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ONBOARD HOSPITALITY � ISSUE 76 � SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018 ISSUE 76

IFSA Preview • Special meals • Beers • Sparkling wines

Developing the onboard product in an ever-more personalised world IFSA EXPO PREVIEW REINVENTING SPECIAL MEALS OUR STREET FOOD CHALLENGE

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MAKE EVERY JOURNEY THE BEST IT CAN BE We have a passion for innovation and an obsession with operational excellence. This combination has enabled us to become the global leader in food and hospitality.

SAVE THE DATE: 24-26 SEPTEMBER BOOTH 1009-1013, 1108-1112 HYNES CONVENTION CENTER, 900 BOYLSTON STREET, BOSTON, MA, 02115, USA

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SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER / 03

16

Inside this issue...

Open for 2019 entries

SEE YOU THERE... 22 29 58 122

IFSA/APEX/AIX Expos, Boston Forum - Asia, Singapore (FTE) Forum - Rail, InnoTrans, Berlin Aviation Festival, lunch! & Speciality Fine Food Fair

34

FOOD

34 Feature: Special meals 43 How to...confound the critics 45 In Conversation... with Stephen Templeton, dnata 47 Focus on: Meat-free choices 48 Feature: Service planning 50 Focus on: Perth Inflight Catering 53 In Conversation... with Peter Rebelo, LSG head of rail services 54 Feature: Rail catering - Great Western Railways 56 Focus on: Vietnam Airline Caterers

60

BEVERAGE 60 65 66 70

Feature: Low/no alcohol beers Take your pick: Modern mixers Feature: Sparkling wines Opinion: Bespoke beverages

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90

ENTERTAINMENT & CONNECTIVITY 90 News: Tech update 93 Take your pick: Gaming 95 In Conversation... with Ivonne Prugnaud, Anevia 96 Focus on: Alexa for rail 97 Case study: Air Europa's portable power

RETAIL

72 Feature: Packaging 75 Focus on: Supporting start-ups 77 Opinion: Make retail easy 79 Focus on: Rapid retail

80

WELLBEING 80 83 85 87

Feature: Activated charcoal How to... offer healthy food Opinion: Health warning How to... keep the kids happy

REGULARS 07 Industry update / 32 In debate

98

DESIGN & INNOVATION

98 Feature: Eco choices 105 In Conversation... with Daniel Kerzner, Virgin Atlantic 107 How to... use VR to design 109 Focus on: Gispol 111 In Conversation... with Gerard Bertholon, CREA 113 Take your pick: VR 114 Opinion: American Dream? 115 How to... Upgrade rail services

/ 116 Galley Gossip / 118 Global Perspective / 121 New arrivals

onboardhospitality.com

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WELCOME / 05 SALES & EDITORIAL Publisher: Sue Williams

sue.williams@onboardhospitality.com Event director: Craig McQuinn

craig mcquinn@onboardhospitality.com Editor: Julie Baxter

julie.baxter@onboardhospitality.com Deputy Editor: Laura Gelder

Now boarding...

E

laura.gelder@onboardhospitality.com

very year just seems to get busier. No sooner was WTCE in Hamburg over and I was heading to APOT in Australia. And as the farewells rang out there, we looked ahead to InnoTrans in Berlin and IFSA/APEX in Boston, not to mention the shows we attend in London.

Contributing Editors: Steve Hartridge, Andy Hoskins, Jo Austin (For Taste of Travel

enquiries: jo.austin@onboardhospitality.com

Contributing Writers: Jessica Pook, Benjamin Coren, Roger Williams, Nik Loukas, Rob Britton, Richard Williams. (For IFEC enquiries:

richard@appinpublishing.co.uk)

DESIGN & PRODUCTION Creative Director: Matt Bonner

Lead Designers: Louisa Horton & Monica Notarnicola

Now we have added our own Onboard Hospitality Forum - Asia in Singapore to the schedule (see page 29) and my passport stamps confirm what you already know - ours is a truly global industry! I'm not complaining. Despite the hassles that sometimes go with travel and the pre-departure stress of preparing for events, we all know it is these opportunities to come face-to-face with international colleagues, clients and competitors that really bring the industry to life. Travel gives us the opportunity to experience the latest in onboard hospitality ourselves too, to see first hand the culture and cuisines of other nations and to tap into expertise and insights of other regions. This is what keeps us current, brings new energy to our own initiatives and fires up our enthusiasms. In this issue you'll find previews for all coming events, alongside worldwide trends and innovations. We like to think we're at the heart of it all, eagerly looking out for the next global development and recognising excellence with our 2019 Onboard Hospitality Awards, now open for entries. Safe travels all and enjoy the journey!

Designers: Ross Clifford & Zoë Tarrant Production Manager: Clare Hunter Production Controller: Steve Hunter Subscriptions: Kay Fisher

subscriptions@bmipublishing.co.uk

Julie Baxter Editor, Onboard Hospitality

Managing Director: Martin Steady Onboard Hospitality is published by: BMI Publishing Ltd Suffolk House, George Street, Croydon, Surrey CR9 1SR, UK Tel: +44 (0) 20 8649 7233 Fax: +44 (0) 20 8649 7234 © BMI Publishing Ltd 2018. Whilst every effort is made to ensure accuracy, BMI Publishing Ltd cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. ISSN: 2046-2042 Cover image: BIGSTOCK Regularly viewed by readers in over 70 countries worldwide. Read this magazine in digital form, share it virtually or subscribe • catch up on back issues • find contact details for key suppliers and caterers in our Onboard Finder • advertise and search for jobs and promote your events

DON'T MISS...

