SSP operates food and beverage outlets in travel airports, motorway and train stations across 29 countries. Its 30,000 employees serves approximately one million customers every day.
The Camden food co. is an SSP original food market and quick serve brand originated in the UK. In 2011, SSP America planned to bring Camden Food Co to a North American audience. Recognising the cultural and taste differences that exist between the European and American markets, SSP America asked Zero-G to evolve the brand experience to one that would appeal to a local audience and create an authentic, quality food environment within an American airport context.
Through a series of in-depth stakeholder interviews with SSP teams in America and Europe, plus desk research, Zero-G identified key food and taste trends focussed on local sourcing and convenient artisanal foods which were important to American audiences. We found that specific environmental factors and messaging played a key role in helping consumers identify valued elements such as the origins of ingredients and farming and husbandry techniques used in the food production process.
Armed with these insights, we developed an interpretation for the American market which celebrated sourcing local, fresh, quality foods and ingredients that would deliver memorable, delicious food moments. Good ingredients combined with store environments using natural textures, soothing colours and clear product displays would create places of calm and decompression for harried, stressed travellers.
SSP’s strategy of sourcing where possible from local producers and artisans would also provide travellers with a sense of the character and values of each locale, making the airport a window to local experiences and culture that lay beyond. We created a suite of in-store merchandise materials which provided customers with information on producers and ingredients, along with brief anecdotes about the care and love which went in to each product.
A set of generative brand guidelines helped ensure SSP America could easily replicate the experience in multiple locations around North America as the brand expanded, while maintaining flexibility to integrate local flavours and character at the heart of each experience.
The evolution of Camden food co. proved popular with American audiences and provided a platform that has been adopted across a number of sites. One such site is at Toronto Pearson International Airport, where a Camden unit replaced a Café Ritazza and saw an increase in annual sales from US$950,000 to US$2 million.