The return of the Taste food show at the Fortezza da Basso in Florence was greeted with great enthusiasm by many members of the trade who traveled to Tuscany to discover the latest products and gastronomic treasures of 470 exhibiting companies – large numbers of whom took part in the events scheduled at the fair and around the city for ‘Fuori di Taste’.
“The selection of the companies and the scouting carried out – including the new entries and the new ideas these companies brought to the fair – were the strong points of Taste and judged to be of the highest level,” said Agostino Poletto, General Manager at Pitti Immagine. “High-quality and a careful selection attracted a growing number of professional operators and international buyers. Many of the best international names from the world of high-quality food came to Florence to meet their clients and to establish new relationships.”
ITALIAN PRODUCERS: FALORNI
THE BUYERS’ TIDE
Around 5,000 buyers attended, with growing numbers – compared to the last edition in 2019 – especially in terms of the foreign attendees: almost 500 buyers from 50 different countries. As for reference markets, the best performances were those of France (+46%), the United States (+53%), the UK (+28), the Netherlands (+66%), and Austria (68%). Many buyers came also from Canada, Poland, and Scandinavian countries, as well as from the Far East countries.
TASTE BY THE NUMBERS
Taste recorded a total of 7,000 visitors, also thanks to a qualified public of food lovers and enthusiasts. This reopening-and-relaunch edition of the show also marked the start of two important collaborations for Taste. With Unicredit, the former main partner of the Pitti fairs, and Vetrina Toscana, a benchmarking format to integrate the world of production, sales, and catering into a sustainable tourism promotion strategy for the Tuscan territory.
Last but not least, the Taste Shop, which showcased the companies’ new products, sold almost 13,000 products in just three days.
LISTENING TO THE BUYERS
Beatrice Ughi, the Founder of Gustiamo (New York), said: “Taste is an important rendezvous because it reflects a rigid and strict selection, just like ours in New York. Here I found a substantial improvement in terms of space because the new location is much bigger and, as a result, there was a greater level of tranquility during the meetings and tastings. Managing to make a fair so much bigger while maintaining this level of quality is a real success.”
Frank Wilk, the Founder of Wilk Gourmet Group (Germany), said: “I have been taking part in Taste for thirteen years. The Stazione Leopolda undoubtedly had its charm but I prefer the new location of the Fortezza Da Basso: bigger, more professional, and really well organized. Taste is the best sector fair in Europe, you can’t find such a high level of quality anywhere else. It is always a pleasure to come back here, to meet the companies with which we already work as well as to create new collaborations. I like not having to plan too much, to be able to freely arrive with my eyes open and allow myself to be won over by the passion I see in these producers each time. You could feel the great love they have for the work they do.”
Leonardo Parpinel, Trading General Manager at Wisk (Dubai), said: “Taste is a very livable fair with an excellent filter for the quality of its exhibitors and the right quantity of visitors. I knew it by name but hadn’t had the chance to take part in it before and I am happy that I have done so. I was expecting niche products, but I didn’t expect to only find niche products. I will definitely return for the next edition”.
Emilio Agiato, Managing Director at Sum (France), said: “I have been working in the food business for 20 years, and Taste is one of the finest events I have ever attended. It is unique because it is unique in its selection, which is really top of the line and on target with our standards. I really enjoyed the new location at Fortezza Da Basso because it is central, logistically convenient, and offers more space. It was important for me to attend both to see our suppliers again and to discover interesting new realities.”
Ramon Addazi and Martina Stoppo, Founders of Magaras (Singapore), said: “It was our first time at Taste. A truly remarkable location and we were struck by the quality of the exhibitors who represented only niche companies in the world of gastronomy. We deal with the export of luxury products and will make it a reference fair. It was an important cultural event because it gave us the perception of what exists in Italy, giving voice to realities that may be small, still unknown, but of the highest quality.”
Francesco Emanuele, Sales Director at Mammafiore (Spain), said: “Since 2012, I have been taking part in Taste, even before starting at Mammafiore. To me, Taste is like a party you want to attend. The fair is tailored-made to showcase the best of Italian gastronomy, unlike all other events in the sector which, in my opinion, are more dispersed.”