The Italian-made artisan gelato, pastry, bakery and coffee sector
is preparing to face the new year with a new vision to its credit: increasingly professional business models to face tomorrow’s challenges in the best possible manner
Practical abilities and digital knowledge, entrepreneurial vision and a spirit dedicated to eco-sustainability. The year that has most cast doubts on past habits and customs, compelling the entrepreneurial world to re-think is business models and accelerate development processes that were previously outlined, leaves the sweet foodservice world the profile of tomorrow’s professionals as a legacy for 2021.
In the survey of the SIGEP Observatory, the hub of analysis and comparison of Italian Exhibition Group’s International Expo dedicated to gelato, pastry, bakery and the coffee world (the next edition of which is being held in the spring at Rimini expo centre in Italy), artisan skills committed to delighting the palates of families during the festivities are narrowing the borders between practical know-how and management acumen, thanks also to new training horizons focussed on integrating knowledge and expertise.
Vittorio Santoro, director of Brescia-based CAST Alimenti, Italy’s leading institute for training and updating, explains. “In our DNA as trainers of food professionals, technical and practical activity is closely bound to an entrepreneurial vision. Only in this way is it possible to acquire skills and have a wider vision that is extended to also include managerial and organizational aspects, in order to best face the challenges of digitalization, communication and eco-sustainable progress. This type of awareness has always been part of our organization. The recent period has compelled trade sectors to re-think their models and activities, so training requirements and demand are urgent.”
Key players in the pastry sector, such as Santi Palazzolo, member of the Academy of Italian Master Pastry Chefs (AMPI), bear witness to the importance of widening one’s strategic outlook in the light of “a period that is not particular, but unique, with the sector re-inventing itself. After having developed e-commerce and delivery services, we diversified out product range, deciding to also market raw materials, not just finished products. During this festive season, we saw that clients were also interested in accessory products for making desserts, semi-finished products such as almond paste, candied fruit and chocolate chips.”
For Matteo Cunsolo, President of the Association of Bakers of Milan and its Province and Richemont Club Italia secretary, “The panettone cake is still the top seller until Epiphany, even as far as online sales are concerned, and shipments are constantly increasing. It is an excellent product that restores that touch of ‘normality’ we are so in need of: it is no coincidence that the trend we have noted is that it is increasingly sent as a gift.”