A few days ago started the Social Media Week 2016 in Milan, that this year is taking place at Base, in Tortona area. A place that doesn’t stop, and it keeps dictating rules and anticipating trends in Italy. An event opened to everyone, experts, professionals, anyone that wants to discover new things and old habits that invisible tech is bringing into our lives. But what I was curious about, was the new Food and wine section. For the first time during the Social Media Week we talk about food and its relationship with the digital world. The Social Media Week Food & Wine admin is Paola Sucato, blogger since 2008 and web consultant, radio speaker, admin of the Expo 2015 World Recipes. A coincidence that a blogger has been chosen to admin such an important section?
I don’t think so. This is one of the reason why we want to know her expectations about this 2016 Social Media Week.
From her words I get all the enthusiasm while she is talking about the reborn of our Country
“We need to start loving our Country again: the territory, products, people, creativity, all the resources”… and surely we can’t ignore anymore the relationship between food and digital.
“Food is more and more tech: app, startups, finally real e-commerce, even if we still have giants like Amazon, we are trying to recover a lost way. There was a huge communicative gap that now is slowly closing”. The solution for all these small realities is that they form a consortium. If we compare us to France – she says- we have a very fragmented reality.
An in this environment social networks play an important role “social networks are re-creating the necessary connection to unite small Italian realities. Social networks are a huge opportunity for Consortiums, producers and lovers”.
In the food industry producers have a fundamental role. “producers who are able to communicate are able to have a direct contact with clients and social channels became a place where they can tell what they do, giving information through storytelling. Through stories they create consciousness and information, stimulating your people to be an active part of the chain”.
You are a food blogger and choosing a food blogger was not accidental right?
Food bloggers were the first to talk about recipes and products and they are skilled. I think that it’s a very interesting movement moved by the passion for a land like Italy, that for many years has been left on a sided. Food bloggers today have the merit to have raise interest around the foo topic”
We also went to Cibo a regola d’arte, the event sponsored by Corriere della Sera. I have to say that we were shocked by the fact that all the most communicative and strong food bloggers were English.
Is it possible that they teach us something even when it comes to food?
“Foreigners talk ore in Italy than Italians. It has been like this for years. Finally, we are starting to do so in Italy too. We are like that. We, Italians, need to verify that something works and then, if it does, we do it too. I know many food bloggers. I took care of the Expo recipe book and we collected tons of recipes from people all around the world, and many of them were Italians”.
Exactly, I ask myself why we talk a lot about recipes, but so little about ingredients…
“this is the real problem. The problem related to indexing and to the relation between demand and offer. We think that people are always looking for a recipe. What we don’t get is that the recipe works if it is relate to a product and so territory, history and origin. We need to know ingredients, their story and traditions. Not everything that comes from the past is right. You need to recognize the value of it, but also what needs to be changed thanks to the instrument we have today.”
This year there will be many events even at night related to the social aspect of food. Social Dinners and Vizeat…
“social eating is the new way. Who would have said 10 years ago that someone could register to a website and go eat at someone’s place? Social eating changed our behavior. During the SCM there will be a panel where Ford will talk about social restaurants and their interesting experiment. They went around Italy and used Periscope to tell their journey. From these new behaviors and models there are new immediate gastronomic experiences. I want to go somewhere and know what I can do in that moment. For example, I want to dinner out at Grandma Lucia to eat a typical local recipe or visit a wine producer, to live and understand what he does. Finally, this is possible”.
Do we need to say that the need of a real time experience is more and more linked to geo- localization and mobile experience?
“All this is because of mobile. The slow and quick concept. The traveler who wants to live an experience, but when he is there, he wants to taste it. Optimizing times, but experience needs its time”
And the city of Milan, how does it interpret food innovation?
“Milan is the place that is more responsive, the city of communication, the metropole of Italy. Delivery works well in Milan because there is an offer and a demand and an interest that isn’t elsewhere.”
We’ve been at Seeds and Chips, what’s the difference between that and the SMW?
“comparing the SMW to Seeds and Chips, the latter focuses on the relationship between tech and food, the economy, investments, while the social media week also means responding to a call that comes from the city, students, who works with communication. A wider users base, difficult to describe, and I am curious to meet the public too. I know I will meet passionate people, who works in communication, students, a world that turns around food. In past editions I used to organize a panel, this year there are 20 of them. Topics are more and food communication needs real time.” Talking to Paola is very pleasant and the sensation is talking with a passionate person that believes in the value of her country. She keeps telling me about her passion for Italy and its products, but above all, about the huge opportunity we can’t miss. “we need to change our view, and it will happen by making information”.
The consumer is more and more exigent “I want to know what kind of flour am I eating, how many proteins it contains, if there is gluten”… “the SMW challenge when it comes to food is spreading information to plant the future…social networks are the channels where people can say what they have to, where they can listen and be passionate about what they love”.