EATALY TAPS INTO ITS IN­NER DIS­NEY

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Eataly

Af­ter open­ing out­posts in 31 cities in 12 coun­tries across the globe, the Ital­ian food­erie Eataly is re­turn­ing to its birth­place with its new­est launch: a $118 mil­lion ex­pe­ri­en­tial park called FICO Eataly World. When it opens in Bologna, Italy, in the fall, Eataly World will span 25 acres and fea­ture pas­tures, more than 40 restau­rants and food stalls, and learn­ing cen­ters that al­low vis­i­tors to ex­plore the coun­try’s agri­cul­tural and food-man­u­fac­tur­ing pro­cesses (while rid­ing chic adult tri­cy­cles from Ital­ian bike maker Bianchi). “Eataly stores are fo­cused on the restau­rants and the shop­ping,” says Eataly World CEO Tiziana Pri­mori. “We’re now go­ing to take you back­wards into the pro­duc­tion that goes into the cul­ture of how the food is grown and made.”

To en­ter­tain and ed­u­cate the ex­pected 6 mil­lion an­nual vis­i­tors, Eataly World will have 30 daily in­ter­ac­tive work­shops taught by sea­soned farm­ers and chefs. A sec­tion of the park called the Area of the Fu­ture, de­signed by ar­chi­tect Carlo Ratti of the MIT Senseable City Lab, will teach vis­i­tors about sus­tain­able agri­cul­ture by let­ting them plant seeds in a hy­dro­ponic veg­etable gar­den. “Eataly’s mis­sion has al­ways been to share Italy’s qual­ity and bio­di­ver­sity with the world,” says Eataly USA CEO Ni­cola Farinetti. (To that end, the com­pany is con­tin­u­ing to fo­cus on U.S. growth and will soon add out­posts in Los An­ge­les and Las Ve­gas.) But Eataly World takes the mis­sion even fur­ther. “This is farm to ta­ble in the true sense of the phrase, where you can touch ev­ery­thing with your hands and learn and ap­pre­ci­ate it even more.”

MILE­STONES Eataly con­tin­ues to em­brace fast ca­sual with its first all-ravi­oli take­out counter, which opened in July in New York.

CHAL­LENGES The com­pany’s mas­sive in­vest­ment in FICO Eataly World could be at stake if re­tail sales don’t go as planned, since ad­mis­sion to the park will be free.

BUZZ

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