On March 3rd 2021, Oscar Farinetti, founder of international Italian marketplace Eataly, engaged in a conversation with The American University of Rome's Food Studies M.A students and B.S. Business Administration students. Oscar Farinetti discussed the impact of COVID-19 on the company. Although Eataly’s income from restaurants (from 40 to 60% of its sales) took a severe toll, their online sales increased. Farinetti shared that with the COVID-19 pandemic, more consumers are aligning with Eataly’s values of good, clean, and fair food. Farinetti believes that online marketing has become an essential asset to his business throughout the pandemic. He hopes to continue to grow this area of Eataly in the future.

Farinetti stressed that the world as we once knew it has now been changed for the better. He said, “Sustainability will be the new protagonist. Italy is the candidate to pave this new landscape”. He hopes to continue sharing the Italian food products and way of life through retail and to encourage his customers to focus on the good aspects of life. Farinetti left the students with a reminder that if we eat together, we live better. 

- Emily Solomon, Graduate Student Assistant