Get yourself connected online  @OBHMagazine �Onboard Hospitality at linkedin.com

onboardhospitality.com

GET CONNECTED

CELEBRATING EXCELLENCE IN AIR, RAIL & CRUISE onboardhospitality.com/awards

Our latest Onboard Entertainment & Connectivity supplement is out with this issue, online, and at APEX, covering hot trends and innovation in this sector. Contact: Richard Williams

AWARDS LAUNCH

The 2019 Onboard Hospitality Awards are open for entries on September 1. Be sure your product or service is in with a chance to shine. Enter before December 1. Contact: Sue Williams

GET ON TRACK

In a new partnership with the International Rail Catering Group, Onboard Hospitality will be at InnoTrans Berlin hosting a new rail-focused forum on enhancing the passenger journey

SEE YOU IN BOSTON

The Onboard Hospitality team is set for the IFSA, APEX and AIX Expos and looking for your news and product updates. Look out for Julie Baxter, Sue Williams and Richard Williams

FOCUS ON ASIA

The Asian region is among of the fastest growing in the world for travel. Be a part of our new Onboard Hospitality Forum - Asia and the inaugural street food challenge. Contact: Craig McQuinn

onboardhospitality.com

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industry update / 07

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Top stories from across the industry

update Top stories from across the industry

Animal magic

Shop 'til you drop

Child's play

Emirates and Buzz join to give young passengers some cuddly companions

Air Europa extends its online shopping opportunities with Tre3

Alitalia has teamed up with Bayart Innovations to create fun for kids

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SATS joins us in Asia Leading Singapore-based caterer SATS is to showcase its skills at the inaugural Onboard Hospitality Forum -Asia onboardhospitality.com

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08 / industry update Top stories from across the industry

Buzz adds animal magic

Emirates has partnered with Buzz to release a new range of Fly with Me Animals for young travellers. The toys are part of a refreshed kids' offer alongside specially-designed Fly with Me Lonely Planet activity bags and are designed to be entertaining and educational. Each represents a regional habitat. Characters include Lewis the Lion, Peek U the Panda, Enrico the Monkey and Leila the Camel. Emirates has also partnered with Bulgari and BYREDO (through Buzz) to refresh its First and Business kits. The faux leather kits include Bulgari Eau Parfumée Au Thé Vert and BYREDO skincare essentials. First passengers also receive Hydra Active moisturising sleep suits and IFE with Bowers & Wilkins Active Noise Cancelling E1 headphones. buzzproducts.com

Newrest launches into the U.S. Newrest has opened its first U.S. production unit in partnership with Raleigh–Durham International Airport (RDU), North Carolina. The new unit will serve existing partner Delta Air Lines and strengthens the French catering group’s presence in North America. Newrest has been operating in Canada since 2009 and is actively pursuing new catering contracts in the region for airlines, rail operators and other organisations.

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Newrest’s joint chief executive officer and founder, Olivier Sadran, says: “I’m proud that Newrest is expanding into the United States. This new opportunity in a fiercely competitive sector shows that Newrest has what it takes to grow into new markets and adapt to its multicultural customers’ wants and needs.” Newrest serves over 450,000 meals a day in 33 countires, through 80 units worldwide. newrest.eu

onboardhospitality.com

Amenity Kits - Premium Economy Formia

BE A 2019 WINNER onboardhospitality.com

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industry update / 09 Top stories from across the industry

SATS set for show

Leading onboard caterer SATS will be among those showcasing their offer at the new Onboard Hospitality Forum – Asia, being held at the Marina Bay Sands, Singapore (November 13-14). Well-established in the region, SATS offers food solutions for more than 51 airlines out of Changi Airport alone. With experience spanning over 70 years and an expanding reach, SATS is poised for a new phase of growth and is committed to creating value for its customers in Singapore and beyond. The Onboard Hospitality Forum - Asia will sit alongside the well-established Future Travel Experience Asia EXPO and includes an exciting Onboard Street Food Challenge - full details p30. onboardhospitality.com/asia-forum

Flying Food Group reports new developments, contracts and recognition Flying Food Group has launched its third inflight catering kitchen in Hawaii, this time at Lihue Airport. Located on the northern Hawaiian island of Kauai, this unit takes the company’s U.S. network to 21 kitchens, stretching from Hawaii to New York City. Other Flying Food Group Hawaii kitchens are at Honolulu International Airport on Oahu and Kona International Airport on Hawaii.

Elsewhere in its network, Flying Food Group Seattle has been awarded ANA’s Best Long Haul Caterer – Gold Prize (2017); and a new deal with Ethiopian Airlines sees the caterer service the route between Chicago O’Hare International Airport and Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, three times a week. The airline has been an FFG customer since 2016. flyingfood.com

Amenity Kits - First skysupply

BE A 2019 WINNER onboardhospitality.com

Time for a change Fly high and far

We are putting together the

Chef dream team Fly as an onboard chef for very special clients in absolute five star environments

ONBOARD CHEFS receiving applications now

Sous chef and above, with high end restaurant experience

Qualified restaurant chefs

Scan to learn more and submit your CV

Scan to learn more and submit your CV

FIVESTAR HOSPITALITY

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FIVESTAR HOSPITALITY

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10 / industry update Top stories from across the industry

Tre3 supports preorder for Air Europa

Passengers with Air Europa can now order inflight services up to three days prior to departure through its new inflight shopping service, Skyshop, facilitated by Tre3, from the Newrest group. The service offers an inflight catalogue with an extensive range of products which can be reserved in advanced and delivered to the passenger at their seat, with payment made onboard. The carrier is also applying a 20% discount to onboard prices for all items that are purchased in advance. After logging in, passengers need to enter the origin, destination and the date of their flight before ordering. The software is designed to provide additional advantages to passengers including a product availability guarantee. The online inflight shopping service is available on all the carrier's transoceanic flights. tre3.eu; aireuropa.com

