Gifts Today magazine

Study reveals HoReCa growth

Messe Frankfurt publishes Ifo Institute study on contract business, revealing how Ambiente segments of the German market are worth around two billion euros

On the occasion of Ambiente, the world’s leading trade fair for the consumer-goods sector, Messe Frankfurt has published a new Management Report entitled ‘Contract business – a growth market. A study of contract business in Horeca supplies and furnishings’.

The study has been prepared by the Ifo Institute and puts the spotlight on a segment of the market in which many consumer-goods manufacturers have achieved significant sales increases over recent years.

“The Management Report demonstrates the great economic potential of the contract business as a sales channel for Ambiente exhibitors. According to Ifo Institute, the contract business in Germany is currently worth around two billion euros for the Dining, Living and Giving product segments”, says Stephan Kurzawski, Senior Vice President, Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH.

According to the results of a poll, further growth of a good 10 per cent is to be expected over the coming five years. Important driving forces include, for example, the expansion plans of major hotel chains and the planned increase in the number of cruise liners. In addition to the current significance of the contract business, the Management Report looks at growth areas and explains demand structures in the restaurant and hotel sector, as well as supplier marketing activities.

“Business with customers from the hotel and restaurant sector has developed into an important growth factor for many companies with products in the Dining and Living segments. More and more of these companies are turning to the export sector. And, thanks to the large number of international trade visitors, Ambiente offers these companies an ideal platform for attracting new customers and presenting their products”, says Horst Penzkofer, Economist at the Ifo Institute. The exhibitors polled are also in agreement about the outstanding importance of fairs with Ambiente taking top place in their marketing mix. Parallel to the growing use of digital means of communication, personal discussions at the fair are seen as being vital for maintaining and expanding international business relations. The internet came second in respect of the number of mentions.

According to the study, companies from the hotel and restaurant sector dominate business demand for products in the Dining and Living segments. Over 90 and 85 per cent respectively of suppliers active in the contract market say these two groups are their main customers and that the contract business is set to develop well from their point of view.

In the Dining segment, 63 per cent expect it to continue to expand. Underscoring the great relevance of business with commercial customers, Christoph René Holler, General Director of the Association of the Ceramic Industry (Verband der Keramischen Industrie e.V.), says, “For the tableware industry as a whole, a good year in 2013 was followed by an even better one in 2014 with an overall increase of five per cent. And very good developments in the Horeca business played an important role in this.”

Moreover, 51 per cent of suppliers in the Living segment anticipate growth in the contract business. In the Giving segment, the figure is 37 per cent while 51 per cent think business in this field will remain constant.




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