In formats, fittings and equipment, there is a less clear distinction between gelato, pastry, coffee, bakery, foodservice and bars – all sectors featured at HostMilano.
The distinction between gelato, pastry, bakery, coffee and foodservice is becoming more blurred, thanks to the appearance of hybrid formats.
Increasing numbers of professionals are ‘hopping’ between once rigidly-defined sectors, with exclusive, dedicated formats. Gelato makers experimenting with bread-making and other leavened items, star-rated chefs opening gelaterias and pastry shops, with good-quality coffee thrown in for good measure.
A trend made even more evident by the opening of new establishments that bring together under one roof foodservice, a pastry shop and a bar/café offering mixology (such as Paolo Griffa’s Caffè Nazionale in Aosta) and machines that change function and temperature to suit the season and production requirements, as they shift effortlessly from gelato to pastry. We have also seen (at ‘142 Restaurant’ in Milan) croissant and snack showcases that turn opaque after dinner and turn into furnishing elements.
Flexibility will become increasingly important if establishments are to adapt to thevarious occasions for consumption during the day and the different needs of customer segments: sustainability and snacks outside traditional mealtimes for GenZ-ers, certified and niche products for Millennials, offers of premium and traditional items for the over-55s.
These are all needs that new-millennium gelato can respond to. In various channels, including the very latest: food delivery, which has seen a constant growth in chilled desserts over the years, thanks among other things to the pandemic and climate change. In the last year alone it has risen by +41% (data: JustEta/BVA Doxa).
“For quite a few years now, when it starts to get colder (in October, and through to March) we have introduced chocolate and biscuits,” says Curzio Baraggi, owner of Gelateria Prossima Fermata in Milan, “but we have also noticed that even during the winter months people are now more likely to enjoy ice cream and popsicles in front of the TV.”
The hybrid approach is one that HostMilano, whose unique display concept brings together vertical specialisation with production line affinities in the macro areas of Professional Foodservice, Bakery-Pizza-Pasta; Coffee-Tea-Bars, Coffee Machines and Vending, Gelato-Pastry and furnishings, Technology and Tableware, has always embraced. “The strength of HostMilano,” says Baraggi, looking forward to the 2023 edition, which will be held at fieramilano Rho from 13 to 17 October, “is the way it brings together the different branches of foodservice, pastry and gelato and offers an opportunity to get to know new people, learn about new equipment and gain insights into the new gelato products we can then introduce the following year.”