Cool solutions for airline trolleys from Icebridge and Zodiac

Icebridge has entered into a partnership with Zodiac Aircatering Equipment to supply cooling solutions in its aircraft trolleys. The partnership will enable airlines to invest in cooling solutions to cater for the rising passenger demand for healthy and fresh food. The solutions are easy to clean, safe to use and with outer parts which do not freeze. The product range includes: cooling chests, cooling cassettes, trolley

coolers, wet ice boxes and oven insert cases, all with the potential to unlock significant cost saving. Alwin Hollander, vp sales at Zodiac Aircatering Equipment, says: “This allows us to meet the airline demand to keep the contents of the trolleys cool for a longer period of time. Our Cool Trolley performance can be doubled from 10 hours to 20 hours of cooling with Icebridge cassettes.” zodiacaerospace.com

Amenity Kits - Business Buzz

BE A 2019 WINNER onboardhospitality.com

Diversey has been, and always will be, a pioneer and facilitator for life Delivering revolutionary cleaning and hygiene technologies that provide total confidence across our global sectors. Headquartered in Charlotte, USA, Diversey employs around 9,000 people worldwide, generating sales of around $2.6 billion. FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT DIVERSEY.COM OR FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA

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industry update / 11 Top stories from across the industry

Child's play from Bayart

Alitalia has teamed up with Bayart Innovations to supply a new kids activity kit on all of the airline’s intercontinental flights. Shaped to look like a postcard, the kit has a strong focus on entertainment and comfort and is offered to children aged two-12. Each kit contains an activity booklet, a colouring set and headphones, an eye mask, a pair of washable and reusable grip socks and a toothbrush set. The kit can be reused as a pencil case or to hold personal items. The Bayart team puts fun at the heart of its product development for children onboard and insists: "A flight is a chance to have fun. We believe the air can be a playground with our kids packs, toys, games and activity sets." bayart-innovations.com; alitalia.com

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12 / industry update Top stories from across the industry

AK-Service for kids

AK-Service has partnered with Uzbekistan Airways and Yakutia Airlines to supply new kids amenity kits onboard. The sky-blue Uzbekistan Airways kits aim to teach children about the culture and lifestyles of different countries through drawing and engaging tasks. The offer includes a lunch-box, board game, crayons and an activity book in a drawstring pouch which can be re-used as a knapsack. AK-Service has also developed a new kids' amenity kit for Yakutia Airlines inspired by the natural attractions and culture of the carrier's home destination, and themed around the polar lights. Each holds a puzzle, visiting cards and activity book, and comes in a bag that can be used as a backpack. ak-service.ru

Oman retail

Oman Air has launched a new buy-on-board range of products including sleepwear, an exclusive amenities kit and other Oman Airbranded merchandise. Now passengers sitting in Economy have the chance to experience the comforts of premium cabins by buying the amenities which include the Business Class Amouage amenity kit with travel essentials and a stylish sleepwear set and slippers. omanair.com

Ask Alexa

Virgin Trains and retailing giant Amazon are leading the way in the use of digital voice-tech to book travel tickets. Now, with one simple voice-based instruction, passengers looking for advance single tickets can ask Alexa-enabled devices (such as Amazon Echo) to book them directly onboard a Virgin West Coast mainline train route, with Amazon Pay completing the transaction for them. virgintrains.co.uk

Amenity Kits - Economy/LCC Kaelis

BE A 2019 WINNER onboardhospitality.com

Artisanal Creations Superb Quality Commited Service

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industry update / 13 Top stories from across the industry

LSG reports growth

The LSG Group has reported revenue growth, extended contracts and the opening of a new customer service base in China. LSG Sky Chefs is the only caterer at Wenzhou Longwan International Airport (south of Shanghai) where passenger numbers are increasing 10% a year. In the first half of the year, LSG Sky Chefs also extended contracts with United, American, LATAM and Cathay Dragon. And Retail inMotion won the onboard retail contract for Etihad. The JV in Luanda, Angola, was extended and the Brussels facility received the QSAI Excellence Award for the best facility in Europe. The company generated revenues of EUR 1.6 billion (for the first six months), a fall of 2.8% year-on-year due to currency fluctuations and voluntary withdrawal from some contracts. Adjusted for this, revenues grew 4.4%. lsg-group.com

Schär’s Gluten Free concept Together with Evertaste, Schär – Europe’s Number 1 brand in Gluten Free Products, has developed a unique Special Meal for the travel industry. It contains an authentic Italian Hot meal, a bread roll, a portion of a creamy butter and a chocolate covered wafer snack.

