Getting to know travelers

The world has certainly changed in recent years. For instance, the number of travelers has increased worldwide and access to transportation means has also both increased and improved. Similarly, people’s travel needs have also grown. The new geographical scenarios and the recent global economic squeeze have had an impact on traffic and destination flows. Last but not least, customers have also changed, and Autogrill Group is currently addressing this new scenario, starting with an analysis of key issues such as innovation and responsibility. When the number of people travelling grows along with the number of destinations selected, increasingly farther away and in different countries, it becomes of the essence to ask a few questions: who are the people who travel every day? What needs do they have? What is the flow of the people in the world? Well, only by getting to know these new travelers and the reasons why they travel, will the Group be in a position to design ad hoc offers for Food & Beverage and Travel Retail. The typical travel channels — airports, highways, railway stations, malls, fairs, museums and the cities — in which the Group operates through its business segment s are actually privileged observatories; they reveal who today’s travelers are, their experiences as customers, in the same complex yet dynamic scenario as the Group. In this indistinct and mutable sector, Autogrill Group is in the best position to understand travelers’ needs, interpreting the speed and complexity of the changes that occur every day and translating them into innovative products and services.

What’s going on in Food & Beverage?

As to Food & Beverage in the highway channel, traffic in 2011 recorded a downtrend all over Europe. Particularly in Italy, the Group’s major market, traffic dropped by 1.1% (January-December period) with a continuous downtrend throughout the year. Traffic trends reflected the effects of fuel price increases, which peaked with record highs in 2011 (+13.9% for gasoline) and the more general impact derived from the macroeconomic context. Similarly, highway traffic flow in the United States registered a 1.0% reduction (January-December period) though it showed a recovery in the fourth quarter as a result of a reduced fuel price trend (traffic in the first nine months was down 1.4% as compared to +0.1% in the last quarter) (source: 2011 Annual Report ).

As for Food & Beverage, a concrete change in customer habits is easily detectable in people’s diet. An increasing number of people prefer not to eat meat, like the vegetarians, and some avoid eating any food product that is derived from animals, like the vegans. In addition, an increasing number of people follow specific diets as a consequence of food intolerances, like intolerance to gluten (coeliacs), and dietary habits based on one’s own cultural and religion- based orientation.

In Europe a new trend is emerging, oriented towards an ample array of offerings: new aromas and flavors and Asian and ethnic food to confirm the cultural and specialty food crossover trend as a result of growing traffic flows towards new destinations. In Europe, this is often coupled with a preference for Fair Trade products that support producers and farmers, protect the environment and ensure social services to the grower communities.

In Italy we register the same trends observed on a global scale, but there is also a re-discovery of the traditional foods and values of Italian cuisine. For this reason, the Group meets customer needs by offering a wide range of regional specialties and DOC, DOP, IGP and DOCG certified products (Protected Denomination of Origin, Controlled Origin Denomination, Protected Geographical Indication, Controlled and Guaranteed Origin Denomination).

What’s going on in Travel Retail?

Airports represent the front where the Group intends to test advanced solutions and services by introducing information and communication services aimed at satisfying the needs of increasingly demanding customers and, specifically, those, who make intensive use of information technology tools.

The airport is a place far away from everything but also, simultaneously, the closest place to those who are far away. People at the airport are far from their home and they are waiting to leave and reach their final destination. These people want to relax, but also look for opportunities to buy a gift for somebody or for themselves. The analyses carried out revealed a customer mainly heading to Asia and Americas, whose purchases, not only at the airport, follow a strongly emotion- based motivation which lead travelers to buy perfumes, liquor and luxury products.

An analysis of airport traffic from an economic perspective reveals that the industry grew in 2011, with revenues from purchases by passengers up 10% against 2010 and equal to $ 469bn. Passenger traffic grew +4.9% against 2010 (3.8 billion passengers against 3.3 billion in 2010), thanks to the international traffic trend, which was up 6.2% (from 1.6 billion passengers in 2010 to approximately 1.7 billion in 2011). Out of the total of 3.8 billion passengers worldwide, western countries accounted for 60% of the total, with Europe and North America each accounting for a 30% share. Asia and the Pacific region accounted for approximately 27% of the total. In North America passenger traffic, totaling 1.1 billion in 2011, rose +2.1%, while domestic traffic that, alone, accounted for approximately 25% of the worldwide total, was up 1.6%. In the European region, the growth registered in the countries in which the Group has operations in airports is as follows: 5.2% in the United Kingdom and 6.0% in Spain. Despite the impact of the terrible earthquake and tsunami in Japan, Asia posted a 5.5% traffic growth (equal to 1.0 billion passengers in 2011). Latin American traffic grew 8.8% (equal to 0.3 billion passengers in 2011), thanks to the considerable growth rates of the economies of the region and the expansion of commercial activities towards North America and Asia. Also significant was growth in the Middle East (+7.6%, equal to approximately 0.1 billion passengers in 2011) thanks to the competitive prices of flights, which make the area very attractive as a hub for long-haul routes (source: 2011 Annual Report ).