retail news in context, analysis with attitude

There's a terrific blog posting by Erik Wolf, executive director of the World Food Travel Association, in which he writes about food tourism, noting about how important the eating-and-drinking experience is the most important factor in any travel experience:

"Literally all visitors to a destination eat, no matter if they come as tourists, to visit friends and relatives, or for a meeting/convention. Eating and drinking involve all five human senses and because of that, tend to make a longer lasting impression on visitors and customers than any other experience they might have. We appreciate beautiful stained glass in a cathedral and we add our voices to the roar of football fans as the winning goal is made, but those memories eventually fade for the most part. Memories of food and drink stay with us literally forever, and as an added bonus, foster strong word-of-mouth promotion. Destination marketers and business owners alike can let visitors return home with memories of chain hamburgers and coffee, or they can make a powerful impression with local food and drink specialties. Food and drink tourism is a powerful tool for economic development that can surge visitor numbers, create jobs and increase tax revenue."

It's a piece worth reading, in part because it ties into a longtime bias here on MNB - that food stores that create a more compelling food culture give themselves a competitive and differential advantage. And you can read the entire blog posting here.
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