· The first two in a series of webinars aimed at assisting professionals in their decision making during these uncertain times are now online
· Dubai offers an overview of business trends and opportunities between Europe and the Gulf states: interchanges up by as much as 8 billion euro in F&B and 3 billion euro in Hospitality by 2023
· Miami showcases developments in the luxury segment: from “entry level luxury” to “beyond luxury”, attention to detail, strong concepts and authentic relations with the guest are the keys to success
· The expertise offered by these three events offers professionals a synergistic, well-rounded approach to business development
Three points of view, based on the deep expertise of the sectors of the three events, for a single strategic vision on the challenges that will await as many closely interconnected sectors, such as Food & Beverage, Hospitality and Travel in the post-coronavirus era. Seen from two privileged points, two real hubs for global markets like Dubai and Miami. This is the philosophy that guided the first two webinars jointly organized by BIT - the International Travel Exhibition, HostMilano and TUTTOFOOD.
Dubai: new business trends and opportunities for Europe and the Gulf states
The most current trends and opportunities on international markets for the Gulf countries were the topic of the meeting in Dubai on 27 July, with 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
From healthy food, to sustainability and zero waste, the appearance of new generations such as the Millennials and Gen Z, the new social media and their impact on food (not only good, but beautiful to photograph): entrepreneurs, chefs and economists have been called to answer.
“In the future," says Bernardelli "we will see an increase in the consumption of frozen goods, which are safe and preservative free thanks to the use of cold, as well as growth in local production, although the demand for European products, especially fresh produce, will continue to rise.” In line with the results of the TUTTOFOOD Observatory, Daryanani points out that “…consumers are increasingly turning to high quality packaged products, which are seen as safer because they require minimal human content and offer highly competitive pricing. Brand name products are also having more success than rebranded goods."
Chef Micheel remarks that the new procedures demanded by the pandemic also have a positive side: “The number of chefs and the time required for preparation have both increased: there is greater attention to all aspects of a dish, with optimised portions and less wasted food.” At the same time, Ali Serhal says, “…we have learned that we can't rely on imports alone. We must invest in raw materials and processing to produce our own finished products. Companies will invest less in distribution and more in diversifying their product ranges.”
At the meeting, Marcello Antonioni reviewed forecasts that, with 2023 in mind "...trade between the Middle East and Europe will increase up to 8.5 billion euro in F&B and 3 billion euro in Hospitality." How about trends? The speakers agreed that the post-lockdown phase is characterised by the recovery of the digital and physical channel in parallel, from a phygital point of view: undoubtedly the "key winners" are e-commerce and large-scale retailers, with a particular focus on ready meals. The changes affecting food service in the hotel business - traditionally strong in the Gulf countries - with younger customers attentive above all to the quality/price ratio are very interesting.
Miami: the future of luxury?
Change of continent and change of perspective for the meeting in Miami on 29 July, which focused on the evolution of luxury. The panel, moderated by Dave Turner, founder of TableTopJournal, was composed of Rainer Zinngrebe, Vice President Culinary, Luxury Brands, Marriott International, Franco Semeraro, Senior VP, Hotel Operations - Oceania Cruises/Regent Seven Seas, Fabio Trabocchi, Star Chef of Fiola and Tommaso Cardana, President of Tomson Hospitality (Miami), agrees: the future of these niches lies increasingly in personalisation and the ability to create a unique experience and a true relationship with "the guest": in tomorrow's luxury the word customer, synonymous with transaction, will be banned in favour of guest - even at the restaurant - as a metaphor for a more human and direct relationship.
“Attention to detail is everything in the luxury segment," says Zinngrebe "and it must always respond to the specific requirements of a diversified clientele. What everyone shares is the search for ‘recognition’ - a confirmation in the luxury segment of their own style of life, and this is only possible in the context of an authentic relationship.” Semeraro, noting a similar trend in the cruise industry, agrees: “At one time, luxury on a cruise ship meant that you had to wear a smoking jacket at dinner. Now, the guest goes to the dining room in shorts, but he's much more demanding about content and hospitality.”
Attention to detail is also evident in the catering segment: “Our guests are not only more demanding - but much more knowledgeable," says Trabocchi. "They think not only about the quality of the food, but also its supply chain - where it is sourced from, how it's processed. This is why luxury catering is focussing on sustainability, even setting up direct contracts with producers in a circular economy model.” The vendor's point of view is illustrated by Tommaso Cardana: “faced with ever increasing demands for personalisation, vendors are now partners of the operator, and we work closely with them to develop a well-articulated concept. A well-defined identity is key to the authenticity which the modern luxury segment aims to offer.”
This is an important turning point, giving priority to relationships over the mere product, because operators are also able to develop top-of-the-range proposals without major investments, to the point that we are now talking about "entry level luxury". At the opposite extreme is the "beyond luxury" segment: the search for an incomparable authenticity and uniqueness for those who, economically, can already buy everything. This scenario is permeated by the growing awareness of sustainability by guests, which is leading several luxury realities to become champions of circular economy in cooperation with quality suppliers.
The virtual conferences hosted at Dubai and Miami are the first in a series of webinars aimed at supporting industry professionals with data, information and tools for guiding the growth of their business at a time in which market trends and signals are still very hard to interpret. With its agile, effective format, the webinar brings together the specific competencies of three of Fiera Milano's leading events to offer operators a more synergistic and well-rounded approach to the issues involved in developing their business.
The webinars can be viewed on the websites of the three events, in the news section.