At TUTTOFOOD 2023 in Milan, the future of large-scale retail is now
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At TUTTOFOOD 2023 in Milan, the Future of Large-Scale Retail Is Now

Innovation will be the focus of the Retail Plaza format

Large-scale retail has a date with the future in Milan: TUTTOFOOD 2023, Italy’s leading international agri-food platform, at fieramilano from 8 May through 11 May. Besides top players across the layout, a real can't-miss will be Retail Plaza by TUTTOFOOD, a unique format in which major Italian and global retail brands interact with companies and other stakeholders in a close dialog that is difficult to achieve in other contexts. Also confirmed for this year is the collaboration with the Retail Institute. Among the topics that will also be discussed from a sustainability perspective are innovation in supply chains, the opportunities of digital transformation – such as the metaverse – and the “green” approach in retail.

Retail Plaza by TUTTOFOOD, a preview of the future of retail

The Retail Plaza schedule is beginning to take shape in more detail, with events analyzing the change in business models and formats of modern distribution by bringing together international Italian brands, experts and producers in a unique networking context. Supply chain sustainability and value chain innovation will be center stage at the 2023 edition where, as usual, case studies will be in the limelight, with the aim of sharing contents between producers on one side, and Italian and foreign retailers on the other side.

To name just a few among the sessions already confirmed, the schedule includes two events where Giuseppe Stigliano, professor of business, law, economics and consumption at the IULM University Faculty of Communication, in Milan, will discuss the latest on-shelf trends with representatives of some of the most important Italian and international chains.

Sustainable innovation, and the ways modern distribution can deal with it in Italy and abroad, will be the focus of two other sessions moderated by Cristina Lazzati, director of the publications Gdoweek and MarkUp, and lecturer at the 24 Hours Business School. Moreover, "creative destruction," and how to deal with it to the advantage of operators along the value chain, will be discussed in two sessions with value chain innovation strategist Massimo Visconti and Cris Nulli, of Appetite for Disruption, respectively.

The partnership with the Retail Institute, which spans the whole format, will be expressed in particular through the themes of green retail and food and sustainability. Further sessions, which are in the process of being developed, will involve innovative startups, newly evolved omnichannel players, companies involved in the digital transformation process of the Ho.Re.Ca. (foodservice) sector, and much more.

More sustainable innovation with the Better Future award and across the layout

The Better Future Award will be back, too, sponsored by TUTTOFOOD in collaboration with Gdoweek and MarkUp to recognize sustainable innovation in agribusiness, including ethical socio-environmental initiatives. For example, in 2021, the award went, among others, to a project for the sustainable cultivation of teff, a local traditional cereal, in Ethiopia; an initiative to support cocoa farmers in Uganda; and an urban garden project, that reduces waste by promoting proximity to the consumer.

This year’s new feature in the exhibition layout will be the GreenTrail, a transversal pathway identified by a specific visual identity and dedicated signage, which will help people discover green, plant-based and km zero products, as well as those that are healthy, rich-in and free-from, through all areas of the event and at the stands of all exhibitors, with a view to encouraging the fight against waste by facilitating healthier, sustainable and responsible food choices. The most active countries in these segments at the event will include Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands. 

This year's event is aiming for pre-COVID numbers, and, with four months to go before the ribbon-cutting ceremony, the TUTTOGROCERY, TUTTOSEAFOOD and TUTTOFROZEN sectors are already compiling waiting lists of attendees eager to interact with all of the big names in the industry. Top players and a strong foreign presence are also expected in the TUTTOMEAT and TUTTODAIRY sectors. Particularly large representations will come from, in order, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Denmark, Turkey, and the USA. A number of countries will also bring their exhibitors for the first time, such as, Ecuador, Faroe Islands, New Zealand, Romania, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, and Hungary. Among professional visitors, high-profile buyers from around the world, such as large international retail chains, are expected.

There will also be a major presence of Italian PDO and PGI consortiums and foreign collectives, which will enable an even more incisive collaborative supply chain approach. Italian consortia include, among others, Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, Finocchiona, Gorgonzola Cheese, Montasio Cheese, Mozzarella di Bufala Campana, Parmigiano Reggiano, Pecorino Romano, Pasta di Gragnano, Pecorino Toscano and Prosciutto Toscano.