Virtual visit to the wholesale market

Online shopping is quick and convenient. But particularly when it comes to fresh food, it is important to be able to touch, see and smell it. A visit in the virtual reality.


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I am putting on my VR specs and a pair of gloves: all ready for my virtual visit at the wholesale market. A quick nod, a soft ringing sounds and in rapid speed I can see the image in front of my eyes. I am really there now, standing amidst the tall shelve rows. Above my head hundreds of drones zoom about, collecting the shopping orders- a barely perceptible humming is in the air. "Show me my last order", I say and promptly receive the summary of Friday's order. All ok. This not what it is about today though, that is not why I am here. I need fresh fish, dorado (oder "mahi mahi", "dolphinfish"). "Take me to the fish counter". The ringing sounds again in my ear, and I find myself directly in front of the display of fresh fish stored on ice. Did it suddenly get a bit colder? Over there stands Maxine, she has been advising me since I became a customer at the wholesale market. She is talking to an older gentleman, another customer. Gilberto from the trattoria in the Südstadt district. I say hello, and make a gesture with my hand in order to move towards them. Maxine smiles and indicates that she will with me shortly.

In the mean time I am examining the fish on display. The plaice looks good. I am blinking twice in order to receive more information. Wild-caught from the North Sea, just arrived. With my eyes I am focusing the fish, a white ring appears which is filling up bit by bit. I am tilting the head gently upwards twice and the produce lands in my shopping basket. A shop assistant behind the counter wraps the plaice and prepares it for delivery by drone. Then I hear Maxine's voice: "How can I help you today?"

Virtual wholesale market: pros or cons?

Science fiction or a realistic scenario for the future? What do customers think of a virtual wholesale market? Does the possibility of a completely digitalised shopping present amazing progress, useful addition or is it an unnecessary development? A discussion between Stephanie Wicke, owner and chef of "Zur Sennhütte", a restaurant in Düsseldorf, and Marco Vieten, owner of the "Café Aroma" in Meerbusch.



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