Bread, cake and coffee, the winning trio

Having undergone sustained growth in recent years, the bakery – pastry – café sector continues to blossom, driven by new consumer habits. The rise in the number of establishments in this line of business is such that it’s been rewarded with the new Coffee, Bakery & Pastry area at Alimentaria & Hostelco 2024. Here’s a short preview of some of the products and equipment set to be displayed in it.

By Marta Renovales, journalist at

Consumption had finally recovered in the wake of the pandemic, but the inflation we feared has arrived and once again upset pockets and business balance sheets.  The general increase in the cost of living is reducing the available budget; this doesn’t mean that Spaniards have stopped consuming outside their homes, but they’re controlling their spending more.

As a battle-hardened sector, the hospitality industry is rapidly adapting to these changes and evolving to capitalise on the opportunities and new forms of consumption, which are now linked to pleasure, celebrating and, in short, special moments, as indicated in the report titled Keys to the growth of catering by Kantar Worldpanel.

According to it, it’s vital for the hospitality sector to identify and understand the moments of consumption, and we can currently observe how “improvised and work-related ones are giving way to those associated with pleasure, relaxation and enjoyment, during which the experience assumes greater relevance”. In other words, a quick coffee, a snack when you’re on the move, a “because I deserve it” moment, sharing time with colleagues and so on.

Kantar’s analysts are in no doubt; for the hospitality industry to grow, it has to search for the niches and categories that offer opportunities for expansion. “For example, breakfasts, pleasant moments with your partner, perform particularly well compared to other more functional ones such as the daily routine in a bar.  In categories such as pastries, achieving one additional percentage point of share would provide access to two million additional actions”.

These changes in consumption are speeding up the rapid growth that bakery coffee, coffee&bakery and coffee bar are undergoing in recent years. The successful merging of the bakery and pastry concepts and the café is giving rise to business models with diversified spaces, normally with a high-quality range of home-made products, with the consumer seeking different tasting and purchasing options for consumption on and off the premises.

Numerous brands in the sector are flourishing throughout Spain by means of franchises. Many of them choose to feature an essential product such as bread, recovering traditional varieties and offering more products and combinations with savoury and sweet pastries and confectionery.

In this regard, more and more bakeries, cafés and bakery coffees have bread slicers such as the one produced by Parber, which can cut bread into perfect slices without any effort or wasting of time. This is an example of equipment that enables businesses to expand their range of products and instantly satisfy their customers’ demands.

This compact, stable and painstakingly designed manual tabletop slicer can easily cut 16-cm-high bread in loaves measuring 48 cm into pieces 678x646x637mm in size, thanks to its special stainless steel blades made to guarantee maximum sharpness and durability. The crumbs are collected on a removable tray.

It’s not just the equipment that’s evolving, it’s also the products: the new horeca breads allow caterers to save on electricity bills and preparation time. This is the case, for example, of the Diamante Xpress breads made by Bellsolà, a brand that forms part of the Monbake group. The Diamante Xpress Loaf, Sandwich and Half Sandwich are served baked at 90% and they just need a little extra heat for them to appear freshly prepared. Their soft crust is ideal for everyone and their mild flavour and spongy crumbiness are suited to all types of foods. They are also Clean Label, made without any preservatives or artificial additives.

Specifically, the Diamante Loaf boasts 275 highly versatile grams; it’s ideal for slicing, options such as sandwiches, skewers, bread baskets and set menus. It just needs to be defrosted and it’s ready after 5 to 7 minutes in the oven. The 150-gram Diamante Sandwich (half a loaf) is designed for sandwiches made on the fly. It has to be defrosted and it’s ready in 4 to 6 minutes. Finally, the 100-gram Diamante Half Sandwich has a format that’s ideal for breakfasts and snacks; it can be cut and toasted to make sandwiches and skewers or served with a set menu, and it’s ready after just 3 to 5 minutes in the oven.

For greater convenience, there are three options: defrost and bake it, bake it without defrosting it (with just two more minutes in the oven) or toast it directly, without using an oven, on a grill or Franklin stove.

Pastry making is also adapting

The new horeca confectionery and pastries also require rapid production phases. The latest proposals are specially designed to meet the needs of all customers at different moments of consumption.  There are pre-cut cakes ready to be defrosted and served in practical portions that are ideal for breakfasts, coffee breaks and snacks, with an eye-catching appearance to make the customer fall in love with them at first sight, and numerous products with healthier and natural ingredients that are plant-based, gluten-free and so on.

Versatility is also a feature of many of the pastry launches. At Alimentaria visitors will be able to try, for example, one of the innovations of Bridor, namely the Bun’n’Roll, a flaky, spiral-shaped bun made with croissant dough whose sales are growing exponentially in Spain.

Weighing 85 grams and boasting a buttery flavour and unique texture, what makes Bun’n’Roll truly special is its ability to highlight ingredients and enhance flavours, whether they be sweet or savoury. This piece of pastry can be used at any time of the day, for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. It can be used to prepare everything from gourmet burgers to amazing desserts and vegetarian options. It’s also quick and simple to prepare; just bake it in its paper mould at 165ºC-170°C for 16-18 minutes, having previously defrosted it for 45-60 minutes at room temperature.

Coffee, unstoppable

Coffee is the most popular hot drink in the world, and also the one that’s undergone the most fascinating evolutions over the last few years. Its consumption is increasing in all countries, and the demand for special and high-quality coffees is growing, especially among young Generation Z people, who demand an ethical, sustainable and traceable drink in their cups.

