Grand Tour: Italy’s food industry tours Europe under the banner of 150 years of national unity
- 14 million contacts (estimated). Autogrill’s international network enables small size, quality industries to enjoy visibility; the promotion is involving 180 locations along motorways, in airports and railways stations.
- In 2010, the food sector accounted for around 4% (€50 billion) of Italy’s GNP.
- Despite the financial crisis, Italian food exports in the first six months del 2011 continued to grow (10.5%).
Rome, 02 November 2011 - “Grand Tour. Italian taste in Europe”, an initiative by Autogrill, Unioncamere and Assocamerestero to bring genuine Italian quality products to European consumers was presented today at the offices of the Foreign Press Association in Rome. The initiative is designed to promote “Good Food for Europe” in opposition to the proliferation of "Italian-sounding" products (international food pirating is worth €52m in sales) and has been recognized by the organization supervising the 150th Italian unity anniversary celebrations, as well as having the support of the EU.
Till 11 December, 600 Autogrill points of sale in six European countries - France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and Austria – are offering various menus featuring recipes based on quality products typical of the three Italian regions (Campania, Emilia Romagna and Piemonte) chosen as Italian food ambassadors. Some of the ingredients in the featured recipes will be available in the same points of sale, where there will also be free info materials on products and the places they come from. The project will gradually involve other parts of Italy, thus taking the country’s finest products, on its 150 years of unity, into the heart of Europe.
“This partnership between the various organizations involved in the initiative,” said Unioncamere president Ferruccio Dardanello, “grew out of a desire to create a virtuous model of public-private collaboration capable of exploiting the skills, resources and best practices of its members to boost domestic and cross-border trade throughout Europe”.
This “Grand Tour” will be travelling to over 600 Autogrill points of sale across more than 180 locations, including 130 on motorways, six in airports, 19 in railway stations and 16 in high street and shopping centres. The initiative is expected to reach around 14 million European travellers.
“Our sector is an important economic indicator,” said Autogrill CEO Gianmario Tondato Da Ruos, “because growth and economic wellbeing depend vitally on people and goods being mobile. When traffic levels drop, it’s nearly always a bad sign for the economy. In the European countries involved in this initiative, despite the current crisis, we’re seeing a positive trend in traffic in the airport (especially in The Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland) and railway station channels, whereas the motorway channel is experiencing a contraction in traffic, except in Belgium, where there have been signs of recovery in the last few months”.