanges with related sectors. In particular, the gelato-pastry industry is included in a synergistic macro-area with the coffee and tea, bars, and coffee and vending machines sectors.


The success of this concept lies in the figures. Currently, 1,437 companies, of which 41 per cent hail from overseas, have already confirmed their presence. Exhibitors will come from all over the world. This year’s newcomers will be Belarus, Serbia and Liechtenstein from Europe, and South Africa and Egypt from Africa, the market of the future. In fact, according to some estimates, in the near future, Africa’s GDP will increase with rates higher than 5 per cent per year, while energy needs are increasing by 38 per cent. This means that both industrial activities and consumption are increasing. As for the countries with the largest presence, on the podium we have Germany with 86 companies (up 26 per cent compared to 68 in 2014), Spain, France, and the United States, followed by the United Kingdom, Greece, Switzerland, Netherlands, Portugal, Austria and Sweden.

The U.S. will participate with 44 companies (up 47 per cent compared to 30 in 2014), of which nine will be taking part for the first time. The trend has been consistent in the last editions, thanks to the agreement with Commercial Service, the trade promotion arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce, which confirms its official certification.

Confectioners, ice-cream makers, and chefs: the new stars
Due to hybridization between different formats, industry players are required to be expert selectors of top-quality raw materials, to mix different culinary traditions, and to be the “archaeologists” of traditional local flavours. Consumers have been acknowledging the chefs’ authority for a long time now, and they are extending it also to master confectioners and ice-cream makers, three professional figures that sometimes tend to mix and merge.
HostMilano 2017 will focus especially on these categories.

A series of activities and a training program called “Obiettivo Apprendistato,” (Objective Apprenticeship) will make the experience more effective. In fact, with this program, HostMilano, together with the Association of Professional Italian Chefs, aims to help aspiring chefs and hotel school students qualify for their future job. This project involves 100 schools and at least 1,000 hotel school graduates, and will select the most talented ones for internships in the most prestigious kitchens.

The coffee sector holds a special place among the hybridization opportunities provided by this macro-area. A whole area, dubbed the International Coffee Trade Fair, will be dedicated to this business. For 24 editions now, this event has been the point of reference for the entire supply chain – from the producers and distributors of green coffee, to roasters and manufacturers of coffee machines – presenting innovation and top level training. Success is guaranteed by the associations involved, as well as by the exhibitors, from large companies to small roasters. This is an important resource to counter the crises of generalist bars. These see quality, innovation, and specialization as the key to face the challenges posed by the modern consumer.

Championships, courses and cooking shows will season the event
Professional visitors (150,968 in 2015, from 172 countries) will find plenty of business and training opportunities and will be able to attend high-profile events. So don’t miss out on the Cake Designers World Championship and World Trophy of Pastry, Ice Cream and Chocolate in collaboration with the International Federation Pastry Ice Cream Chocolate. In the catering industry, Charming Italian Chef will talk about sustainability in all the stages of the supply chain. Identità Future, in collaboration with Identità Golose, will also make a comeback. Finally, don’t miss out on the European Pizza Championship organised by Pizza e Pasta Italiana.

The two contests organised in collaboration with, a consortium at Milan’s Polytechnic University, have been confirmed once again this year: SmartLabel, the coveted prize awarded to products that stand out for their innovation within the professional hospitality business; and HOSThinking, a design award, now at its third edition. With the title 10 Designers for 100 Products, young designers will develop futuristic hospitality innovations live at the show. The 10 most innovative products will be selected.

HostMilano is the perfect place where you can discover new food, hospitality and retail trends. A world that gathers in the pavilions of fieramilano every two years, but that continues to improve and develop during the two preparatory years, with web and social events at which industry players can meet and interact. For more information about attending or exhibiting at HostMilano 2017, visit

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