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Annual Report for Applegreen

After an exceptional year of growth and acquisition, roadside retail giant Applegreen needed a stirring review of the year. We pulled out all the stops.

Founded in Ireland in 1992, Applegreen has grown into one of the world’s foremost convenience food and beverage retailers and leading operator of petrol forecourts and motorway service areas.

Applegreen asked Spinach to design and produce their 2018 Annual Report following the acquisition of Welcome Break, an exciting development for the group which saw them become the second largest Motorway Service Area (MSA) operator in the UK.

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Spinach Design | Annual Report Agency | London

Core insight

With fuel declining as the main source of income for the entire MSA sector it was important for Applegreen to convey their passion and ambition to lead change in their industry. After workshops with key stakeholders, the title ‘Reshaping Roadside Retail’ emerged helping us set the right tone for the language and set a course for us to create a bespoke branded showcase of an exceptional year.

The challenge

Given the context, this was Applegreen’s most important annual report to date. One major acquisition, multiple new partner brands, increasing numbers across the business – there was a lot to rationalise and report. We needed to create a new visual style to bring together all the key developments in a balanced and coherent way. We also needed to articulate the brand vision to tell a story of unrivalled global progress.

The approach

Along with applying meticulous design and formatting discipline to the financials at the back, we invested time in developing a bold, graphic style to tie the sections together from the front. Our aim was to draw a line under the multiple design styles that had been produced in previous years by creating a more on-brand visual identity that would be highly repeatable for future editions and replicable across other brand communications.

It would be the first and last report to feature both Applegreen and Welcome Break brands together, so there was a requirement to keep the visual presentation balanced for two reasons: to symbolise a successful and seamless acquisition and respect the sensibilities of staff and shareholders who would be reading the official acquisition report for the first time.

The result

Our mission as their strategic brand consultant was to reinforce Applegreen’s credentials and core value proposition as a customer-focused food retail business, as well as help them elevate their overall brand positioning. We emphasised their exciting and inclusive global vision for the business and their industry with well crafted copy and page layouts to convey their focus and stability, as well as the vitality of their brand.

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