Whole Foods Market is known to walk to a different beat—I mean, it comes with the territory of being a grocer outside of the conventional mainstream. And this time around, the organic retailer is truly upping the innovation ante. This month, Whole Foods is debuting a deli-themed pop-up—dubbed ‘A Little Italy’—in New York, Los Angeles, Austin, and Atlanta. The pop-ups, designed to help consumers indulge in an evening of Italian culinary discovery, are co-hosted by Whole Foods’ cheese, wine, and culinary experts and Italian cheesemakers and prosciutto suppliers.
“Our dedicated team members travel throughout Italy to bring the finest traditionally-produced Italian items to Whole Foods Market stores, and we’re excited to offer these authentic products together on a dinner menu for one night only,” said Vice President of Specialty Cathy Strange. “We want our guests to feel like they’ve been invited for a meal in Nonna’s kitchen.”
According to a press release, each ‘A Little Italy’ event will feature an authentic, family-style meal composed of six courses, including Cacio e Pepe featuring Pecorino Romano with Parmigiano Reggiano grated tableside and Osso Buco served over creamy rosemary polenta. In addition, dinner guests will enjoy curated wine, prosecco, and prosciutto pairings as they watch American Cheese Society Certified Cheese Professionals take on an 80-pound Parmigiano Reggiano wheel-cracking demonstration—alongside an explanation of the craftsmanship that goes into producing the Northern Italian favorite.
“If you aren’t able to score a seat to ‘A Little Italy,’ we invite you to experience our extensive assortment of delicious Italian products—all of which meet our rigorous quality standards—at your local Whole Foods Market store,” Strange continued. “Visit select stores on February 22 at 3 p.m. local time to watch a hand-selected wheel of authentic Italian Parmigiano Reggiano be cracked live. It’s our annual celebration of the ‘King of Cheeses!’”
In addition to the pop-up, the organic grocer is also launching exclusive in-store promotions for those consumers unable to nab a coveted seat at one of Whole Foods’ deli pop-up tables. From Whole Foods Market Italian Gelato, to 365 Everyday Value Italian Olive Oils, to imported offerings like Principe Prosciutto Di Parma and Peroni Beer, Whole Foods Market offers a wide selection of authentic ingredients, products, and specialty items to take any Italian meal to the next level.
How will Whole Foods Market's new pop-up format create new relationships between the end-consumer and the supply-side? Deli Market News will continue to follow along with all of our industry’s latest innovations.