Distributed by:

Tel. +39 0473 293 595, foodservice.it@drschaer.com, www.drschaer-foodservice.com

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14 / industry update Top stories from across the industry

Buzz stars in Etihad commercial

Etihad Airways has given its new amenity kits and products from Acqua di Parma a starring role in its latest commercial. The new amenity kits, created in collaboration with Buzz, have taken centre stage in the promotion and show passengers being transported by the experience of using the products in First, Business and the A380's The Residence. The Residence passengers receive a range of fragrances and toiletries in their own private shower room, including Colonia Pura or Magnolia Nobile fragrances; while kits in First include a miniature bottle of Colonia, Acqua di Parma’s signature fragrance, a 40ml body lotion and a lip balm. A wallet bag offered in Business contains a Colonia sampler and hand cream. The bag comes in yellow or black. buzzproducts.com; etihad.com

Retail inMotion supports Stobart Air with tech that delivers

Retail inMotion has added Stobart Air and Germania to its client list for onboard retail tech and support. For the next four years, the company will provide Stobart Air with more than 40 devices for processing payments onboard. The RiM vPack will manage onboard services, while master control modules will be used to maintain and

Beer unites

Heineken has launched a limited edition ‘Legacy’ beer onboard leading European airlines as part of its ‘Uniting 192 Countries’ campaign. theHEINEKENcompany.com

Gate bond

Temasek and RRJ Capital have joined HNA Group in investing in gategroup. They have taken a bond which will give them up to a 49% share. gategroup.com

monitor back-office functions. The vRec module supports sales reconciliation and inventory. For Germania RiM has rolled out iPad Minis to cabin crews equipped with RiM's point of sale solution (vPOS) to process onboard sales alongside Germania’s existing crew app. retailinmotion.com

Crantock end

Cornwall’s Crantock Bakery has gone into administration blaming the rising costs of raw materials for its demise. It was a leading pasty producer for 30 years and inflight supplier.

CLIP exclusive

Business passengers onboard long-haul SWISS flights now receive natural cosmetics from Soeder* introduced by CLIP. cliponboard.com

Trend Setter Business Of The Year Formia

BE A 2019 WINNER onboardhospitality.com

onboardhospitality.com

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16 / AWARDS 2019

Your time to shine The Onboard Hospitality Awards are established as the leading awards celebrating excellence and innovation for the onboard hospitality industry in air, rail and cruise with winners unveiled at a dedicated event in Hamburg

onboardhospitality.com/awards

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AWARDS 2019 / 17

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY September 1, 2018 The 2019 Awards open for online entries. Get involved, this is your chance to shine

December 1, 2018 Closing date for all entries and the start of online voting to identify finalists

April 2019 Winners announced at our Hamburg Awards event. Entry by invitation only

Our elite panel of judges will assess all entries and finalists, looking for: innovation, quality, usefulness, durability, and how products enhance the customer experience in categories for:

AMENITIES • BEVERAGE • CATERING INNOVATION • FOOD SERVICE EQUIPMENT • KIDS ONBOARD • SNACKS • SUSTAINABILITY • ONBOARD TECHNOLOGY • TEXTILES • WELLBEING

We will also recognise products not yet onboard in a ONES TO WATCH category for products targeting the onboard hospitality sector

All entrants will also be invited to nominate candidates for our Lifetime Achievement Award. An industry star performer

For further details and queries contact:

sue.williams@onboardhospitality.com Full details and online entries will be available from September 1 at onboardhospitality.com/awards

onboardhospitality.com/awards

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BE A PART OF IT Visit our awards page online for details

IN CONVERSATION / 19

WE WERE BRAVE ENOUGH TO HAVE A GLOBAL FOOTPRINT Alison Lessmann, founder of En Route, won our 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award. As she leaves the industry, her influence is undeniable

I

t started with a sandwich! In August 2002 my job was importing bakery products into Germany and I was flying home from a business trip with British Airways when they served me one so bad that I rang BA to tell them. They told me the contract was up so I should start a company and bid for it. By September I had done just that and by February I won the £1.5 million contract. It needed to be onboard by March 28 so it was a stressful time because, although I had great contacts, I had no idea how to get product onboard-ready. One company threw me out because I’d won the contract over them, but eventually I struck a deal and managed to get the

products on the plane. Two years later we moved into BA’s perishables centre. The fact that we were brave enough to have a global footprint made us stand out. We moved into supplying the U.S. around 2006, the Middle East about 2008 and Australia four years ago. The Little Bites box we made for Emirates in 2011 flew out of 64 countries - the first time an airline had one product across its entire network.

PROBLEM SOLVERS

At first we targeted airlines with money to spend in First or Business and we weren’t interested in Economy. But following SARS, the economic crash, ash clouds and other threats to travel, airlines needed to make savings and we realised we couldn’t just rely on bakery products so we changed our

pitch and asked how we could help. Problem solving became our speciality and our logistics became more sophisticated, but our team was key. The mantra was: "nothing is impossible." We looked to retail for ideas, making trends work onboard. Having an in-house design team also made us more nimble and I’m proud to say we won awards for creativity. I loved my job but I was working too much and the death of someone close to me made me realise there's more to life! Making the decision to hand leadership over to dnata was the hardest I’ve ever made. The staff are part of my family and I wanted to make sure that whoever took over had the same creative ethos. But I’m delighted with my decision and happy to watch En Route evolve from a distance. I’m raising money for Thames Valley Hospice, helping my son with his interior design company and advising start-ups. Getting good ideas to market is still a passion! •

onboardhospitality.com/awards onboardhospitality.com/awards

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20 / MENTORING NETWORK

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The Onboard Hospitality team has long championed new talent. Now our Mentoring Network will help you make the right connections

s part of our ongoing support is now working with our mentors, and for industry mentoring, Onboard supported by an Onboard Hospitality grant, to Hospitality, is pleased to reinvest secure its first airline contract for its Energy Balls, in you... offering two valuable a health-conscious snacking product. Watch mentoring grants each year as part of our this space for news of its break-through success Onboard Hospitality Awards. For your chance coming soon! to win one of these grants, simply enter LEADERSHIP RECOGNITION the Onboard Hospitality Awards in any This prize is awarded to any business category and you will be eligible entering our awards which is for consideration for one of the already active in our sector and following prizes: Do you need can show how they proactively support to get into BREAK-THROUGH PRIZE champion new talent within our industry? This prize is awarded to any their organisation. The 2018 Our Break-Through young business (SME trading for winner was Clip and you can Prize could help! at least one year) entering our read all about the superb way ENTER BY awards and looking for mentoring they draw in young design DECEMBER 1 support from industry experts. The talent, over the page. 2018 winner was Good4U which has an established track record in retail but Can you match that? Enter for 2019

