Friday, 21 December 2018

The original pop-up stores

On a wet and windy weekend, the traditional Christmas Markets are selling off the last of the Glühwein and Lebküchen, and will be packing up on Sunday. Christmas Markets - like all markets really - are the original pop-up stores. There's still a good representation of craftspeople selling everything from knitted socks to wooden spoons to cookie-cutters in every shape and form imaginable, as well as Christmas decorations ranging from tacky to terrific.

But increasingly, the Christmas Markets are becoming more about the food, drink and "gastronomic experience" (or whatever we're meant to call it these days).  There's a growing tendency for places to sit indoors within the Christmas market, to guzzle your Glühwein in comfort.

And it was only a matter of time before brands would see the opportunity. At the Köln Heumarkt Christmas Market, you can enjoy a beer or two in the Allgäuer Büble Alpe - a beautifully constructed rustic barn with the feel of an Alpine hut.
Allgäuer Büble Bier is the sponsor of the Christmas Market, and the whole barn is splendid to behold, quite in keeping with the feel and tradition. But I rather hope that there won't be too much branding invading this brand-free zone in the future, particularly if some of the global food and drink brands try to get in on the act.

Meanwhile, have a wonderful Christmas and don't drink too much beer, Glühwein or anything else in case you too start to see ski-ing gnomes!

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