HOST Milano 2019

Photos courtesy of HOST Milano

Thirteen months at Fresh Cup and numerous trade shows and events under my belt, I thought I was prepared for HOST Milano 2019. But truthfully, nothing can prepare you for the sheer immensity of the global hospitality summit that takes over Milan, Italy, every other year.

In its 41st edition, HOST Milano saw more than 2,200 exhibitors and 200,000 visitors, representing 171 countries, descend upon the halls of Fiera Milano. While walking the fairground once was enough to make even the most broken-in shoes feel tight, it was barely enough to absorb the sights, sounds, and smells emitting from each hall. Over five days, across 16 pavilions, pizza makers, gelaterias, bakers, and other professionals from the Hospitality-Restaurant-Café industry showed off wares, highlighted services, and engaged with potential buyers and curious customers alike.

In the coffee, tea, and café equipment halls, companies from all over the world displayed their latest innovations, ranging from espresso machines and grinders to a latte art app and even an omelet-making robot. The most prominent trends were in milk dispensing equipment and compostable capsules and packaging.

Along with demonstrating products, many booths also hosted events to educate and engage with attendees. Toddy, for example, held cold brew cuppings and happy hours every day to highlight flavor notes of various coffees and show ideas for crafting innovative beverages with cold brew. At the Faema booth, industry professionals from all over the world spoke on different topics at the MUMAC Academy Arena, each speaker session drawing impressive crowds. A particular highlight was Umeko Motoyoshi’s presentation, “The @WastingCoffee Guide to Not Wasting Coffee.” Drawing from their experience in the industry and the success of their @wastingcoffee Instagram account, Motoyoshi discussed how the coffee community can improve in both inclusivity and sustainability.

As the hospitality sector continues to grow and evolve, it was reassuring to see so many companies with a global presence demonstrating, in their individual ways, commitment to sustainability, transparency, and innovation at HOST Milano 2019. Until 2021!