Encouraging new talent and creative innovators to enter the onboard hospitality sector is key if the industry is to remain fresh and vibrant in the long term MIKE POOLEY, NETWORK CHAIR

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MENTORING AWARDS / 21

Meet our winner

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CLIP - A TRUE LEADER IN DESIGN

lip Limited is a young, design-driven startup business in the airline equipment industry, providing true leadership in creative design. With an HQ and product development team in Hong Kong and design studio in Switzerland, the three head designers at Clip also serve as professors at the University of Art and Design in Lausanne (ECAL), one of the world’s top design schools. Through this practice, they are able to share their experience of designing products for the airline industry with up and coming design students, Do you support and draw their attention to new talent? this field. The connection also allows them to target the most We're recognising promising talent and hire them at a young age in the unique startup leadership in our sector for the studio. ecosystem. Others have become ENTER BY Clip is committed to offering independent or joined some of the DECEMBER 1 opportunities to young, talented world’s leading design studios. designers from around the world. Clip believes it is unique in the way It takes six interns a year, for sixit bridges the gap between this highlymonths each time, and gives them the specialised airline equipment industry and nonchance to work on real assignments. This is highly industry-specific designers, offering them a hands-on enriching for both sides: Clip benefits from the fresh approach and using 2D, 3D programmes, 3D printers untamed creativity of the young and mock-ups to bring their designs to life. designers, while they gather real life Clip believes prototypes are very important experience and become familiar with and that designers must not simply stick the complex problems of designing with a beautiful image but also create airline equipment and amenities. objects that perform well. Interns get the The internship scheme is extremely chance to design in a way which combines popular so has the pick of the different expertise and they build a solid and absolutely most talented young comprehensive skillset. It is a strategy that professionals and acted as a launchpad is clearly working as the company’s success for each young designer's career. relies on innovation. The Swiss Bento Box, Some have stayed and helped which received an Onboard Hospitality build the Clip team – being Award in 2016, is just one good example of given the opportunity to how fresh ideas can make a real difference to take real responsibilities the passenger experience.

GET INVOLVED julie.baxter@onboardhospitality.com

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22 / EVENT PREVIEW: IFSA EXPO

IFSA Conference & Expo 2018

See you in Boston

T

his year's IFSA Conference & Expo takes place in Boston, Massachusetts, September 24-26, at the Hynes Convention Center. Building on the success of the Long Beach event, IFSA is looking to exceed last year's numbers and attract new delegates with an exciting programme of events. The event is running at the same time as APEX Expo and AIX, also in Boston, in order to encourage more attendees and larger teams from airlines. The associated conference streams will include tracks covering the passenger experience, inflight services, technology and IFE content opportunities, and speakers will include gategroup's chief commercial officer, Federico Germani, Black Swan's ceo, Steve King, and top executives from Aeromexico, American Airlines, Air Canada, Aer Lingus and LATAM Group. Experts in the field of food safety will address topics ranging from FSMA, labelling, pre-clearance, and robotic kitchens. Sessions will also include an update on current and upcoming regulatory issues, particularly those evolving within the European Union. There will be chef demonstrations and a range of networking events held in the convention centre, the Boston Public Library and Marriott Copley Place. In addition to the exhibition stands a Product Showcase will provide an opportunity for buyers to see the newest product and innovations. In the AIX halls, the CabinSpace LIVE interactive forum will explore practical ways to use innovations with presentations, panel discussions and case studies from airlines. The Onboard Hospitality team looks forward to seeing you there! onboardhospitality.com

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EVENT PREVIEW: IFSA EXPO / 23

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1. Sola

STAND: 316

Sola has been developing, producing and supplying stainless steel cutlery for over 75 years. It now services over 80 airlines worldwide creating tableware in any style, shape or size including custom-made solutions to fit with existing tray settings. sola-airlinecutlery.com

2. Global Inflight Products STAND: 207

Among the range being promoted on the Global Inflight Products stand will be its PET cup. The cup is durable, low cost and 100% recyclable and it offers the option of an embossed logo, which

5

the alternative injection cups don't allow. The company will also showcase its new Symphony Collection of tableware. gipusa.com

3. DFMi

STAND: 606

Marking its 30th anniversary this year, DFMi will be showcasing over 30 select supplier partners and unveiling many new products, from Gourmet Nut mixes to Wildway’s grain-free granolas. Within its 1980s-themed pavilion, it will include a European zone featuring suppliers from across the Atlantic such as Qizini, KIM's Chocolate, Bergbanket and Beemster. dfminc.biz

4. Bayart Innovations STAND: 1230

Bayart has developed a felt amenity kit designed to appeal to both women and men. Passengers are encouraged to reuse it as a wash bag or clutch. It contains earplugs, toothbrush, socks, mirror and felt eyemask. bayart-innovations.com

5. Malton Inflight STAND: 414

Malton Inflight returns to IFSA to display popular products from its range including its Ministro easy-pour serving flask, AirGenie (a two-in-one soap liquid/ air freshener) and its Oceanware China collection. maltoninflight.com

onboardhospitality.com

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Discover the ultimate on-board taste experience in chocolates and gourmet desserts – impress the most discerning palette.

