USA news archive
America’s coffee market is a mature one so growth is slow, but essentially stable in terms of volumes, says a study by GenUSA. This does not mean that consumption follows a particularly even pattern – quite the reverse is in fact true. The 2017 National Coffee Drinking Trends Report by the National Coffee Association presents a rapidly evolving situation, prompted by the demands of a new generation and the availability of various innovations. At the centre of it all is so-called “gourmet coffee”, which is growing in popularity among all age ranges, as is the consumption of beverages other than espresso, such as cold brew coffee, which is the origin of so-called nitro coffee. The use of single-cup machinery is also increasing.
62% of Americans say they had coffee the previous day, a percentage that is up five points on the previous year. And just over half of these (59%) drank gourmet coffee (as against 46% in 2012), which refers to any kind of non-instant (soluble) coffee, from capsules to locally roasted blends.
One of the high-profile partners of the fortieth edition of HostMilano is New York City Hospitality Alliance, an association founded in 2012 that brings together restaurateurs and bar, lounge and hotel owners in what is arguably the world capital of hospitality, setting the tone for new formats and making a great mark on the industry of the future. In New York there are over 24,000 bar and restaurant establishments employing a combined workforce of 250,000 and serving every kind of world cuisine in a wide range of formats. It is an industry that helps to attract over 50 million tourists a year to the metropolis.
Andrew Rigie, executive director of the New York City Hospitality Alliance, discusses the reasons for the organisation’s interest in HostMilano.
New York is an international city and the influence of Italy and Europe is found throughout the five boroughs. HostMilano has an impressive history of showcasing incredible products sought after by NYC restaurants, so we’re excited to help strengthen existing relationships and build new ones between the NYC hospitality industry and our friends in the international market.
A sector that is growing despite the warnings coming from many dieticians: this, in a nutshell, is the state of America’s bakery industry, according to data collected by GenUSA. The sector records annual sales of around US $ 50 billion, according to Nielsen, and the strongest growth is being seen in categories like biscuits, sweet snacks, crackers and bread.
Americans clearly love their oven-baked products and though they may crave a high-protein diet, most also like to indulge their sweet tooth too. New products have been appearing, or old ones have been revisited, with revisitations and hybrids like cronuts, duffins and muffles. That said, the more traditional products are still holding their own: in 2016, according to Mintel, the breakdown of bakery item consumption by American adults was: brownies and cakes 28%, chocolate 31%, bread, muffins and bagels 22% (up 1% on 2015), flour and cake preparations 18% (up 2%), and candy 17% (up 4%). Millennials are buying more ice cream and chilled desserts, candy (despite the awareness of their high sugar content) and pralines, cakes and other baked items than the generation that preceded them.
Among the North American associations HostMilano has signed a partnership with to boost business opportunities is FEDA, Foodservice Equipment Distributors Association, which brings together 255 distributors who generate 75% of the turnover of the US Ho.Re.Ca. machinery and supplies industry. The president of FEDA, Joe Schmitt, clarified for us the significance of this agreement. “We decided to seek an agreement with Host in order to boost our members’ knowledge and their contacts with the international market. The opportunity to take part in such a high-profile international event offers significant advantages. At Host, they will have the chance to take a look at our industry and the trends in it before they reach the American market, and to actively work to share the knowledge acquired with our customers in the USA”.
Feda will be bringing important distributors from the hospitality industry to Host. These distributors enjoy a major market reach in all sectors of the American and international catering industry: what will they be looking for? “Products that make the difference to the business and to the lives of our customers,” says Schmitt, especially as regards the most innovative areas of development, from cutting costs to improving customer experience”.
From your viewpoint, how do you see the American catering industry five years from now? “More creative and innovative concepts, driven above all by the Millennials. Fresh, sustainable local produce, delivered quickly and consistent with these values: we believe these are the issues that will continue to guide the market, as is already happening today”.
