HomeNewsBetween Digitalization and Sustainability Host 2023 Presents the Most Promising Trends

Between Digitalization and Sustainability Host 2023 Presents the Most Promising Trends

Like every year, the appointment with Host 2023, at Rho fieramilano from next 13 to 17 October, becomes an opportunity to take stock of the state of the art and upcoming future trends in professional hospitality, out-of-home and retail sector.

In particular, the last two years have brought major changes in consumption habits, to which companies in the sector are responding with innovative products and multisensory and experiential projects, united by the pursuit of sustainability. Thanks to direct and constant dialogue with all players in the various supply chains, HostMilano Observatory identified some of the most interesting trends.

The digital sector is getting ready for the next generation

Digital transition is one of the big drivers of change: it is no longer simply a matter of taking a picture of a dish in a restaurant, but a true Digital Out Of Home (DOOH) experience. An immersive, integrated experience that combines artificial intelligence technologies, augmented reality and advanced use of social media.

QR Codes will no longer be used only for menus, but will become a channel to convey the values and characterizing factors of a location and provide traceability of products, including health and nutritional information. Customers will increasingly embrace virtual and augmented reality – starting with 3-D videos – while the back office will increasingly use environmental data from consumer spaces (e.g., via sensors) to offer a more personalized experience.

At the same time, the technological solutions that emerged in recent years will continue to develop: increasingly intuitive user interfaces, connected systems that can also be managed remotely, automation of routine processes to free up human resources, versatile and multifunctional machines, as well as energy-efficient devices with reusable parts or made of recycled or recyclable materials, all with a view to circular economy.

Sustainability becomes “Attention Economy”

The awareness related to the urgency to take action to preserve ecosystems has intensified greatly in recent times, partly in response to the increasing number of extreme weather events such as particularly hot summers.

Professional hospitality is starting to adopt sustainability practices to reduce its environmental impact, but a change of pace will be needed in the coming months and years: from strategic plans to daily attention to every detail – details that are noticed by customers – that might have an impact.

That’s why some analysts call this new paradigm “Attention Economy”. A paradigm that is developed, for example, through personalized and contextual messaging and forms of creativity, which, partly thanks to innovative technologies, allow to integrate sustainability “by design”, that is, right from the initial idea. In a sense, this brings us back to a form of respect for the eating and drinking experience of our grandparents and great-grandparents.

As a result of this approach, in the long run Attention Economy will outline a radically new landscape of the out-of-home, which will be much more appealing because is focused on experience and also more dynamic because it is thought to respond quickly to evolving needs, eventually reshaping the urban environments of tomorrow. Actors who will best interpret these changes will also gain a positive return in terns of image and reputation for their brands.

Projects and design will reflect this orientation to propose – along with increasing customization, which is a response to the growing individualization of lifestyles – more experiential and multisensory environments: enveloping, reassuring, where enabling technologies will be balanced with “friendly” materials, integration of greenery, and, above all, a renewed centrality of the product not only with open kitchens, but with new solutions to highlight natural raw materials and ingredients together with preparation methods inspired by tradition.

The Economic Reflection

Aiming for digitalization and sustainable innovation also means renovating machines, accessories and complementary items, as well as focusing on eco-friendly designs. A factor which, along with the post-Covid recovery, is reflected by data of the industry. According to the market research company Future Market Insights, this year the value of the market of global food service equipment should be 44 billion dollars, reaching 76 billion in 2032 thanks to an average increase of +5.6%.

Italy registered a positive 2022 and is among the leading manufacturing countries in the world, as confirmed by data from ANIMA Confindustria Meccanica Varia and its associations. Technologies reached an estimated output of 1,950 million euros (+5.1% compared to 2021), while food processing machinery surpassed 1.5 billion euros – 1,557 million euros – thanks to a +2.8% increase. The coffee machine industry closed 2022 with a production of 545 million euros, more than three-quarters of which were destined to exports. Professional food technologies reached a total output of 233 million euros, with an export/turnover share of 69%.

At Host 2023, new trends will take center stage thanks to the exhibition itinerary, with the participation of more than 1,800 companies from 50 countries, and to a schedule with more than 800 events.

Particular attention should be given to the Smart Label – Host Innovation Award, which represents the award for sustainable innovation by HostMilano and Fiera Milano, organized in collaboration with POLI.design and under the patronage of ADI – Association for Industrial Design. The award ceremony will take place during the event and the winning products and solutions will be displayed in the dedicated SMART Products area and included in an ad hoc publication, the Smart Label Index.

HostMilano will be held at fieramilano from 13 to 17 October 2023.

For updated info: host.fieramilano.it; @HostMilano.

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