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HostMilano showcases new formats for the “gelato parlour” of the future

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MILAN, Italy — Old fashioned gelato: unique, just a few flavours and always sold in the same way? It no longer exists. Not in Italy and not abroad. Today’s market is led by gelato in the plural form, every one different from the others, but all with one common denominator: the need to pay attention to food intolerances and allergies.

Futuristic, healthy, gourmet or inspired by tradition, gelato and everything that revolves around it (from semi-finished products to machinery, from furnishings to state-of-the-art refrigerated counters) are at the centre of an evolution that shows no signs of slowing down, constantly presenting new trends and cutting edge technological innovations.

Just like those we’ll be seeing in the halls at HostMilano (organised by Fieramilano, from 18 to 22 October 2019), the leading event in the Ho.Re.Ca. segment which, with seven months to go before it opens, has already registered the participation of 50 different countries, with a total of 1,653 companies, of which 949 Italian (57.41 % of the total) and 704 international (42.59 %).

Gelato: 89 million dollars in turnover forecast for the next few years

A boom that just keeps on growing, in Italy and all over the world. While the figures relating to the new life of gelato in Europe reveal 9 billion euro in turnover, with 150 thousand people employed in the sector (source: Unioncamere), in Italy, spending for this deliciously sweet and chilly treat rocketed to 3 billion euroin 2018 (+2% on 2017 and +10-12% on 2016), aided by unseasonal hot weather and the gradual breaking away from seasonal consumption.

Artisan gelato in particular is among the favourite foods of Italians, with an annual per capita consumption of 6.5 and 7 kilos, made by 40 thousand workshops using fresh locally-sourced ingredients; the sector generates a total turnover of 1.5 billion euro, employs approximately 30 thousand people and uses 220 thousand tonnes of milk, 64 thousand tonnes of sugar, 21 thousand tonnes of fresh fruit and 29 thousand tonnes of other ingredients every year.

As far as the production of artisan gelato is concerned, Italy now occupies a stable top spot in the EU, with a market share of 19%, ahead of Germany, stable on 515 million litres (16%) and France (454 million). On a more general level, however, the whole global gelato industry is growing, with forecasts estimating a global CAGR of over 4% and annual sales destined to climb from 80 to 89 billion dollars over the next five to seven years.

Organic, natural and social: “new” gelato is all about “differentiation”

Multiform, to suit local traditions and tastes. And with a focus not only on changing customer requirements, with an increasing tendency to prioritise high-quality ingredients and health, but also on suggestions from the worlds of fashion and catering, including the pastry segment.

Gelato in the third millennium is completely different to the way it used to be, starting with the way we eat it and the fact that it has become a perfect food all year round. Organic (and sometimes vegan), natural and fresh- the boom in organic gelato parlours is explained by the successful partnership between local producers and shops, guaranteeing the origin of the ingredient used, from the shed to the tub – however, the new must-have requirement of gelato is “differentiation”.

Consumption styles are different on all five continents, and gelato is no exception: gourmet versions have attracted the attention of high-end restaurants and artisan gelato has undergone a restyling, combining tradition and innovation, in the light of new technologies, and making use of the social networks. So we’re seeing gelato used as a filling/basic ingredient (e.g. gelato paninis), along with the invention of innovative preparations, like soft gelato served and accompanied by French-fries.

And if gelato is becoming more and more of an “experience”, the future is made up not so much of new flavours (the healthiest recipes tend, for example, to be for low-sugar gelato or the addition of chocolate or special cones), but mainly of new ways to present or consume it. With 3D printers capable of creating moulds the likes of which we’ve never seen before, and brand-new formats in place of traditional cones and tubs, the use of single portions and sticks, both of which ensure sales of gelato 365 days a year, is advancing.

Displays: the aim is to break down the barriers

Reduction of space for display and consumption, and of noise. The new trends in gelato are aimed at developing versatile display and storage systems. When people walk into a gelato parlour today, they want to enter somewhere that is at least attractive, welcoming and communicative if not furnished with a focus on design.

They want to see something original and aesthetically rewarding, because product appeal and attractionmake a decisive contribution to sales. So while traditional display and storage counters disappear, the new frontier is the carapina-display: the perfect combination of storage and visibility of a range of flavours, capable of minimising barriers with the end customer, offering 360° product visibility.

Progress is also being made by vertical cabinets and integrated plateaux, as well as modular or custom furnishings, authentic multi-purpose products, suitable for a variety of uses depending on requirements and seasonal needs. Everything is geared towards being multifunctional – in some cases, the displays can switch between two different temperatures, from ice-cream to pastry and vice-versa – and eco-friendly, already using natural gases, which will become a legal obligation in 2020.

The last, but by no means least important, change concerns the machinery. The market is now demanding equipment capable of producing gelato under any conditions, with any kind of recipe, quickly and easily, meeting the needs of even the smallest artisan producers.

Perhaps using the possibilities offered by the Internet of Things, thanks to remote management of the functional parameters of chilled products, with the aim of reducing product waste and guaranteeing the very highest hygiene standards.

Host rewards innovation with the SMART Label Host Innovation Award

Hostmilano simply wouldn’t be complete without one of the appointments that best emphasises the role of the event as an international hub of innovation: Smart Label, Host Innovation Award, the competition organised by Fiera Milano and HostMilano, in partnership with POLI.Design (Milan Polytechnic Consortium) and sponsored by ADI (the Italian Association for Industrial Design), which over the past three editions has handed out more than 150 awards and 20 special acknowledgements to leading players in the Italian and international hospitality industry.

Again this year, the five-member international jury of university professors, professionals and national and international experts with enormous experience in design, hospitality and energy saving will be voting the degree of innovation and the smartest solutions. The panel will assess the candidate products, services and projects in light of the following criteria: efficient functions of products and services, efficacy of products and ease of use of services, and innovative usability, technologies and benefits for users.

Gelato (and Pastry) are leaders of the event calendar too

A menu of events that is richer than ever before, with workshops, research presentations, tastings and in-depth educational moments. HostMilano is much more than an opportunity to meet the most important Italian and international companies in the Ho.Re.Ca. Sector; it also offers a chance to witness contests capable of attracting the greatest names in the hospitality industry. Because, in an increasingly competitive market, sector professionals must become entrepreneurs and managers too and learn how to combine technology with creativity, specialisation with an understanding of the latest trends.

And that is exactly what happens in the World Trophy of Pastry, Ice Cream and Chocolate and Cake Designers World Championship, the two competitions organised by the Federazione Internazionale Pasticceria Gelateria Cioccolateria (FIPGC).

The two biennial championships, will be held during HostMilano for the third time, on 19 and 20 October 2019 and on 21 and 22 October 2019 respectively, and will adopt as their shared theme celebration of the “National Art and Tradition of the Country of Origin”. As in past editions of the competition, points will be given to appearance and to taste.

Names from the Gelato & Pastry segment alreadysigned up for the 2019 edition of HostMilano include: Albert, Anselli, Babbi, Bras, Bravo, Bussy, Carpigiani Group – Ali Group, Ciam, Clabo, Eurovanille, Fabbri, Frigomat, Frigogelo, Frigomeccanica, Galatea, Gelmatic, Iceteam 1927 – Ali Group, IFI, Isa, MEC3 – Optima, Nemox, Pregel, S.P.M. Drink System, Staff Ice System, Ugolini.

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