The key focus at Mapic 2019 was food in the retail mix, namely leisure, hospitality and entertainment-led retail. Attending Mapic this year was eye-opening because it reinforced the importance of food in the retail mix.

Mapic 2019. Image courtesy of

The take away message for us at the show came from the excellent ‘Food in the Retail Mix’ presentation, hosted by Mario C. Bauer, which said that food would play an important part in delighting and engaging customers across a number of key retail formats.

The talk featured a panel of retail real estate and foodie experts including Rachel Balem from Westfield, Julian Powell from Galaries Lafayette and Jonathan Doughty from Global Head, Foodservice, Leisure and Placemaking, ECE.

The core message from the panel was that food is taking a greater share of the overall retail mix, although as it was pointed out, there is no right answer to the question of how much is the right amount of food in a retail mix. How landlords create the right mix for their retail tenants should be determined by a variety of factors.

An excellent presentation by Food Service Vision helped to outline and condense those contributing factors, which you can see below.

Ultimately, they claim it boils down to understanding what your customers want from the offer, balancing safe verses innovative concepts and then measuring effectiveness.

The speakers of the presentation spoke at length about new formats that are shaking up the retail and food worlds, including grocerants like Wholefoods in New York where people come to dine in or shop in equal measures, and Ichiba at Westfield, which offers Europe’s largest offering of Japanese food as well as a whole range of hot food offers.

Wholefoods, New York. Image courtesy of

While, as Jonathan Doughty correctly suggested, food is not going to play a greater role in every retail destination, we’re clear that food will play an increasingly important role overall.

CADA is an international food-led design consultancy which has worked with many of the world’s leading food retail brands, including Lotte, Dean & DeLuca, Aldi, Tesco, Shinsegae, Pret a Manger, Itsu Japan Centre, Ellior, Coop and Continente.

Ichiba, Westfield.

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