MILAN, Italy — Diversifying the products on offer, changing over the course of the day, producing and selling tempting, high-quality items that create customer loyalty. For bakeries, pastry shops and ice-cream parlours that want to draw in and win over new millennium customers a good product is not enough. You have to be smart, flexible and focused.
“Artisanal pastry is widening the range on offer, and I’m increasingly seeing a mingling of bread and pastry shops, with the latter starting to offer baked leavened items and savoury products, which used to be the exclusive province of bread shops,” says Marco Girardello, head of sales with Giotec.
“Some traditional cakes like panettone have increased their prestige, thanks to the use of sourdough starters, artisanal processes and quality ingredients, setting themselves apart from industrial production. We are offering twin-arm mixers that result in the very best quality and also improve the oxygenation of the dough.”
For the last few editions, one of the strengths of HostMilano has been its presence in all sectors of hospitality: “Host is doing a great job of intercepting the multitude of areas that are coming into ever closer contact with one another. And the city of Milan is the first place in which to observe the development of these new trends.”
“To achieve a good sales volume, artisanal pastry and bread needs to establish a loyal customer base by offering quality products and extending the range of both bread and pastry items,” explains Cristian Restivo, partner and head of foreign sales for Real Forni.
“It’s a good idea to use organic bread and offer different types (with cereals, with bran, with various seeds and using natural raising agents) while pastry needs to cater to new demands such as vegan cakes. The trend is always to offer customers products of good quality, among other reasons to better cope with competition from the big industrial sector and rediscover and draw attention to regional confectionery, of which there is a very wide range in Italy.”
As for technology, “we have further improved our range of pastry-baking ovens, especially modular ovens, adopting technical solutions that give ever greater energy savings and are better for those using them.”
Cristina Tosi, marketing director B.U. Ice Cream at Mec3, believes that “healthy gelato, will undoubtedly be a major trend also in 2019.” Technology has played a fundamental role, enabling sector professionals to take a big leap forward. “Fifty years ago hardly any flavours were displayed, but now it has been possible to improve the productivity of the sales outlet, in terms of both quantity and quality.”
The offerings of ice-cream parlours have widened, with greater product diversification on a seasonal basis and higher demand for ever more sophisticated products from different targets of customers. And there is more.
“The use of horizontal ice-cream making machines has made it possible to create softer, airier ice cream and the introduction of the blast chiller has enabled us to present a more visually attractive ice cream and to prepare cakes and semifreddos in just two hours,” Tosi goes on. “Today the final frontier is liquid nitrogen ice cream. However, because this is still at the experimental stage, only a limited number of ‘pioneers’ have introduced it into their parlours.”
Italian pastry too has derived benefits from technology, “thanks both to blast chillers and counter tempering machines, and to TV shows that have brought this ancient art into Italian homes, providing customers and merchants with more information.