In October I visited the major trade show for the coffee industry which is held every 2 years in Milan in Italy. It is part of the SALONE INTERNAZIONALE DELL’OSPITALITA’ PROFESSIONALE( international exhibition of the hospitality industry) called simply “ host”. It covers 6 specialties Food Service Equipment, Bar Equipment, Ice-Cream parlour and confectionary, Pizza and Pasta, Hotel Industry exhibition, and the International Coffee Exhibition. It goes over 5 days; a net area of 110,000 sq meters, and has 1,865 exhibitors.
It really is mind blowing!!!
Even the walk from the entrance to the coffee exhibition seems kilometres long and probably is at least 2 km.
It is a time to renew old acquaintances and take stock of the last 2 years and make some predictions for the future.
In the coffee industry worldwide it seems to be a time of consolidation. I did not see anything really new, in fact at the last exhibition there were many small almost backyard companies offering many products but especially espresso machines. Most of these companies had disappeared from the exhibition. The larger companies have been in the market for many years were represented, but with what almost seemed like a simpler offering. There were definitely new models and innovations.
For example the machine we recommend and sell, VBM, has developed a new machine with boilers for each head, PID temperature controls, touch screen electronics and heads which move up and down mechanically for takeaway cups combined with very tried and proven traditional heads. It looked great, but our suggestion was to test around the world extensively before releasing onto the market.
In general, though it seems to be a time of real consolidation. To work hard on the basics, which to me are sales achieved through excellent service and products at a fair price.