September 2023 – Bluebell Group, Asia’s leading omnichannel brand partner and operator, announced its joint-venture with Alice Pizza, leader in Roman pizza, in Hong Kong today. This partnership marks the entry of the Roman pizza brand’s rectangular, pan-baked recipe into Asia, making its debut with a first store set to open in early September on Queen’s Road East in Wan Chai (Hong Kong).
“Since the entry of the Idea Taste of Italy fund in 2019 in the ownership of Alice Pizza, we have maintained the tradition of Roman pizza with the aim of taking it to the world and making it known to more and more people. We think Bluebell is the right partner to enter the Asian market thanks to its great experience and professionalism,” says Claudio Baitelli CEO Alice Pizza. “It is a challenging goal but we are confident that the strong collaboration that has been established between our teams will lead to great success.”
“I am very excited to partner with the Alice Italy team to open the first restaurant in Asia, selecting Hong Kong as the first market in this part of the world; I was impressed by their success and fast expansion in Italy. The food scene in Hong Kong is ultra-competitive but we believe Alice Roman pizza concept will find a good space in this category with high Italian quality products at fair prices,” says Bluebell Greater China Managing Director, Samy Redjeb. “I would like to thank the Alice team for their level of commitment and spirit of partnership which was a key element for this venture.”
Named among the Top Pizzerias in Italy 2023 by esteemed rating platform Gambero Rosso, Alice Pizza was founded by Domenico Giovannini in Via delle Grazie at the edge of Vatican City in central Rome. This kind of pizza, originally consumed as quick and convenient street food, was originated in Rome and now common throughout Italy, involves freshly baked pizzas cut according to each individual’s preferred size and quantity, and purchased per gram or kilo. Alice Pizza, Italy’s first pizza chain, was founded in 1989 and sells 7 million kg of pizza each year.
“Thanks to the collaboration with Bluebell Group, our artisanal preparation handed down to our pizza makers for three decades using quality Italian ingredients has now arrived in Asia,” says Alice Pizza founder Domenico Giovannini. “I am thrilled that Hong Kong customers will be able to enjoy the original Roman pizza – the same freshly cooked and freshly cut sensations and satisfaction that our Italian patrons savour every day.”
A pioneer in Asia in brand and retail development, operating over 150 brands across the region, the Bluebell Group has an expanding gourmet portfolio, notably the Italian gourmet chocolate brand Venchi. Through the Group’s local market expertise and its focus on retail excellence it has introduced the new retail concept of the Cioccogelateria in Korea duty free, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and Australia.
The Bluebell Group will manage Alice Pizza’s overall presence including local marketing activation and overall retail operations, aiming to fulfill the brand’s vision of bringing the culture and tradition of Roman pizza to Asia. In homage to the authentic Roman style of ‘al taglio’ (by the cut), majority of the ingredients used in the Hong Kong store are imported from Italy. The Hong Kong pizzaioli have also acquired their skills from trainers of the Alice Academy, a pizzaioli training program launched in 2013.
About Alice Pizza
Alice Pizza was founded in 1989 by pizza maker and entrepreneur Domenico Giovannini at a boutique shop in Via delle Grazie, Rome, at the edge of Vatican City. It is celebrated by aficionados for making the best pizza in Rome. In 2019, IDeA Taste of Italy acquires a majority shareholding in Alice Pizza while pursuing a major expansion plan in Italy and abroad.
While maintaining authenticity, the brand refined the all-important Roman-style dough, reducing the amount of yeast to reflect a contemporary love of lighter, crispier, high-quality and healthier pizza. Adopting a franchise operation for expansion, it became the first pizza chain in Italy and currently numbers over 200 pizzerias worldwide.
The brand has won numerous awards including Best Chain in Italy 2021, and within the last year, Best Customer Service by a renowned international research and analysis firm. It was named among the Top Pizzerias in Italy 2023 by Gambero Rosso, and the 50 Top World Artisan Pizza Chains 2023, as well as Most Loved National Brand in Just Eat’s Best Restaurants Awards 2023.
Uniquely in the market, the company maintains and shares the quality of pizza craftsmanship across the chain through the Alice Pizza Academy. Launched in Rome in 2013, and now operating a second training school in Milan, the Academy is headed by Alessio Lunadei, a seasoned Alice pizzaiolo who also serves as brand standards and R&D manager.
About Bluebell Group
Bluebell Group has pioneered building successful brands in Asia since 1954. As Asia’s partner of choice, Bluebell Group is present in Japan, South Korea, Mainland China, Hong Kong SAR, Taiwan, Macau SAR, Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia and Australia.
The Group’s Asia wide distribution network includes flagship stores, shop-in-shops, counters, its own multi-brand concepts, as well as a highly selective wholesale network, together with both direct e-commerce and marketplaces, covering both domestic and Travel Retail.
The Group operates across multiple product categories: Accessories, Footwear, Apparel, Fragrance, Beauty, Gourmet, Jewellery, Watches, Eyewear and Tobacco.
Bluebell Hong Kong, established in 1967, has 220 employees, 25 retail doors and operates 5+ leading luxury, fashion, lifestyle and tobacco brands to date. Bluebell Hong Kong is a joint-venture partner of Owndays Japan.
A family-owned group, Bluebell Group today has over 4,000 employees, 650 points-of-sale.