Customers are generally demanding more and more quality and traceability in the coffee they drink, and companies are being asked to respond to these demands throughout the supply chain, from the crop source to the grinding and packaging.

This is the case, for example, of Baqué, which has replaced the packaging of its coffee beans in its “Special Hospitality” range with a more sustainable version.

This range of coffees in a 1-kg format is now produced with a fully recyclable mono-material coil. It’s made entirely of a single plastic compound, unlike the usual packaging on the market, which consists of a combination of layers of plastic and aluminium. In addition to its benefits for the environment, this innovative film continues to protect the coffee from any external agents thanks to its barrier effect, thus maintaining all its flavour and aroma.

Similarly, there are the new espresso coffee machines that make the work of baristas increasingly smart and sustainable. They are super-automatic machines that can make freshly ground and pressed coffee and dispense it immediately, enabling it to reach the cup with all possible combinations and the touch of a single button.

For example, Rheavendors will present the rhTT1 super-automatic machine at Alimentaria & Hostelco. This is specially conceived for the OCS and horeca sectors and characterised by its design and ergonomics, in addition to being a fully customisable machine that can adapt to any space.

This machine can configure personalised coffee recipes. Its ability to adjust the amount of ground coffee, the ideal degree of grinding and the temperature of each selection and the fact that the above can be replicated with the push of a button free up time for the baristas, who can devote their efforts to serving the customers as they deserve.

In addition, the rhTT1 machine is equipped with the patented Varitherm induction system, which not only saves on costs and energy consumption compared to traditional boilers, but is also capable of ensuring different temperatures, even in a single drink. And, in combination with the rhMM1 V+ fresh milk module, it can offer a wide range of hot and cold milk drinks (including plant-based “milks”).

At the fair we’ll also see high-efficiency and energy-saving machines such as the robust La Spaziale S50. It provides maximum control of the result in the cup with each type of coffee by means of the new ITC 3.0 system, which can adjust the temperature to the dosage of each group, directly via the screen. The machine manages the heating, intelligently guaranteeing substantial energy savings.

Innovative coffee grinders? Yes, there are some and we’ll see them at Alimentaria, such as the Super Jolly V-Pro Electronic produced by Mazzer, a grinder with a painstaking design, cutting-edge technology and maximum reliability. It’s specially designed for demanding cafés with low or medium volumes that are seeking quality, ease of use and consistent results. It’s easy to use, it has numerous features and it’s a reliable friend for any barista.

There’s no good coffee without a perfect milk foam such as that guaranteed by LAF Bar PRO . Its elegant design makes it ideal for small countertops and raised aesthetics, leaving the modem or fridge conveniently hidden beneath the countertop. It’s a piece of equipment that professional baristas will love, as it achieves the very best milk texture by identifying the exact percentage of air best suited to each recipe. It heats the milk without adding any steam or watering it down and eliminates any milk losses caused by spills and overfilling of jugs. It can also expand the drinks menu by means of the incorporation of cold textures.

Nor can there be a good coffee or infusion without  high-quality water Blupura from Italy has launched the advanced Rebel water dispenser, which has the capacity to provide both extremely hot and extremely cold water, thanks to its advanced 30 l/h ice bank, as well as water that’s at room temperature and sparkling.

Its main feature is its ability to be integrated into two Blutron filters, one optimised for hot water and the other for cold water. Alternatively, it can be combined with a Blutron filter and a CO2 cylinder, allowing full adaptation to the specific needs of each establishment. This versatility ensures that each water service achieves a higher level of quality, ensuring a fresh and natural tasting experience.

The Blutron line of filters is a significant advance in terms of water treatment. These filters, with varied specifications to satisfy different requirements, guarantee the elimination of impurities and significantly enhance the taste of the water, thus setting a new benchmark in the catering industry.

The new Coffee, Bakery & Pastry area

The above equipment is just a small sample of what will be on view in the new Coffee, Bakery & Pastry area at Alimentaria & Hostelco, which will show caterers a comprehensive range of products and equipment for coffee, tea, pastries, baked products, ice cream, chocolate and accessories.

In addition to those mentioned above, numerous brands will attend this new area at the fair, which will feature, for example, the coffees produced by Fincafé; Café Arabo; Cafés el Criollo; Cafés Novell; Covim; La Tosteria and Massimo Zanetti; the coffee machines of Iberital and the coffee grinders by Markibar.

There’ll also be the ovens and baking machinery produced by Bongard and Wiesheu, the mixers of Sunmix and the moulds made by Panibois.

It will also be possible to try the cakes and pies made by Delicias Coruña , the pancakes of Le Monde des Crepes and the breads, pastries and frozen doughs made by Okin, Panike and Pastissart, as well as the haute cuisine breads of Triticum.

Apart from the flour made by Farinera Coromina,; Italy will bring those produced by Le 5 Stagioni; Molino Bongiovanni; Molino dalla Giovanna, Molino Denti, Molino Naldoni; Molino Petra, and Molino Rivetti 8.

In this area it will also be possible to try the ice creams and sweets made by Grupo Alacant, the baking and pastry ingredients of Zeelandia and the confectionery and pastry decorations produced by Twinkle Baker Decor.

All these companies, and many more, will showcase their products and carry out various activities in the new Coffee, Bakery & Pastry area of Alimentaria & Hostelco, a compelling reason to write down the dates in your diary: 18 to 21 March 2024 in Barcelona.