Italian architect and food influencer, Marco Beolchi, shares his hottest retail food concepts of 2018, including Al Bacio, Calavera Fresh Mix, Juice Bar, Miscusi and Berberè.
The Italian Food & Beverage business is rich and varied: a world in motion and endless evolution. New brands open, others grow, others consolidate and unfortunately others die. It is one of the most important industries in the country, with a turnover of over 75 billion euros and 325,000 companies. Numbers are bound to grow, considering that more and more Italians eat outside of their homes. The word that guides the evolution of the last few years is quality: a true ambassador of the Italian lifestyle also based on beauty and refinement, thanks to the values of authenticity and respect for the traditions it expresses. The sector is moving towards premium segments because consumption is more and more aspirational and experiential.
What changes is also the type of food sought after; healthy food and healthy eating are what most of the people want. However, in addition to the human factor that is always fundamental in this sector, technology and innovation are rapidly spreading: tablet menus, smartphones payments, advanced cooking equipment, a mix between the real and the digital world that distinguishes new retail. The clear definition of one’s own values, the environment proposed to customers and the ability to manage social media are the key factors for any chain that wants to succeed. Among the many Food & Beverage chains that will open new units in 2018, the following five are worth mentioning (without this meaning that there aren’t others that follow the new trends above).
Al Bacio: is a new concept that combines wellness, technology and design and as the four founding members define it, “healthy”, “tasty” and, last but not least, “Italian”. Only high quality, organic and strictly selected ingredients are used; methods of preparation preserve intact the nutritive properties of the products; dishes are tasty but healthy and from this distinctive combination of Mediterranean cuisine linked to the aromas of our territory, derives the genuine and true Italian character of this concept.
CALAVERA FRESH MEX is a new format developed by the Cremonini group, unique in the national restaurant scene. It is inspired by the distinctive flavors of Mexico and its colorful culture and cuisine and it is focused on fresh products in an explosion of colors and flavors. The setting reflects the menu: an explosion of sensations conveyed by the many colorful “calaveras” on the walls, the natural wood red and turquoise alternating chairs, and the colored leather sofas. The ambiance is also hightened by the tiles on some walls alternating with an anthracite gray that highlight the other colors, decorative elements carved to close the spaces without separating them completely from each other and last but not least, the wooden floors and the warm lights that replicates the atmosphere of a typical Mexican house (mi casa es tu casa).
Juice Bar: a healthy bar offering that merges the concepts of taste, wellness and genuineness with a metropolitan and cosmopolitan inspiration. Thanks to the “Grab & Go” fridge, traditional service is combined with “take away” and fast consumption. Juice Bar emphasises the “healthy eating concept” that combines taste and practicality to meet the needs of modern life. Thanks to a healthy and wide range of products, based on seasonality both in the assortment and in the rotation, Juice Bar has made freshness its main focal point, without neglecting the pleasure of the Italian café revisited in an international tone and presented according to the latest trends.
Miscusi: The concept is based on one of the most traditional dishes of Italian cuisine: pasta. Drawing, cooking and seasoning are all made in an open kitchen, maintaining the craftsmanship of production and ensuring the seasonality of raw materials that are almost all local and from different suppliers in the area, while the locally ground flours are made of grains coming from Apulia’s Murge. The environment gives a nod to the trattoria of the past thanks to a minimal and modern furniture, almost post-industrial. Colors are well calibrated, warm and reassuring, furnishings is simple but refined, the lights well positioned.
Berberè: is a pizza chain founded and directed by the Aloe brothers, present not only in Italy but also in London under the “Radio Alice” banner. Berberè serves only natural leavened pizza with mother yeast mixed with semi-wholemeal organic Alce Nero flours (stone-ground) and highly digestible. Served already cut into eight segments, an invitation to conviviality, it is garnished with Slow Food, Italian delicacies and seasonal products. Recurrent elements of their settings is the enhancement of the original concept; the structure, so to speak, the pure ingredients. Rough bricks are often in view and combined with the bright colors painted on the walls. Another distinctive element of all the Berberè premises is the wall-painting: have a look around until the pizza arrives.