Milan is becoming the food capital of Italy. At least, that is what I like to believe. After the Expo Milano 2015 , the universal exposition, the city of fashion and design is becoming more and more a reason to visit when you are a food lover or just a curious tourist that likes to enjoy some good Italian food. A lot of new restaurants and food shops have opened, online business start to sell local quality products and (design) schools (think of SPD's Master in Food Design and Innovation) and fairs dedicated to food (like Tutto Food), are growing. But what's in for the Milanese and their daily grocery shopping?
Although most neighbourhoods in Milan have fresh food markets at least once a week, many people conveniently furnish themselves with fruit and veggies from the supermarket. And more and more, these stores are offering an experience to their clients.
It started a few years ago with the French Carrefour that opened a megastore in Viale Bezzi, where, other than shopping, on could also buy and consume freshly prepared sushi from Sushi Daily and ice cream from the popular gelateria Grom. At the same time, Expo Milano 2015 opened and so did COOP's Supermercato del Futuro. This supermarket was developed in collaboration with Carlo Ratti, director of MIT Senseable City Lab Boston and Accenture Consulting and was such a success that COOP decided to open a shop in Milan's Bicocca Village in December 2016. This pilot-project should become and inspiration for the retail sector, COOP and other supermarket chains.
Different and temporary was the 'Vivi del Gusto' tram, again by Carrefour. During the weeks before Christmas, this historic Milanese tram, also used as a dinner location 'ATMosfera' and perfect for a food experience in (historic) Milan, became a driving supermarket where one could buy quality products while contributing to charity. Here the experience was maybe more important than the innovation, even though the idea was very creative.
For the lovers of local products, one should go to Esselunga, a supermarket chain founded in Milan in the 1950's, that offers risotto rice, zucchine and stracchino lombardo (a tipical cheese) from the farmers that are united in the Milanese Agricultural District DAM. A perfect occasion to contribute to the local economy while doing your local shopping.
Got curious about Milans food landscape? Food in the Streets organised food trips to Milan. For more info, please contact me.