Work fast, eat slowly – Eataly the Powerbrand

Eat + Italy = Eataly. Founded in 2004, Eataly has become one of the world’s largest providers of Italian consumer goods in recent years. Eataly is a successful combination of restaurant, market experience, Italian delicatessen, and biodiversity. The shops present the tradition and diversity of Italian cuisine in a lively way. Company founder, Oscar Farinetti, came to Zurich and proved himself to be an outstanding ambassador for his Italian power brand.

The first branch of Eataly was opened in a decommissioned wormwood factory in Turin. Meanwhile, 5,000 employees now work for the company, which generates sales of over 500 million euros in 32 countries. Founder Oscar Farinetti is a staunch supporter of the slow food movement and he lives this philosophy in his company: “The key is to work fast, but eat slowly.” The recipe for success is as simple as it is ingenious: to create a sociable place where you can buy, eat, and learn about high-quality Italian food and drinks. Eataly stands for the Italian food culture and way of life and should make first-class products accessible to all. The products are mostly produced by small manufacturers, which are not to be found at the major retailers. Farinetti is convinced that only direct contact with producers makes affordable prices and sustainable distribution possible: “Authentic, honest, affordable, and transparent are the ingredients that stand for a credible vision and corporate strategy.”

When entering an Eataly store, you experience the welcoming Italian culture and a casual, uncomplicated atmosphere. You stroll along counters and shelves that enchant you with the richness of Italian cuisine. The food and drinks present themselves in well-designed packaging. Not only is the product staged, but you can also learn of its history and origin. Eataly goes even further; the company creates innovative creations using traditional products from Sicily to Milan with Italian cuisine. For these, the tables are set for lunch and the shop becomes a restaurant. This seems a bit improvised, but all the more authentic. The customer should feel at home and get involved in new culinary experiences. Farinetti is convinced: “We have the ability for constant change – the traditions remain, but the potential of Italian cuisine is almost inexhaustible.” Eataly customers can experience this behind the cooking pot because in addition to gastronomy, a cooking school is also an integral part of the concept.

But their success is based not only on the concept but on innovative marketing as well. In doing so, Farinetti not only relies on an absolutely coherent brand experience but also on “Narrazione” storytelling. The experience is sold to those who love passionately produced, quality food. Farinetti sees himself as an ambassador and storyteller. He wants to bring the diversity and traditions of Italian food culture to life around the world, because he sees a lot of catching up to do here: “For example, if we compare ourselves with the French, we produce products of the same quality, if not even better, but the French understand telling the better story.” 2020 Eataly should also come to Switzerland. Farinetti is still looking for the best location for the first store. Typical for Farinetti is also his approach; he does not hunt, but lures. Should the first store be in Zurich or Geneva? With this question he came for a speech to Zurich.

Photographers pio3, peus (, Marco Simonetti