The Concept Factory

How can the most suitable offer be developed? An offer that meets the specific needs of the individual locations and customer targets? In order to choose the type of store to open in an airport or what products to showcase in a store, it is necessary to carry out an ongoing analysis of people’s traffic and flow, studying travelers’ profiles and their level of satisfaction. We know that the new customer profile, as it emerged from market research, outlines a person who is very attentive to health-related aspects at home and is keen on transgression outside, yet still keeping an eye on the quality/price ratio. We know that s/he simultaneously looks for tradition and innovation, branded products and special things, regional dishes and exotic cuisine, agrofoods synonymous with quality and the “food experience”. How can we successfully satisfy all these demands?

An important part of the answer is represented by the Group’s portfolio of proprietary and licensed brands, which currently comprises over 350 local and international brands. However, today this is no longer sufficient by itself. Every scenario in which the Group operates demands steady innovation and ongoing development of proposals, materials, products, places and approaches to food, just as in retail. In brief, new concepts.

In order to stay competitive, Autogrill needs to create an offer that goes beyond the management of brands, shop windows and products, to convert into a concept maker capable of creating new and innovative brands and introducing different ways to enjoy the services.

The Group’s future is very clear: it is necessary to strengthen the Group’s role as the Concept Factory, keeping pace with the times and staying in a position to build economies of scale. A true factory that does not necessarily re-invent products or services, but leverages on its global scale to acquire new competences and create proposals in line with consumption trends, emerging formulas of any specific territory which may be requested or anticipated in other places at a later stage.

This is certainly an ambitious goal, yet the Group has the potential to achieve it, since it acts as a privileged observatory and, above all, it is part of an international scenario that exhibits mechanisms of reciprocity and hybridization, where supra-national models leverage on local ones and local ones re-interpret and adapt the supra-national model in an innovative way.

The phenomenon regarding the transformation of the so-called “non-places” into “super-places” sees the Group playing an important role: every day the Group comes into contact with thousands of people, not only to offer what they need, but also to dynamically observe current trends, interpret any hint of change and anticipate the concept of the future.