In a continuously changing world, consumers remain at the core

Autogrill’s business is based on people who travel in a continuously changing world, which, in turn, drives change in needs, destinations and aspirations.

Is it true that the world has changed in recent years?
There are certainly some indications that this is the case.
For instance, the progressive increase in the number of travellers worldwide, the increase and improved access to transportation means and holiday destinations as well as  the exponential growth of the travel needs of the millions of people living in emerging countries. The situations continue to evolve and people also change in different ways, according to the geographical area, social and cultural status.

It goes without saying that Autogrill Group has had to face difficulties: new consumers, new geographical areas, new global economy contractions.

In relation to the Autogrill Group Travel Retail business segment, a particularly important situation is worth considering and understanding. A recent analysis carried out on boarding cards at London’s Heathrow airport, one of the busiest in Europe (with almost 65 million passengers), in which the Group operates, revealed that approximately 76% of passengers in 2010 departed to non-European destinations, with just 24% of passengers departing to other European destinations. Another important aspect refers to the fact that in 2010 the number of non-European destinations noticeably grew against 2009 and, specifically, towards Africa +11.3%, Asia and Oceania +14.1% and Central-Latin America +24.5%. And that’s not all. Data on GDP performance revealed that, in recent years, the growth in global flows is accompanied by an increase in the attractiveness of new travel destinations, particularly emerging countries. This has an impact on the local economies, leading to a growth of the middle class which, in turn, generates new travellers in a self-multiplying process (source: Autogrill Management Reporting System).

The other travel channels in which Autogrill Group operates – highways and railway stations – confirm an increase in the number of passengers, especially on short hauls, such as commuting around the larger cities, and an improved access to transportation means, including, particularly, high speed trains.

Travellers increase in number and destinations, which are farther and farther away, in countries and cultures different from their own. Obviously, it is necessary to be aware of these emerging trends and to understand who these people are, why they are on the move every day, if we intend to offer them universally recognized and appreciated goods and products, both in relation to the Retail offer and that of Food & Beverage.



Who are the people who get into their cars every day, who take trains and planes and what are the best tools that one can use to get more information about them in order to better understand their needs?

Who are Autogrill Group consumers? The typical travel channels – airports, highways, railway stations, malls, fairs, museums and the cities, business sectors – in which the Group operates (Food & Beverage and Travel Retail) are actually privileged observatories; they reveal who today’s travelers are, their experiences as consumers, 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 travellers’ needs, interpreting the speed and complexity of the changes that occur every day and translating them into innovative products and services.

Though consumers have always had ways of making their feelings about a service known, as well as expressing advice or criticism using toll free numbers, email services and the green cards, Autogrill Group nevertheless periodically performs customer satisfaction analyses for each individual channel, supplemented by targeted market research aimed at analyzing brand-concept positioning and anticipating consumer trends.

Adherence to the Charter for a sustainable use of women’s image

Autogrill Italia decided to adhere to the Charter for a responsible use of women’s image,launched by the Comitato Pari o Dispare, in order to express support for the recommendations and resolutions issued by the UN and the European Parliament. The signatory companies, Autogrill among them, do not want to have their brand associated with any discriminatory or demeaning messages, that may stimulate or lead to any form of violence against women. It is therefore important to implement sustainable advertising, including messages that are not discriminatory, based on a stereotyped concept of the relations between the two genders, or messages that stimulate violence against women.


Feel Good?The survey, which involved more than 30,000 consumers, dealt with issues regarding the offering, service, cleaning and the atmosphere in the Food & Beverage stores.

In 2009, Autogrill Group implemented the functionalities and objectives of a customer satisfaction research program. It was in fact necessary to find a way to concretize the Group’s vision, translating findings into action plans with targeted measures oriented towards improving the service offered to consumers, as well as simultaneously improving the image and reputation of the Autogrill brand. This led to the design of Feel Good, a customer satisfaction research program associated with a contest in which all customers could participate. The goal of this initiative is to determine the level of quality perceived by customers after an experience in one of the Food & Beverage sector stores belonging to the Autogrill Group.

In 2010 the Group decided to repeat the experience. The study was extended to six countries in which the Group operates: Italy, France, Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands (Schiphol airport) and Belgium (Belgium was not included in the 2009 study). The main business channels were included: airports, railways stations and highways.
The research was proposed in the form of an online questionnaire submitted to all Group customers of age who used the services of one of the 384 locations involved in the Feel Good program (211 of which are in Italy).

+ 35% in the participation of consumers to Feel Good against 2009

The number of customers who participated in the contest reached 30,430, 35% more compared to the previous year (22,542), and provided their opinions about the Offer, Service, Cleaning and Atmosphere in the store in which they had had the experience, expressing their valued opinions on specific aspects of each of the four areas mentioned above.

The 2010 Feel Good findings drove the implementation of different actions aimed at increasing Autogrill customer satisfaction, including training programs targeted to employees for the improvement of Autogrill key product and the introduction of special menus for customers with particular diet needs.

Considering the importance of customer satisfaction, the study was also extended to the United States. This year, HMSHost launched a qualitative study and a Face-to-Face quantitative first phase to fine-tune the questionnaire that is expected to be submitted on line in 2011 as Feel Good customer satisfaction research. These activities are aimed at identifying the characteristics of the ideal food and beverage experience at the airport and on the highway, so that the most suitable items may be developed to match the priorities of US consumers.



When consumers become proactive players in Autogrill innovation and growth, they require service quality, offer variety and attractive store design.

What do consumers want? In the last two years, customer satisfaction research analyses identified differentiated and increasingly personalized consumer needs. Autogrill Group reacted both with concrete initiatives and projects to offer new concepts and ideas.

In order to promptly respond to market needs, it is necessary to supplement the offer through concept innovation and differentiation, products and services differentiation, identification of alternative payoffs and the restyling of the interior design of the stores, with the introduction of new equipment, furniture and colors.

The stores at the Schiphol airport (the Netherlands) use 75% fair trade coffee

Travellers increasingly demand to be considered as prosumers more than simple  consumers; they want to express their desires, re-energize during the journey and shed the psycho-physical fatigue that travelling involves; they request multiple innovations in relation to the location, products and services. In relation to the physical spaces, the request is mainly focused on the identification of the different needs that different consumers have: from habitual customers to lorry drivers, families, children, the differently able, pets, bikers and business people. And not only that. They want more comfortable, more functional and basically more attractive interiors, featuring modern design furniture, better illumination and more comfortable chairs and materials.
Also in the retail offer, the requests refer to broader variety and customization all around two major themes: finding the right gift to bring home and finding an entertaining pastime for the journey, like a book, a magazine or some music.

With regard to offer quality and variety, consumers request the demonstration of creativity and orientation towards innovation through the provision of surprising and increasingly appealing initiatives, such as, for example, a Food&Beverage proposal which can be further customized according to individual’s taste, including regional specialties that let travellers enjoy their journey and also ethnic products to keep in touch with the world; an offering that is in line with current dietary trends, designed also for those who have food intolerances and with a better price/ quality ratio.


A sustainable answer

Sustainability results and objectives

Objectives declared for 2010
and other initiatives
No objectives have been established

Projects and results
Feel Good – customer satisfaction study for the Food & Beverage sector

Target for 2011
The customer satisfaction survey was extended to the Travel Retail sector and in the North America in the Food & Beverage sector