The 2021 edition of Milan’s fair TuttoFood, one of the largest B2B exhibitions for the entire agri-food ecosystem, ended on 26 October. The fair kicked off at Fiera Milano, one of the city’s exhibition facilities, on October 22, together with other two fairs, HostMilano and MeatTech. Expectations were high, especially due to the success of other fairs held in Milan over the last months, such as Salone del Mobile’s special 2021 event, Supersalone, and the Fashion Week

TuttoFood and Host 2021

And as the numbers show, expectations were more than fulfilled: over 150,000 trade visitors, far more than the 82,000 of the 2019 edition, attended the fair, also thanks to the constant support offered to TuttoFood organizers by the Italian Trade Agency. More than 1400 exhibitors, including 233 from abroad, from 31 different countries, took part in the exhibition. The most represented countries include France, Spain, Greece, the Netherlands, Belgium, with presences also from Portugal, United Kingdom, Nordic european countries and Eastern Europe. Interesting signs of participation came also from the American continent and the Middle East. 

The program included over 100 events, thus completing the many online events that TuttoFood organized during the months leading up to the fair.  

The gamble of going back to meeting in person proved to be a winner” Fiera Milano CEO Luca Palermo told Italian newspaper Il Sole24Ore. “There was a great desire to do business live.”  

Luca Palermo, CEO of Fiera Milano, at TuttoFood 2021
Luca Palermo, CEO of Fiera Milano, at TuttoFood 2021

Crowded aisles and lively exchanges at the stands consolidated Fieramilano’s growing role as a European exhibition hub and internationalisation driver for Italian companies of all sizes. 

TuttoFood was also an opportunity for Fieramilano to sign important agreements. These include a partnership with Filiera Italia and Coldiretti to promote made in Italy agri-food in the world with innovative methods, and an agreement with Informa Market, one of the world leaders in the exhibition sector with over 450 events in its portfolio, to bring the companies taking part in Fiera Milano events to other international exhibitions. The first test for this new partnership will be the participation of Italian companies in the next edition of Fha-HoReCA, an event dedicated to the food and hospitality sector organized by Informa in Singapore. 

Host, the international hospitality fair held concurrently with TuttoFood, also exceeded expectations: 1,344 exhibitors, 433 of which from abroad (32%), representing 43 countries, including Germany, France, Spain, USA, Portugal, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Greece, Austria and the United Kingdom.

The program included many events, such as cooking shows, in-depth seminars, performances and national and international competitions such as the Panettone World Championship and the Tiramisu World Championship. All of this with the participation of well-known chefs, professionals from the world of coffee and masters of ice cream, chocolate and pastry from all over the world. 

cooking show at TuttoFood 2021, the food fair in Milan

The agri-food sector represents about 25% of Italian GDP. In the first seven months of 2021, Italian agri-food exports grew by 10%, reaching a total value of €18 billion and making Italy the 13th biggest exporter in the world. As we wrote in this article, in 2021 exports of Italian wine reached and exceeded pre-pandemic levels. 

The prospects for the agri-food sector are positive, also thanks to the global post-pandemic economic recovery and the benefit that the European funds linked to Next Generation EU will bring to the sector. On the other hand, uncertainties such as those caused by Brexit could represent a risk for Italian exports at least in the medium term.