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6. K&W Food Brokerage

STAND: 1023

K&W is promoting raw and organic snacks from Gorilly Goods. The savoury pumpkin seed and kale trail mix is nut-free and gluten-free. Gorilly Goods is committed to natural products and supports the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund. kwfoods.com

7. Brown-Forman STAND: 1019

Brown-Forman will be exhibiting its Herradura Silver tequila. Matured in American white oak barrels for 45 days, the tequila carries hints of vanilla and citrus with a ‘woody’ aroma and a flavour of sweet agave. brown-forman.com

8. Bunzl

10. Diversey

Bunzl sources, warehouses and distributes inflight supplies with next day delivery available in most markets. It aims to streamline processes and create overall cost savings. bunzldistribution.com

Diversey continues its mission to deliver sustainable cleaning, sanitation and hygiene solutions to improve food safety through cleaning technologies. diversey.com

9. National Food Group

11. AMKO International

Among products featured on the stand will be Zee Zees' children’s snacks, each with its own character; and Grahamz light and airy wholegrain soft-baked bars, plus houmous snacks and cheese sticks - all vegetarian-friendly. nationalfoodgroup.com

AMKO has created ‘flavour enhancing’ glasses designed to complement different beers. The traditional ‘pint with crown’ suits pale ales and lagers, the tall glass pairs with India Pale Ale, the large-mouth glass is for wheat beers and the stemmed pilsner for dark beers. amkointl.com

STAND: 919

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IFSA Boston is set to be big! Nearly 70 companies are exhibiting to showcase their products and services

STAND: 430

Biscoff and Go is a sweet, creamy spread made from Biscoff cookies and offered with breadsticks for dipping. Free of artificial colours, flavours or preservatives it's vegan-friendly. matgci.com

13. RMT Global Partners STAND: 1122

Looking like real glass, PC glassware can replace glasses, bowls, plates and decanters, eliminating the risk of breakage. Wash tested 2,000 times, they withstand pressures that shatter traditional glass products. rmtglobalpartners.com

14. ITW Envopak

STAND: 315

16. Swiss Chalet Fine Foods STAND: 1127

Showcasing the Tenor/Trio security seal - an integrated plastic and metal system which balances tamper-evidence with barrier protection. Customs-compliant. itw-envopak.co.uk

Swiss Chalet Fine Foods will debut its Darbo honey sticks at this year's show. The 8g sachets contain light and mild blossom honey, ideal for sweetening tea or as an addition to a breakfast spread. scff.com

15. Galileo Watermark

17. WESSCO

Galileo Watermark has designed, devised and manufactured a tray for United Airlines that is more than 800 grams lighter than those currently flying. The non-slip surface chrome tray can bring cost savings to the airline and make service smoother for cabin crew. galileowatermark.com

WESSCO will be building on its reputation for upscale and innovative brand collaborations following the launch less than a year ago of the Casper sleepwear programme for American Airlines, which has won multiple awards. wessco.net

STAND: 631

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Get set for Asia Join our Onboard Hospitality Forum - Asia

Sharing best practice

O

nboard Hospitality has formed a strategic partnership with Future Travel Experience Asia EXPO to invite inflight caterers, wellbeing, design and innovation suppliers and buyers to meet at this well-established show, within their own dedicated area: The Onboard Hospitality Forum - Asia. Over the two days (November 13-14), delegates will hear Asia-specific market intelligence and insights and get the chance to experience Asian hospitality in tailored collaborations with leading trade bodies.

iFsa heads to singapore

IFSA ceo Dr. Joe Leader will attend the event alongside more than 40 IFSA member airlines based in Asia and around the globe. He says: “FTE Asia provides incredible innovations with a high calibre of airline and industry executives attending. It provides an opportunity to learn from the best in the business while discovering the latest trends

and product developments for customers in all classes of service. "Partnering at FTE Asia with the Onboard Hospitality Forum – Asia provides all of IFSA’s Asian and Pacific airlines an opportunity to come together at a regional level to meet the best of suppliers, cuttingedge start-ups, and those working to connect the entire end-to-end inflight customer experience.

Zone in on asia

Caterers and hospitality suppliers will be able to showcase the immense added value they can bring to the onboard offer. Leader adds: "Delegates will find the conference streams packed with valuable high level insights from their peers. The FTE Asia EXPO is very strong in this region and the latest evolution in partnership is a fantastic opportunity for our local IFSA members. We look forward to seeing our IFSA airline and supplier members there.”

In addition to being the biggest free-to-attend exhibition of its kind anywhere in the Asia region, FTE Asia EXPO 2018 will include a Premium Conference with a stellar line up of airline speakers sharing ideas and best practice. Among the key topics to be addressed are Customer Experience, Service & Hospitality, New & Emerging Technologies, Ancillary Revenues, Loyalty, and IFE & Connectivity. The full agenda and speaker line-up will be announced very soon. Attendees will also have access to additional education sessions on the EXPO Stage and professional networking (see overleaf).

Industry partner:

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30 / preview: Onboard Hospitality Forum Asia 2018

s Festival’ Joforinau‘Street at the heart of FTE Asia EXPO...

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nboard Hospitality and APOT. Asia are joining forces to bring the destinations of Asia to life during the first ever Onboard Hospitality Forum - Asia. We’re looking for airlines and their airline catering partners to help us showcase the very best of Asian food and culture and be a part of Asia's most

prestigious street food competition. Each day we will be inviting airline executive delegates at the FTE Asia EXPO to join us for a buzzing Asian showcase celebrating the best of the region.

