No, I’m not taking any psychedelics! One of the Pavilions at this year’s EXPO in Milan is called the “FUTURE FOOD DISTRICT“. It is sponsored by one of the largest co-operative grocery store chains in Italy known as the COOP (pronounced “cop”), which is where we do ALL of our grocery shopping, even though my husband hates the COOP and says they destroy local producers. But I couldn’t resist checking out their pavilion and when a friend said he heard it was really cool, I suddenly needed to grocery shop….in the future!
What I Wore to the Grocery Store!
Let me tell you, if this space is any indicator of the future…I predict the future is air conditioned! I prepared with a vintage chambray jacket overtop of my fluorescent yellow t-shirt.
This has been a perfect Spring, nice and long and not too hot. Actually, it has even been a bit cold and rainy in Italy, as with most of Europe, but on this particular day the sun was shining and it was beautiful. I’m not *quite* ready to bare my legs yet, so this black lace skirt gave me the chance to show a little skin without making the leap to shorts.
Besides, I still old school 80s tan, like with the sun and not spray, so I’ll start wearing shorts after my beach visit! I LOVE the fact that in Italy the spray tan trend has not caught on and that most Italians are more for putting on lotion and going to the beach instead of paying money to get covered in dirty *mist*. Nothing against dirty mist, but it is expensive to keep up, difficult to do alone, and often I just prefer letting my skin breathe with as little product on it as possible.
I accessorized with a red leather bag and red crocodile leather bracelet, both made by my husband’s company, TES. I’ve written before about working for my husband’s exotic leather belt company and later this month I’ll be at the biggest Men’s Fashion Fair, Pitti in Florence, which I’ve blogged about here. In October we’re launching our first store for their new Men’s brand (go ahead and follow us on facebook!!) and I’m going to be profiling my husband and his family as part of my HAND MADE – Artisan Series, because I’m really proud of them and excited that they are finally making the leap to go online.
I also wore my beautiful new Yosa Uk black and orange necklace that was given to me as a gift by a very sweet blogging friend of mine Angele from The European Malteser…thank you again Angele! Lately I’ve also been living in these laser cut leather shoes that remind me a lot of the Chanel shoes from the Spring 2015 collection, I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to Spring/Summer 2015 shoes trends if you’re looking for inspiration!
So, what’s it like grocery shopping in the future?
If you don’t know much about the 2015 EXPO happening right now in Milan, the theme is “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”. In this post you’ll find out why I’m a pretty big fan of the EXPO, and why I think every Italian should visit. I’ve also written a bit here about where it is located if you are thinking of visiting!
So, it’s only logical that if the theme of the EXPO is feeding the planet, and one of the main corporate sponsors is Italy’s largest grocery store chain, that they present the FUTURE of grocery shopping. On the EXPO site, this new grocery store concept is described as “more autonomous and sustainable … the interaction between consumers and products goes back to being transparent and honest”
Umm… well, if you say so.
This futuristic grocery store was filled with plasma and touch screens, robotic arms selecting and displaying fruit, sterile packaging, automated check-outs and hardly any real people! I predict grocery store workers will be unemployed in the future.
Maybe it’s just me, but I think REAL transparency is when you go to a farmer’s market, and you have the SAME PERSON who picked that fruit right in front of you. Or you go to the local market and have the person who selected it, tasted it, and bought it because THEY KNEW they would be RESPONSIBLE FOR SELLING IT.
At the Historic Mercato Albinelli in Modena’s centre, I buy all of my groceries from 15 different stands. My fruit guys will tell me if something is crap! For example, they’ll ask “Are you going to eat this today, or tomorrow? Because this one is ripe and perfect for today, but if I were you I would buy this one to eat in two days”. SOLD. I don’t think you can get much more transparent or honest than that, but that’s just me.
What Are You Buying?
On top of every product was a screen that would sense your movement! As you got closer to the food and reached for it, the screen would change to tell you more info. There was a map, the origin of the food with the price etc. Surprisingly, with all of this “transparency” there was no mention of whether or not the food was OGM, or bio, are whether he producers are multi-nationals or local/independent farmers. If you want to tell me something about what I’m about to eat, tell me the truth! Or perhaps that would damage sales!
If you are headed to the EXPO and forgot something, or need to do a bit of grocery shopping for the next day, this pavilion was REALLY CONVENIENT! There was a whole gluten free section (so apparently Celiac Disease is still present in the future!) and a large section for baby food, diapers, wipes, feminine hygiene products and ANYTHING ELSE you would want/need from a grocery store, right in the heart of the Milan EXPO! The checkout is automated, so you won’t get a chance to practice your Italian with the teller, but at least you can buy your bottle of Lambrusco wine in complete anonymity!
If you decide to full-on grocery shop and get everyone back home the souvenirs THEY REALLY WANT, namely Italian wine, cheese, balsamic vinegar and specialty foods, there is an International courier service offered. They will deliver anywhere in the world at moderate prices! So SHOP to your heart’s content and ship it back home or to your hotel room for later!
If you plan on visiting the EXPO please let me know if you have any questions. This month I am preparing a series of posts to answer your questions! Don’t forget to join my new monthly TRAVEL LINKUP for ALL BLOGGERS who write about their local and international travels. You can find this month’s linkup here, and on Friday a brand new one! I am co-hosting this with some fantastic travel bloggers who are very active in the community and linking up is a great way to get some increased exposure for your travel posts and discover new destinations. – Find more info on the #REASONS2TRAVEL linkup here!
#REASONSTODRESS Real Mom Street Style Linkup
This week I am ecstatic to have Victoria from The Mummy Chronicles as my lovely co-host!
I hope you’ve heard of The Mummy Chronicles! Not only does Victoria cover the latest trends, she has GREAT shopping tips such as where to find a cute jumpsuit for under 50 bucks! ! A fit mom with a great sense of style, more than once she has been my motivation to just get my workout over with! She just celebrated her birthday so go on over and show her some love.