Store Visit: Eataly’s Newest Outlet Capitalizes on Brazil’s Cooking-As-Entertainment Trend

With a new outlet added to the global Eataly’s chain, Brazilian operations opened its doors in the heart of São Paulo last May in the Itaim neighbourhood, an upscale area close to important commercial and business centres.

Brazilians in general are always looking for novelties, and the concept of combining a high-end grocery retailer with an entertainment and cultural value proposition are proving to please the population, not only to those consumers who are used to traveling abroad and were therefore already aware of other Eataly’s around the globe, but also to those seeking a diverse place to go during weekends and after-work hours.

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The front of the outlet in Sao Paulo’s Itaim neighbourhood

 

Inside Eataly Sao Paulo
Eataly includes multiple levels of market and dining spaces

 

Key features at Eataly Sao Paulo include:

  • Food preparation as entertainmentSince the rise of high end kitchens and indoor gourmet spaces in Brazil, people are more than ever looking for exotic and diversified ingredients to be used for special occasion meals and celebrations. Eataly targets these consumers who are willing to experience “food shows”, including cooking demonstrations, and see how meals are prepared. Afterwards they only have to walk through the aisles and choose the products to reproduce the same culinary experience at home.
  • Products sourced from local Brazilian producerEataly´s suppliers are all selected within the “Slow Food Concept”, meaning that it has to be sustainable. Therefore, all fresh food are local. Honey, Cachaça (a traditional Brazilian type of white spirit), some types of artisanal cheese and hand-made sweets are also supplied by regional manufactures. Unfavourable exchange rates of Brazilian currency against US Dollar might pushes up the contribution of local products towards imported ones.
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A view of the dining room
  • Cooking lessons for familiesThe venue offers workshops and “do-it-yourself” activities for all public and members of family. Cheese, beer and vegetarian workshops, for instance, are offered from time-to-time. Even children have their own room, as Slow Food Concept also reinforces learning as an important step to have a greater relationship with food and environment latter on in life and, by means of ludic and interactive activities offers the opportunity of having them preparing simple meals and learning how products such as fruits are cultivated.
  • Accessible pricing that appeals to a range of consumersAlthough Eataly is positioned as a high-end establishment, it does not appeal exclusively to higher-income consumers as people have the option to go there to have a complete meal in one of its several restaurants, just grab a dessert in Nutella’s Kiosk, have a cup of coffee or just buy selected ingredients and indulgences. This fact makes the experience at the outlet more accessible for many Brazilians, especially middle-income consumers.
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Eataly sells Nutella with an exclusive label to commemorate the opening

Culinary as a hobby is on the rise in Brazil

As in all of its markets, Eataly‘s newest outlet highlights the trend of culinary experiences as hobbies, and dining-out experiences that bring consumers into the cooking and meal preparation process. This trend is particularly strong in Brazil, and is expected to continue due to two important factors.

First, television shows like Master Chef and an increasing number of signature clubs like Cheftime are promoting this idea of gourmet culinary activities as an integral part of Brazilians’ everyday lives. Cheftime is a meal delivery cooking service in which members receive a kit containing all of the ingredients needed to prepare a dish chosen by the chef. Second, economic instability is making consumers rethink their habits and prioritize the opportunity to have a good meal at home. This has resulted in a renewed focus on the quality of ingredients for home cooking, which allows consumers to feel like they can eat well at home without the high cost of dining out.

Eataly of course straddles both of these trends, offering a highly entertaining and integrated culinary experience, allowing customers to decide whether they would like to shop for a meal at home, indulge in a restaurant meal prepared with similarly high quality ingredients, or partake in some combination of both experiences. In Sao Paulo in particular, Eataly builds on an existing tradition of such places as São Paulo City Market (Mercadão in Portuguese), offering both high quality local products and a range of products carefully chosen from around the world and adding in a new layer of culinary integration to the experience that feels entirely new in the market, yet perfectly suited to appeal to local consumer preferences. With the rise of cooking as a hobby in Brazil–and particularly cooking with gourmet ingredients–concepts like Eataly are expected to continue rising in popularity with similar competitors sure to come soon.

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Fresh vegetables on display in a market section