For 24 editions, Sic – the International Coffee Trade Show – has been showcasing the many facets of coffee, through the participation of top industry players and associations and the organisation of tastings and seminars, providing an all-round overview of this versatile and increasingly popular product.
Milan, May 3rd 2017 – Black, bitter, lingering and stimulating. Healthy and convivial. Capable of being frozen or boiled. Able to adapt to the world of pastries or to gastronomical delights, without losing its aromatic soul. Coffee is all this and more: a precious, unique product that is unremittingly conquering the world. A product that has made its home at HostMilano, at the historic Sic – the International Coffee Exhibition, which for 24 editions has been welcoming the entire Coffee supply chain and its satellite industries. The proximity to other HostMilano sections, Gelato and Pastry in particular, offers exhibitors numerous business opportunities arising from the prevailing trend of contaminating different sectors. Thus, coffee is increasingly being offered in retail contexts, and becoming an essential element to expand the offering (and the attractiveness) of ice cream parlours, pastry shops and bakeries, with which sectors it has always shared a deep affinity. Ice cream and coffee, in particular, have become virtually inseparable. Not only are they associated and complementary products; they also contribute to the creation of innovative desserts and high-impact recipes: from nitro coffee to creative solutions combining coffee, ice cream and chocolate, through to increasingly targeted pairings of coffee beans and aromas with sweets or spirits, just as happens with wines.
Extending over a large macro area, Sic offers visitors a unique overview which, in the next edition running from Friday 20 to Tuesday 24 October 2017 in Fieramilano Rho, will boast more than 480 companies from 37 countries, operating in the Coffee, Bars, and Coffee and Vending Machines sectors. Top industry players will be represented, with Italy in the lead: indeed, 66% of all confirmed exhibitors come from Italy, while 34% come from abroad, and in particular 16% from Germany, 12% from Spain, 10% from Switzerland, 9% from the US and 5% from France.
A worldwide success, with a particular boom registered in Asia
Coffee is enjoying worldwide success and conquering ever-new markets. The focus is increasingly on quality, transforming the product from a mere commodity to a refined and diversified foodstuff. The origin is becoming more and more important – a bit like the cru in wine – as are the different roasting and preparation techniques. This is what is known as the “third wave” of coffee, a movement that, according to Mintel, is led by the United States, where 27% of all new cafés adopt this approach. But the most promising market is Asia, which is opening to the world of Coffee in all its varieties, from the traditional Italian Espresso to the Americano, and through to the subtleties of speciality coffees. Coffee grew globally by 2.7% in 2016 (+ 2.5% in 2015), and three of the top five markets with the strongest growth in the 2012-2016 five year period – Indonesia (19.6% CAGR), Turkey (17.5%), India (15.1%), Vietnam (14.9%) and Chile (12.9%) – were Asian.
Five trends for the future
A double paradigm, therefore, is taking over in the world of coffee, which is growing in volume, quality and variety, and is conquering new channels, such as retail spaces, car dealerships, boutiques, bakeries, ice cream parlours, fast food joints, and so on. Moreover, the product offering is becoming increasingly diversified, ranging from hot to cold, and from mixology to cuisine, with ever-new recipes and pairings. It is this evolving world, focused on new technologies and product quality, that is featured at HostMilano, offering visitors the chance to choose from a wide range of solutions, both classic and contemporary.
According to Mintel, there are five main coffee trends in 2017: liquid nitrogen coffee, or Nitro Coffee, which is extracted cold from the bean, without roasting it, to which liquid nitrogen is added to give it a creamy consistency; cascara, an infusion made with the discarded “skins” of the coffee beans; green coffee, “aged” in barrels to amplify its fruity notes and aromas; coffee cocktails; and finally, on the tea front, the increasingly rich and varied products presented at the International Hospitality Exhibition, with “functional teas“, such as matcha and kombucha, taking pride of place, being high in antioxidants and thus extremely healthy.
Dozens of events
This complex world, from the exquisite Italian espresso to single-origin specialities, will emerge at HostMilano, in all its facets, in dozens of demos, tastings and lectures attended by the main industry players and the leading baristas.
A rich schedule of high-level events, therefore, will enrich the Sic exhibition, also through the presence of the leading industry associations.
Wce, World Coffee Events and SCA, Speciality Coffee Association will be in attendance with their global coffee samples and demonstrations before the public, preparing espressos and drip-brewed coffee as well as interesting coffee and alcohol-based concoctions.
In partnership with Mumac, the two associations will première Cafe Chronology, an event that brings to life three different coffee eras: the early twentieth century, the mid twentieth century and the present day. This journey through time will be accomplished through three “bars”, each of which will present a different way of serving coffee and alcohol, also through the use of period machines and furnishings, thus recreating the coffee culture of that time.
Altoga, the Lombard Association of Coffee Roasters and Importers and of Food Wholesalers, and Fipe, the Italian Federation of Retail and catering businesses, will collaborate at HostMilano 2017 to give life to Coffee and …, an event entirely dedicated to the world of coffee, from the green bean to its roasting and grinding, and through to the final tasting. The 5th Gran Premio della Caffetteria Italiana (Italian Coffeehouse Grand Prix) – organized by AICAF, the Italian Academy of Coffee Masters, and supported during the finals by Altoga to promote Italian professionalism and Italian products – will be held on 21 and 22 October: a panel of sensory judges will select the best bartender, whose recipe must include at least one typical Italian ingredient. The semi-finals will take place on Saturday, 21 October, during which the three best bartenders from each region will be shortlisted: 50% of the contestants with the highest score will go through to the final on Sunday, 22 October, for the final challenge.
On the training front, Hub Coffee Science, an extension of the International Hub for Coffee Research and Innovation, represents a centre for scientific research, where visitors will be able to interact with researchers and use lab instruments to explore the secrets of coffee from an unusual perspective. The public will be offered two experiential routes designed to teach visitors about coffee’s scientific secrets. The first concerns the production process, from bean to brew, while the second addresses a highly topical issue, namely the impact of water on the final product, analysing different types and sampling a single type of coffee bean brewed with different waters.
The schedule of events devised for HostMilano by Mixer Educational with Planet One offers a blend of training and entertainment, revealing the magic of mixology through professional workshops and Food Shows. Attendants will be given the lowdown on natural herbs and medicinal plants, as well as being taught new mixing and food pairing techniques. Ancient ingredients will be used to create and transform classic flavours into something new and absolutely groundbreaking. Mixology and cooking masters will thus give industry professionals the chance to return to tradition and learn about the properties of natural herbs, their benefits, and their methods of use. And all at the service of healthy cocktails and sustainable food dishes.