The Retailer Winter_2017/18

Trend Watch: Food Hall Fever Hits Europe

Dr Yvonne Court International Partner & Head of International Consultancy EMEA Cross Border Retail & Leisure Cushman & Wakefield

“The concept has mushroomed in the last few years and is set to grow at a pace in the next decade. Now food hall fever has

Regardless of the terminology, a modern food hall is ultimately defined by what it is and what it offers. We suggest that fundamentally it is a dedicated space that provides a diverse offer of freshly-prepared, authentic, value-for-money food and drink which can be enjoyed communally. There are multiple interpretations of this across Europe currently. Some, like the emerging Time Out Market brand, take their references from traditional fresh produce markets. Others, like London Union’s Street Feast, have their origins in street food or music festival locations. Most, like Foodhallen in Amsterdam, Mathallen in Oslo and Platea in Madrid have taken over historic buildings, which help give the venues a unique identity and in some cases a new life. We have counted over 100 food halls that are already operational across the continent and we expect a further 200 to open in the next few years. This is AN exciting prospect for developers, landlords and food hall operators alike. Modern food halls are large (on average 20,000 sq ft) and populated by independent food vendors (not chains) who provide the wide range of authentic and ethically-produced cuisines that appeal to the current generation of food hall patrons. Simply converting unleased retail units won’t work. We think the next chapter in food halls growth, will see some important changes. We believe that shopping centres offer huge potential for food halls if the right space is created, so landlords are potentially well placed to take advantage of this trend. Crucially, they will need to understand the key factors behind a successful food hall. The most popular business model in European food halls is based on the operator controlling and taking the income from drink sales. Landlords must decide whether they lease their operation to a third party or employ an experienced individual in a management contract-type arrangement. However, do not be fooled, just serving takeaway food in a communal dining setting, otherwise arguably known as a food court, will not create a top tourist or visitor attraction nor will they necessarily be the panacea for all shopping centers. This is not to say that there is not a place for the more traditional food court, but they are not the same as a food hall. The most important rule for top-performing food halls is active management and constant curation.

OUR LATEST FOOD HALLS OF EUROPE REPORT WAS LAUNCHED AT MAPIC TO A GLOBAL AUDIENCE IN CANNES, FRANCE. THIS RISING TREND WAS EXAMINED IN DETAIL AND COVERS THE MEANING OF THE TERM ‘FOOD HALLS’ AS WELL AS FEATURED THREE INTERVIEWS WITH KEY INFLUENCERS INCLUDING DIDIER SOUILLAT, THE FOUNDER OF TIME OUT MARKET IN LISBON, WHO ARE ALL BEHIND THIS GROWING SECTOR ACROSS EUROPE. Anyone familiar with the US retail and leisure scene will know that one of the hottest trends is food halls and indeed it was the subject of an earlier report by Cushman & Wakefield (Food Halls of America). The concept has mushroomed in the last few years and is set to grow at a pace in the next decade. Now food hall fever has officially spread to Europe. This trend has not risen overnight; traditional food markets are nothing new in Europe. They have existed across the European mainland for centuries, housed in dilapidated surroundings in unloved neighbourhoods although with a very loyal customer base. The arrival of the new millennium witnessed a period of change for food halls with markets such as La Boqueria, located off Barcelona’s famous La Rambla tourist street, which began to reinvent themselves and attract interest from a new generation of tourists and local office workers and residents alike. The rising attraction of this destination was in line with cultural and demographic shifts although they may not have been aware of it at the time. Demographic and cultural shifts have driven the food hall evolution, which can be put down to three key factors; 1) people are travelling more than ever before and therefore eating out more, 2) consumers are interested in eating top quality, locally sourced food from independent operators and 3) they want to be served in a unique and authentic destination, almost one of the most crucial elements is the communal atmosphere or ambiance of the food hall. It is important to understand that the term food hall has a wide variety of meanings in Europe. This is perhaps ironic as the phrase originated there over 150 years ago. Back then it described the large basements of department stores which sold fresh produce and indeed global brands like Selfridges and Harrods still use those words to this day. The modern definition of a food hall, as already commonly understood in the US, is only starting to gain traction in Europe and it is likely to be a while before it has a widely accepted meaning across the continent. The term food market, popular in Europe, could be around for some time to come.

Landlords who get this right and seize the opportunities, which will appear over the next few years, are likely to enjoy long-term rewards. Hot spots in European cities are already emerging for example, London has 16 potential food halls in the pipeline with three annouced already in 2018. London, for example, has 16 potential food hall sites in the pipeline. We will leave you with the wise words from Didier, ‘‘The only operators who will survive are those with authority. Operators who are too small will become obsolete and disappear’’. One thing is certain: the food hall phenomenon is here to stay for some time yet. Read the full report from Cushman & Wakefield here and for the Food Halls of America report click here .

CUSHMAN & WAKEFIELD // +44 020 7935 5000 // yvonne.court@cushwake.com // www.cushmanwakefield.co.uk/retail

officially spread to Europe.”

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