Technology as a means to optimise costs and save on labour, so as to maximise profit margins, which are notoriously slender. This seems to be the direction US catering is heading in, according to an analysis conducted by GenUSA. This is no small matter, since, according to the Energy Information Administration, restaurants are the commercial concerns in the USA that consume the most energy, as well as 15% of the total of water of all commercial operations. And according to the Pacific Gas and Electric’s Food Service Technology Center, 80% of the 10 billion USD spent on energy in the commercial catering industry is due to inefficient machinery.
This is a problem that can be solved thanks to the use not only of solutions that make it possible to monitor costs and offer staff training in best practices, but also of machinery able to keep an increasingly close eye on efficiency, such as ventilation systems equipped with photoelectric cells that indicate when they should come into action, “cook-and-hold” technologies that go into stand-by as soon as food is ready, and convection ovens that automatically adjust cooking times and temperatures.
HostMilano’s internationalisation strategy continues thanks to new agreements with leading sector associations in North America, adding to the range of sectors covered by the International Hospitality Exhibition. The aim is to bring more and more qualified professional visitors who are particularly interested in quality and innovation to the 40th edition, which will be held from 20 to 24 October 2017 at Fieramilano. The new partnership concern the ASID (American Society of Interior Designers).
Once again at its 40th edition HostMilano will be collaborating with World Coffee Events, an organisation that will bring to the International Hospitality Exhibition a series of events with a considerable entertainment value as well as offering training and business opportunities. We asked Alex Bernson, WCE’s marketing and communication manager, to give us a preview.
“World Coffee Events will be organizing an exciting event at Host2017 featuring the opportunity to try a range of coffee drinks and alcoholic coffee cocktails made by competitors from all over the globe, in an experience featuring space to learn, relax, and connect. With representatives from over sixty countries now participating in the World Coffee Championships, our program at Host2017 will be reflective of the wide range of coffee-making skills and styles seen across the globe. It will include a chance to appreciate coffee excellence, by experiencing both traditional filter and espresso drinks, as well as exciting combinations of coffee and alcohol from World Coffee In Good Spirits Championship competitors".
The USA has officially adopted “gelato”, which they now like to call by its Italian name: “gelato” means the artisan variety, rather than regular soft “ice cream”. In ten years it has gone from being a niche product for foodies to cornering a 5% share of a market in which there are big bucks to be made: Mintel estimates the total value at $14.3 billion. Euromonitor and Mintel expect the market to grow by another 32.2% this year.
Americans really have fallen for artisan gelato, especially because it has fewer calories and less fat than its soft counterpart (it is made from milk rather than cream), and so is perceived as being healthier. It also has a more intense flavour than soft ice cream because it has no air in it and is served at a slightly higher temperature.
Agreements continue to be signed between HostMilano and leading sector associations, with one specific purpose: to bring a larger number of high-profile visitors with a particular interest in quality and innovation to the next International Hospitality Exhibition. And to ensure that good business will be done at the 40th edition. HostMilano has established partnerships with America’s NEWH (The Hospitality Industry Network) and FEDA (the Foodservice Equipment Distributors Association), as well as with Canada’s OCSA (Ontario Convenience Stores Association) and WCSA (Western Canada’s Convenience Store Industry).
The tastes and demands of consumers are changing and catering is adapting to the shift in behavioural patterns so as to satisfy the needs of Millennials, who like eating out anytime, any place, who hate waiting, adopt a casual style and display more than a passing concern with sustainability and the origin of the food they are eating.
Gen USA identifies five trends that are now transforming American restaurants: the first is the open kitchen, designed to involve diners more in the process by which dishes are prepared; technologies, which enable diners and restaurateurs to interact not just during the meal but also before anyone even sets foot inside the restaurant (using smartphones); the service charges, especially with the arrival of the no-tipping movement, which has promoted the ever more prevalent tendency not to expect a tip but to apply a service charge, the “European way”; haute cuisine creative, sustainable, tasty and wholesome, also affordable; Sustainability and social responsibility, finally, with much focus now on recycling, composting, donations of unused food and energy saving.
