Technology, Design and New Formats at HostMilano

This October, the leading Ho.Re.Ca trade fair in Milan will be the must-attend event to learn about the market’s latest news and trends.

What’s the best month to visit Milan, “Italy’s city of the future,” as it was defined by Lonely Planet? This year, it’s going to be October. No doubt about that, because Milan, already known as the Italian capital of design and fashion, is increasingly becoming popular also as the capital of food. The magic crossover between design and catering occurs every two years at HostMilano, the international leading trade fair of the Ho.Re.Ca, foodservice, retail, mass-market distribution and hotel industry, whose 40th edition will take place in Fieramilano (Rho) from October 20-24, 2017

A visit to HostMilano is a true journey into the future. In the Furnishings and Tableware area, we will learn what hospitality will be like in the next few years in hotels, restaurants, and bars. The other halls will be dedicated to raw materials and equipment: from ovens to blast chillers, from ice-cream makers to coffee machines. HostMilano stands out for its unique exhibition concept that combines vertical specializations in three main areas: Professional Catering – Bread, Pizza and Pasta; SIC (International Coffee Exhibition) with Coffee – Tea and Bars, Coffee and Vending Machines, Ice-Cream and Pastries; Furnishings and Tableware. In brief, whatever hospitality needs today.

Design and technology: Even the oven becomes beautiful

Host will present new products and state-of-the art machinery intended for bars, kitchens, and modern laboratories. It’s truly a world preview of what hospitality will be in the near future, as it shows new trends and the state of the market.

Contract design is not just about seats and tables, which are well represented at the International Hospitality Exhibition, where the latest collections of outdoor and indoor furniture are presented with innovative solutions, high-tech textiles and materials, and trendy colours. Table setting, for example, is increasingly becoming an important asset in this era, in which food is photographed and posted on social media, with distinctive and refined solutions. Table linen is living a second youth in which professional service becomes a keystone in the selection of a restaurant. Accessories, such as clothing and menu covers.

Today, when designing a space, we should also consider the appearance of the machinery, due to the visible processing trend that is still en vogue. Oven for pizzas and coffee machines, minibars, and ice-cream makers have acquired new shapes and improved their performance in terms of efficiency, automation, and environment sensitivity. Moreover, objects are improving their appearance and are easily adaptable to an environment that is increasingly cosier, more personal, and unique, as that of hospitality.

New and hybrid formats

Here, you can acquire the information you need for your sales channel in various supply chains, between coffee aromas and the fragrance of bread and pizzas, between cooking shows and baristas’ performances. This is an important asset, as, nowadays, locations hybridise more frequently. You can buy coffee and bread at the supermarket or order an ice-cream at the restaurant or a coffee anywhere, from the car dealer’s to the starred restaurant in an art museum.

After all, the trend to combine the design of a restaurant or “traditional” hotel with other worlds, such as the coffee one, is well represented at Sic, the international coffee trade show. Because the future wants pastry shops turning into bakery shops, which become coffee shops or thematic venues.

Hospitality trends

According to the HostMilano Observatory, contract design is developing the following trends:

  1. More vintage, less minimalism: After years of industrial style, design is becoming more sophisticated and attentive to details, which draws inspiration from the ‘50s and ‘60s.
  2. Environment sensitivity and sustainability: Wood is becoming increasingly popular as it is the natural material par excellence. Even furniture must be recyclable or come from renewable and recovered sources. At Host, sustainability will be under the spotlight with Futurbar Green, a project promoted by Comufficio, which will analyse the trends and opportunities of a sustainable approach in the Ho.Re.Ca. world.
  3. Technology, social dynamics, and IoT: Technology evolves and becomes an important communication tool. Logos and name of the venue on the table or counter resound and spread on Instagram and co. The latest hi-tech frontier, IoT, will be under the spotlight of SmartLabel, the acknowledgment dedicated to professional hospitality innovation promoted by Host – Fiera Milano with and under the patronage of ADI (Italian Association for the Industrial Design).
  4. Venues become theatres: Restaurants, hotels, and bars, are increasingly more scenographic thanks to new materials and lighting systems, used not only for practicality, but also to astonish and change the mood throughout the day. Art and performance, considerations on hospitality and its history will take centre stage at HostMilano in the Exihs area, designed by Dante O. Benini.
  5. Like at home… or not?: A trend that is moving towards a cosy hospitality to be balanced carefully. Environments must, on one hand, recall domestic, warm and cosy atmospheres, and on the other provide clear signals of escapism and innovation.
Meet the world at HostMilano

Over the years, this formula has attracted an increasing number of visitors from all over the world. Over 150 thousand in the latest edition (2015), recording a +17 per cent growth compared to 2013. 90,585 of these visitors were Italian and 60,383 came from 172 countries.

But there is room for more. Over 1500 companies have already confirmed their presence, 41 per cent of which come from 48 countries other than Italy. This year’s newcomers will be Serbia, Liechtenstein, Belarus, Egypt, and South Africa. Italian products and main players will also be attending the event. It is not a coincidence if over 1,500 buyers from 73 countries every year participate in HostMilano, as it is an opportunity to find out the latest innovations from the world of hospitality. They know that they will find a complete offering from all sectors (catering, cafes, bars, ice-cream parlours, pastry shops, and bakery to tableware and furnishings).