The challenge

The inaugural Onboard Street Food Challenge calls on airlines and their caterers to use their chefs’ creative skills and culinary imagination to reinvent the traditional street food of the region and show how colourful local dishes can be reinterpreted for the onboard service of the future. Simply pick an Asian destination and then bring its culinary colour and cultural style to the heart of the show. You will need to cater approx 50 hand held servings to share with delegates, and will be in with the chance of winning a prestigious Street Food Master trophy.

The opportunity

Remember this is an airline show full of airline buyers and top managers so any product or concept that could actually work onboard is likely to get the best reception. The show is focused on futurescoping and looking ahead so this is your chance to show how your catering organisation can add cutting-edge thinking to the passenger experience.

The buzz

We'll provide the buzz and excitement of a street festival setting branded within the hall, and support you to decorate your space with regional flag and decor reflective of the cuisine you're showcasing. You’ll get extensive coverage in Onboard Hospitality magazine’s show review - including a company profile, and you’ll have the chance to showcase your business to

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When ? NOVEMBER 13-14, 2018

This will be a wonderful opportunity for our industry to recognise the culinary creativity of the Asian region and identify some real onboard catering stars of the future

Where ?

Happy K, APOT Founder

MARINA BAY SANDS / SINGAPORE

Need more info ? the high calibre airline/airport delegates who attend FTE. Opportunities may also be available to showcase your culinary skills on the mainstage.

the competition

To add to the fun of the event, visitors to the ‘street festival’ will, each lunch Show your creative culinary skills and become our Street Food Master

time (12-3pm) be invited to vote (anonomously) for their favourite destination ‘stall’ and recognition will be given to the dishes voted favourite by EXPO delegates. You can add to the Asian feel of the event by dressing your staff and stand to reflect the destination.

apOt heads to singapore

APOT founder, Keerthi Hapugasdeniya (Happy K), is supporting the event and says: "We are delighted to be working with Onboard Hospitality to create an exciting Asian buzz around this event. It will be a wonderful opportunity to recognise the culinary creativity of our region and identify some real onboard catering stars of the future." For further information contact: craig.mcquinn@onboardhospitality.com or sue.williams@onboardhospitality.com

Discover all you need to know at: onboardhospitality.com/FTE

Book a space craig.mcquinn@onboardhospitality.com Tel: +44(0)208 649 7233

Industry partner:

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32 / IN DEBATE

Does the U.S. deliver? American airline profits are on the up but is this success coming at the expense of their onboard service? Julie Baxter debates with Michael Taylor, travel practice lead at researchers J.D Power American airlines had their second most profitable year yet in 2017, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. ARE THESE PROFITS COMING AT THE EXPENSE OF CUSTOMER SATISFACTION? Our research shows satisfaction improving for seven consecutive year and it was higher in 2017 for all factors measured: cost & fees; inflight services; aircraft; boarding/deplaning/ baggage; flight crew; check-in; and reservation. However airlines rate far lower than rental car companies and hotels largely due to the stress of the departure deadline. If you’re late, you still get a room or a car but a flight is gone.That impacts satisfaction.

MT

DOES PRODUCT INVESTMENT PAY OFF? The study showed that satisfaction is largely MT due to airline investments in newer planes, improved customer satisfaction with overhead storage compartments, and cheaper fares.

WHERE WERE THE WEAKNESSES? Operationally, there has never been a better MT time to fly in North America. Passengers perceive greater value in ticket prices, checking in has never been easier, passengers are more satisfied with the actual aircraft, and airlines have improved their baggage-handling performance. The exception is in inflight services which includes food, beverage and entertainment systems. WHAT'S WRONG WITH THE F&B? The food and beverage data is interesting. It MT shows that if people pay for food on a flight and it exceeds their expectations they are likely to be far happier with the airline than if the food was complimentary and it exceeded their expectations. It seems to be part of human nature that if you pay for something and you like it, you feel you got a great deal. If you got something great for free that impact on your satisfaction is reduced. We see the

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IN DEBATE / 33

same in research on airports, passengers think food is ridiculously expensive but if it exceeds their expectations they become wildly ecstatic about that. HOW SHOULD AIRLINES RESPOND? This evidence suggests that if airlines focus MT on making the food and beverage offer unique and exclusive, and of a really good quality, that will be great for their business. Passengers are willing to pay for something like that, and they will subsequently like you more in terms of satisfaction ratings than if you gave them something free. IS IT JUST CATERING MAKING THEM CROSS? No, airlines continue to struggle to meet MT customer expectations for device connectivity, with inflight tech services scoring lower than any other factor in the study. Compared with aircraft offering seatback screens, passengers using their own mobile devices to access inflight services are less satisfied with the variety of inflight entertainment available and availability of inflight services. Keeping pace with improvements in wifi technology is difficult and expensive but today’s passengers expect trouble-free connectivity for personal devices. Passengers are far more likely to have a positive experience with an airline if they are entertained well in-flight.

