Refrigeration and washing drive the recovery for the PRO world

Andrea Rossi, president of EFCEM Italia

The Professional appliances sector for catering and hospitality has recovered lost ground after the 2020 collapse due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, and it aims at useful strategies to overcome contemporary challenges, primarily energy efficiency. This is the result of the last general meeting of EFCEM Italia, a Confindustria association within APPLiA Italia, which represents companies in the cooking, washing and refrigeration sectors for all product lines ranging from PRO food preservation to food processing, cooking and distribution, as well as dishwashing and fabric washing and treatment. Andrea Rossi was reconfirmed at the helm of the association: “I am honored to be president of EFCEM Italia for the second term, as in recent years it has increasingly become the point of reference for the development of energy efficiency in professional appliances, an even more important issue nowadays. We are very satisfied with the publication of implementing decrees for the food and wine excellence fund and for the Chef bonus, two measures aimed at replacing the products currently installed in professional kitchens as well as pastry and ice-cream laboratories, with new machines that are significantly more efficient”.
During the meeting, sector studies carried out by EFCEM Italia in partnership with the StudiaBo Research Institute were presented. The focus was on the evolution of production and demand for professional appliances by country and product segment.
Excluding completely automatic washing machines, with a capacity expressed in dry laundry weight between 6 and 10 kg, due to their high use also on the domestic sector, the studies highlighted that the apparent consumption of the sector reached, in 2021, the new peak of over 80 billion euros, up by over 10% compared to 2019. The most significant evolution of demand is marked by appliances for fabric washing and treatment and for the refrigeration segment, while among the other product groups the study reports that, in 2021, appliances in the coffee, cooking and heating, and dishwashing segments are still slightly below pre-pandemic levels. Specifically, Refrigeration alone covers about 30% of total demand, for a value of over 24 billion euros worldwide in 2021, followed by Fabric Washing and treatment (over 13 billion). The values for Cooking and heating (5.4 billion), Coffee (3.2 billion) and Dishwashing (1.1 billion) are lower.
Still in the Refrigeration segment, Italy stands out as the third largest global manufacturer with a share of about 10%, behind China and the United States. Italy also plays a key role in the Cooking and heating sector, where it ranks fourth, behind the United States, Germany and China. Italy is also leading the production of Coffee appliances with a share exceeding 20% in 2021. In the dishwashing sector, Italy and Germany respectively cover more than 25% of world production in 2021.
The analysis of the Italian industry economic-financial parameters in 2021 highlighted a full recovery from 2020, with Italian companies in the sector marking an increase in turnover by up to 24 percentage points, while operating profits regained over 2 percentage points and industrial profitability (ROI, Return on Investment) recorded a recovery of more than 5 points. The analysis of the sector results and trends in the first 9 months of 2022 showed companies increase their turnover by more than 20% compared to the same period of 2019. Looking at the end of the year, the first assessments lead to expect a complex last quarter: despite the positive trend of the first 9 months, it is estimated that compared to 2019, the average turnover in 2022 will increase by 8%.