Welcome to HostMilano number 40: a truly enterprising, international event

The figures show that this is going to be another record-breaking edition, in terms of both size and content. Two years on from the last edition, the world’s leading hospitality fair organised by Fiera Milano is now back and ready to open its doors on 20 October for another five-day extravaganza. And as befits an event that brings together all the very latest innovations and quality ideas in a fast-growing, ever-evolving sector, it is bigger and fuller than ever.

2,165 exhibitors (+7.7%) from 52 countries – 1,322 of them Italian (+4.4%) and 843 from abroad (+13.4%) – will be meeting over 1,500 hosted buyers from Europe (10%), the Mediterranean and South Africa (7%), the Middle East (15%), North America (23%), Central and South America (8%), Russia (18%), Asia and Oceania (19%).

In 2016, the world trade in machinery, equipment and accessories for catering, baking, pastry and ice cream making was worth 45.2 billion euros, and in the last two decades the sector has grown constantly year on year, with the exception of 2009, when there was a fall-off (-13.3%), and last year, which saw a slight dip (-0.6%). Forecasts suggest there will be renewed annual growth of 5.4% between 2017 and 2019. Italy is the world’s third largest exporter in the field, with a share of 7.2% in 2016, behind China (39.3%) and Germany (7.8%). But while other countries are focusing on volumes, the growth in our country (+2.4% per year between 2000 and 2016) demonstrates how Italy is concentrating its efforts on raising the quality of the products it exports.

And this is precisely why it is so important to find all the world’s main manufacturers at a single trade fair, all under one roof, which in turn explains why HostMilano has grown constantly (since 2007 the overall number of firms has risen by 41%). The fair has become a point of reference for professionals who now, more than ever, need to be able to follow a fast changing market and pick up on all the new, exciting ideas. Over the years, the number of foreign firms attending has grown more (by 150% since 2007). Today, 843 of the 2,165 exhibitors registered (up 7.7% on 2015), come from 51 foreign countries.

Grupo Consular De America Latina Y El Caribe N.I. will make its debut at the fair with 11 countries, and five countries are taking part for the first time: Egypt, New Zealand, South Africa, Ukraine and Uganda. All the continents are represented, but the top five countries who lead the way in the food service business (excluding Italy) are: Germany, France, Spain, the USA (also with an official stand of the US Commercial Service) and Switzerland. The USA, Canada and the Middle East are the target areas for which various activities and agreements have been prepared with leading category associations.

Exhibitors will meet over 1.500 hosted buyers from 80 countries, which, thanks to the growing investments being made in profiling and ever closer collaboration with ITA (the Italian Trade Agency),will include many new names and an increasingly comprehensive typological mix. The areas concerned are Europe (10%), the Mediterranean and South Africa (7%), the Middle East (15%), North America (23%), Central and South America (8%), Russia (18%), Asia and Oceania (19%).