Host has set up a series of partnerships, alliances and projects that will help all those involved make the event the number one fair for the ho.re.ca, food service, retail, GDO and hotel sectors, and bring ever richer opportunities in terms of business, content and professional development.
The Commercial Service of the US Department of Commerce has renewed for the 2017 edition the certification that officially authorises the presence of the USA. Such recognition is limited to a very small number of international events, ones that have demonstrated their ability to “successfully offer opportunities to explore new markets,” to US operators.
The Commercial Service of the US Department of Commerce has renewed for the 2017 edition of Host the certification that officially authorises the presence of the USA. Such recognition is limited to a very small number of international events, ones that have demonstrated their ability to “successfully offer opportunities to explore new markets,” to US operators.
Numbers of exhibitors from the United States showed a two-figure growth: up 26% at the last edition compared to 2013 and up 51% on 2011. Visitor numbers were also up, with an increase at the last edition of 35% on 2013 and of 46% on Host 2011.
There has indeed been a two-figure growth in exports from Italy to the North American market year on year since 2010, with a 22% growth in the period January-October 2015 compared with the same period of the previous year.
In the first six months of 2015 exports of products manufactured by Italy’s mechanical industry to North America were up 14.1% on 2014, which makes that part of the world the most attractive to Italy at the current time (ANIMA data).
Buoyed by growing demands for natural, healthy foods, sales of frozen yoghurt have increased (by over 20% annually over the past few years), eating away at the slice of the pie accounted for by traditional ice cream and increasingly being offered as an alternative in ice-cream parlours. It is a trend which, according to IBIS World, will continue until 2019. Health concerns may of course also be about intolerance to certain foods, lactose intolerance being one of the most widespread, hence the growing popularity of products made with alternative milks, sales of which have risen by 35% in the USA. Yoghurt made from soy, coconut and almond milk are among the most widely available.
Home delivery organised on an App is changing the catering business in the States, for both client and kitchen. A multi-billion-dollar business that is creating new players. Other trends include attention to health and (possibly) and end to the compulsory gratuity.
More outdoor areas, turfed-over roof gardens, kitchen gardens and systems designed to recycle used water and garbage along with recycled or sustainable materials and the use of “free-from” paints: a sweeping trend towards all things natural is truly changing the American catering and dining experience, GenUSA has found.
A profile of the typical American consumer of coffee comes to us from a Mintel survey which identifies a “solid core” of 64%, a group over-45s, who buy ground coffee, coffee beans, instant coffee and aromatic instant coffee and “drink coffee as a morning ritual”. Then there are the new generations, especially the 18-24 year olds, who drink coffee to wake themselves up and give themselves an extra energy boost for the whole day.
So if the older age range tend to prefer blended, ready-ground varieties of coffee, the Millennials tend to “chart a course” through all the various brands and segments. And as consumers become more expert in their coffe drinking, so they tend to go for stronger roasts, with more daring flavours.
The US bread market grew by 23% between 2008 and 2013 and a further annual growth of an average of 5.2% is expected for the years between 2013 and 2018.
There is an ever-growing awareness of the benefits of eco-sustainable production processes among consumers in the United States, and this is greatly influencing purchasing choices.
This is one of the findings of a survey conducted by NMI, the Natural Marketing Institute, suggesting that 59 percent of Americans prefer to buy products manufactured using eco-sustainable practices, as compared to just 51 percent in 2009. Furthermore, 32 per cent of the sample surveyed said they believe eco-sustainable products to be of a higher quality (as against 26 percent in 2009).
«For our first visit to Host we were mainly expecting to meet visitors from Europe, but were surprised to discover how much more Host had to offer. People from places like Brazil visited our stand and we were able to reach a much broader audience than we had been expecting» - Doug Jentszch, director of global marketing of the American firm Blendtec.
«We walked in and our eyes lit up, we couldn’t believe the size of the fair and the number of exhibitors. But it wasn’t just about the size, but also the quality of the firms there. We encountered innovation everywhere, in materials and in processes. We found the things our clients need and here in Milan we are seeing products that we wouldn’t find at other fairs» - Brad Pierce, a buyer from Florida.