New opportunities emerge for players across the F&B supply chains thanks to the customers’ growing demand for customisation and authenticity, as well as quality and even aesthetics.
Three viewpoints, based on the extensive expertise of the sectors making up the three exhibitions, for a unique strategic vision as to the challenges that the post-COVID world will pose to the Food & Beverage sector in light of its growing connection to Hospitality and Travel. Dubai and Miami, two authentic hubs for global markets, are considered from two privileged observation points. This is the philosophy that guided the first two events on the schedule of webinars organised by Fiera Milano, which see TUTTOFOOD sharing its know-how with BIT – International Tourism Exhibition and HostMilano.
The Gulf as a paradigm for change?
The latest trends and opportunities for the Gulf states on international markets were considered during the Dubai meeting on 27 July, which saw the participation of Giacomo Bernardelli, CEO, Casinetto LLC, Haresh Daryanani, Business Development Manager, Al Maya Group, Chef Uwe Micheel – President, Emirates Culinary Guild, Ali Serhal – Commercial Director, Fresh Express and Marcello Antonioni – Managing Partner, StudiaBo srl-ExportPlanning.com. Entrepreneurs, chefs and economists addressed everything from healthy food, to sustainability and zero waste, the arrival onto the scene of new generations such as Millennials and Gen Z, and the advent of social channels and their impact on food (that is tasty as well as being beautiful to photograph).
The meeting presented forecasts for 2023 that predict trade between the Middle East and Europe rising to 8.5 billion Euro in F&B and 3 billion Euro in Hospitality. And how about trends? The speakers agreed that the post-lockdown phase is characterised by the simultaneous recovery of the digital and physical channels, from a phygital perspective. The key winners are undoubtedly e-commerce and large-scale retailers, with a particular focus on ready meals. Of particular interest are the changes affecting food service in the hotel business - traditionally strong in the Gulf states - with younger customers attentive above all to the quality/price ratio.
Miami, a window onto luxury
A change of continent and perspective for the meeting in Miami on 29 July, which focused on the evolution of luxury. Panel members Rainer Zinngrebe, Vice President Culinary, Luxury Brands, Marriott International, Franco Semeraro, Senior VP, Hotel Operations - Oceania Cruises/Regent Seven Seas, Fabio Trabocchi, Michelin-starred Chef at Fiola and Tommaso Cardana, President of Tomson Hospitality (Miami) agrees that the future of these niche markets lies increasingly with personalisation and the ability to create a unique experience and an authentic relationship with guests.
In terms of tomorrow’s luxury, the word ‘customer’, synonymous with transaction, will be banned in favour of ‘guest’ - also in restaurants – as a metaphor for a more human, direct relationship. This is an important turning point because operators are spurred to develop top-of-the-range proposals without major investment, to the extent that we are now talking about "entry level luxury". At the opposite extreme is the "beyond luxury" segment: the search for incomparable authenticity and uniqueness for those who are already financially able to buy it all. This scenario is fuelled by guests’ growing awareness of sustainability, something that is leading various luxury firms to become champions of a circular economy in cooperation with quality suppliers.
New opportunities open up for players across F&B supply chains who will able to evolve and satisfy these growing demands for customisation, authenticity and sustainability, as well as focus on heightened product quality and greater attention as to presentation.