Professional: catering and tourism drive the recovery

Andrea Rossi, Efcem Italia President

The sector of professional made in Italy appliances, backed by the recovery lived in 2021 with the relaxation of safety measures imposed by the health emergency and the upswing of tourism and catering, scores relevant increments versus 2021, with the fields of Cooking and heating (+21.3%), dishwashing (+24.4%), Fabric washing and treatment (+20.1%). In a contemporary setting of lights and shadows, which is still heavily influenced by the geopolitical crises in course and by the consequent oscillations of raw materials and energy costs.
According to the data by Efcem Italia (Confindustria association that in APPLiA Italia represents the enterprises of the professional sector for catering and hospitality), the pandemic post-emergency recovery in 2021, driven by catering (+23.5% of average yearly Italian export), currently comes to terms with the strong upswing of raw materials’ prices, starting from steel, electronic components and energy. At the beginning of 2022, the forecasts concerning turnovers indicated the +10% growth on the domestic and European market, and +8% in the rest of the world. Despite the further increased energy costs, with effects also on other industrial commodities (+80% for stainless steel and other raw materials, energy included, and +30% for electronic components compared to the same 2019-period), the data on foreign trade in the first 2022-quarter highlight the +9% growth of sector exports versus the corresponding 2021-period and the +13.6% versus the corresponding 2019-period. In terms of world trade, after a likely demand positivity that might last until autumn, the scenario points out a braking in 2022 (+3.4% yearly on average), with stronger weakness for the European area and a recovery trend that, according to Fmi, provides for a growth by about 5% yearly on average of the world sector trend in the 2023-2026 period.
The next work targets for the association are called energy saving and digitalization. In particular, the energy efficiency enhancement involves first of all the catering world that –Efcem Italia underlines – represents about 25% of the service industry’s whole energy consumption; share that figuratively reaches 40% of household appliances’ energy consumptions, for a number of utilities slightly exceeding 1.5%. Association’s goal is implementing the energy consumption reduction by at least 30% starting from 2023, also due to the use of the energy label that, after refrigeration, might soon concern a vast part of the appliances equipping professional kitchens. Moreover, the sector is supported by the establishment of funds to boost Italian food and wine and pastry, at the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies, intended for financing investments in professional machinery, too.