According to a recent OECD study in 2030 individuals belonging to the middle class in Asia will amount to 3 billion and 228 million (66% worldwide), compared to 525 million in 2009 (28% of the global total). Important growth trend will also affect Russia, Africa and South America. The emerging economies will be the scene of a double-digit evolution in consumer spending of the middle class: Asia in particular, today 23% of the total in the world, will reach 59% in 2030.
In this scenario, according to Nation's Restaurant News, the restaurant market from 2012 to 2017 will grow by 39.1% in Asia - Pacific region, 46.3%. Eastern Europe, including Russia, and 62.1% in South America. According to a study by GLG Research, there are two factors that affect to a greater extent the performance of the catering market in emerging countries: the increase in disposable income and urbanization of the population, more and more widespread in the Brics countries, especially in Asia.
To assess the impact of this phenomenon on catering in traveling, airports in the first place, one can just take a look at the forecast of Airports Council International, which shows a surge in the number of airport passengers especially in Asia: from 1.6 billion in 2012 5 billion in 2031. According to ACI, in fact, the annual growth rate between now and 2031 will be 7.5% in China, 6.7% in Vietnam, 6.4% in India and 5.9% in Indonesia.
The rise of the middle class therefore creates a fertile ground for the food and beverage sector in the travel channels. A market, catering on the move, characterized by global trends in emerging economies, as a result of the multi-ethnic consumers.
In particular, in Asian countries there is an interplay between global and local macro-trends, with an increasing demand on one hand, of top Western brands, Made in Italy in the lead, and, secondly, the concept of consistent local and regional culinary traditions.
Autogrill, an international leader in catering service of travelers, present in more than 30 countries, has intensified in recent years, activities in some of the most promising Asian markets. Like India, where a part than more than 200 million people belonging to the middle class, is added the attractiveness of a young population that has very good prospects. Here, the Group is market leader in airport food & beverage , with about 50 outlets in six different airports proposing an offer in line with the eating habits in India. To give some examples, from Taste of India in the airports of Hyderabad and Mumbai travelers find dishes of northern India such as chaat, vegetable curries and kebabs, while from IdliFactory, they have the opportunity to taste idli, typical vegetarian dish of street food of South India. But those who prefer western flavors find pizza from Pizza Hut, an excellent Italian espresso from Illy, and so on.
Another market of great interest is Indonesia, Asia's third largest economy in the Pacific, with a middle class of over 110 million people, whose spending levels exceed160 billion dollars. Autogrill is present in the three most important airports in the country, including the airport of Bali, Indonesia's main tourist destination, that with the opening of the new Terminal will reach a capacity of 24 million passengers a year as from 2018. Here travelers can find Western concept of café & snacks as Toast Box and La Place Express, but also restaurants with an intense local Balinese atmosphere as The Last Wave.
The Italian multinational company also operates in airports in Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Da Nang (the first three in passenger traffic) and Phu Quoc. A country where the middle class has increased by 60% from 1990 to 2008, and where the government has allocated investments of approximately $ 20 billion in the development of the airport industry.
To delight the palate before boarding, passengers can choose whether to stay in Vietnam in the Far East - for example with the specialties of fresh fish from Kaisha Sushi - or otherwise move to the west - with a burger from Burger King, a pizza from Domino's, and so on.
But in addition to the more dynamic economies of Asia, the Group is making inroads in the Middle East, the United Arab Emirates, where it manages some restaurants at the airport of Dubai and where it has recently launched activities in the international airport of Abu Dhabi, hub of the national airline Etihad.
The multi-ethnic customers of Abu Dhabi have the opportunity to experience the atmosphere of the great local markets of European cities from Urban Food Market, or drinking an espresso coffee prepared in the Italian tradition by Barista.
In the emerging countries of Asia and the Middle East, a growing number of men and women are traveling more and more often, especially by air. Cosmopolitan citizens are tied to their origins but increasingly attracted by the suggestions of the Western world. That is why the international airports of these countries have also become a gastronomic hub, bridge between the Western and Eastern cuisine.
To paraphrase the dictum that encapsulates the global philosophy: think global, eat local!