Michael Taylor is travel lead at J.D. Power, a global leader in consumer insights, advisory services, data and analytics designed to drive customer satisfaction, growth and profitability

WHICH AIRLINES ARE DOING BEST? Among traditional carriers, Alaska Airlines MT ranked highest for the eleventh consecutive year, with Delta Air Lines second. Among

low-cost carriers, Southwest Airlines ranked top, doing well in all seven factors, driven in large part by investment in fleet improvements. JetBlue Airways ranked second. Most improved year-on-year was Allegiant. HAVE YOU IDENTIFIED OTHER WEAK SPOTS? There are other issues impacting MT satisfaction. The move to very basic fares, for example, with no inclusions was popular in terms of the pricing but has driven customer satisfaction down - largely because of issues around cabin baggage and the very high load factors that low prices generate. There are also negatives around loyalty programmes, with only 55% of those in a loyalty scheme understanding how they work. Travellers don't understand how loyalty points are allocated or how to redeem them so something which should be a real benefit rarely supports improved customer satisfaction. •

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34 / SPECIAL MEALS

It's all As personalised nutrition becomes increasingly mainstream, Jo Austin asks the experts how airlines, rail operators and caterers can prepare for th the reinvention of Special Meals

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n a recent flight from Dublin catered by dnata, 60% of passengers onboard had requested a special meal. Increasingly it seems everyone has their own 'special' lifestyle food regime and businesses are battling to keep up. Judging by my supermarket account, the retail world is onto this, monitoring my choices and tailoring my offers to reflect my eating habits. Even my dog’s diet is attracting rewards. But what about when I travel? I have yet to see this data-science impact the inflight catering offer. Mariette Abrahams, nutrition business consultant and founder of MA Consulting in Portugal, believes it is only a matter of time before personal eating habits really come to the fore. She says: “The personalised

nutrition industry has been growing at an incredible pace over the last two years and it is predicted to enjoy double digit growth for some years to come. It is about understanding the consumer and ensuring that the right product is available to them at the right time. It involves understanding their food, emotional, physical and health goals as well as their motivations for attaining them. The only way this can be achieved is by understanding how consumers think, how they behave and what they actually choose, using real-time data as well as data-science which will show the trends, the influences, and individual responses.�

Choices, choices

Special meals are well established within airline catering and pre-ordering for these

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understand diet is important but don’t know how to eat well so get hooked on a fad or a diet scheme. Special Meals should be renamed ‘personalised meals’ and need to reflect passenger lifestyles and allergies and the cross-over between religion, health and lifestyle. “Airlines are waking up a little bit to the vegan diet – and in fact some airlines are ahead of supermarkets in the choices they offer – but these can be expensive. They are also working to improve pre- and post-flight options in their airport lounges. British Airways’ Flight Wellbeing programme is ahead of the game – offering lighter options and less-refined products, but at the end of the day airlines are cash driven. On low-cost carriers most people tend to buy their meals at the airport before boarding as there is a wider selection and a less processed, premium product."

Changes in the U.S.

is very much the norm. And in the world of Walpole adds: “In the U.S. passengers have private jets this has already gone a step further historically had poor food choice onboard but this with every meal loaded potentially tailored to is really showing improvement in premium classes. the exact requirements of There are more health issues each premium passenger. and free-from demands in Says Marc Warde, freethe U.S. now and people are Special meals are not from airline consultant: very quick to change their personalised to the “Technology makes diets and follow flash trends it possible for every individual passenger as on social media i.e: “Gwyneth passenger to have Paltrow is not eating anything yet, although this is what they want and possible with software green this week – so neither deserve so long as they will I.” are willing to pay and the airline is willing to As part of Delta’s strong focus on personalising the embrace change and accommodate more choice. onboard experience, Delta One passengers flying For some it will be ordering a meal from their from the U.S. to Europe are now able to choose their favourite restaurant to be served onboard the flight, for others it will be a dietary requirement or lifestyle choice.” Warde’s business is based around special eals of a non-religious nature, meeting meals passengers' allergy and dietary needs. With so much of the population now paying real attention to what they eat eat, passengers increasingly expect the option to have what Snacks - Premium they need and want. Food allergies are not a Economy/Economy fad and are here to stay. If anything, people’s Global-C awareness is growing so demand is greater than ever ever, he insists insists. BE A 2019 Steve Walpole, head of food, Ugo Food and WINNER consultant chef chef, believes it's time to rename onboardhospitality.com special meals. He says says: ”More and more people onboardhospitality.com

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first meal in advance. Launched in June, plans are sa “This Stefan Patermann, ceo Retail inMotion says: already underway to extend this ‘pick your plate’ is another step in our strategy of building a platform to digitalise the passenger, service to Asian and Australian crew and product journey.” routes following strong Users browse meals available customer feedback. For those who can’t or Lisa Bauer, Delta’s vice and can choose the date and don’t pre-order, precise flight they want the meal president onboard services, says: "We want to make dining food labelling on inflight delivered to. They pay with at 30,000 feet feel like dining their credit or debit card. products has become at a favourite restaurant and When their flight is over, they vital giving customers the ability to can rate their meal experience, choose their meal in advance is a big part of that. It from delivery and presentation to the taste of the speeds up the process for our flight attendants too, food. giving them more time to spend with customers." In the back-office of the app, programme Eligible Delta passengers receive an email three administrators can easily and intuitively days prior to their flight asking them to choose from manage food categories, options which include chef-curated meals by Linton products, prices, availability Hopkins out of Atlanta; from Danny Meyer's Union and more. Any changes made Square Hospitality Group out of New York, and chef in the backend are applied duo Jon Shook and Vinny Dotol out of L.A. to the app in real-time, so that they are available Digital support straight away for the crew. As the digitalisation of the passenger journey The app administrators becomes more enhanced, with integration into can monitor the whole catering production and logistic systems, the operational process and process of pre-ordering all products and meals as it can link into multiple within hours of departure is rapidly becoming the catering companies, it can ‘norm’. Launched in May, Retail inMotion’s crew potentially serve both crew food app already gives crew members the chance and passengers through to choose and order the meals they want to eat new digital touchpoints. onboard right up to the last hour before a flight. Marc Warde adds: “Pre-

Opposite page, clockwise from top left: Frankenberg cater all special meals with the focus on fresh flavour; Air Europa is focused of free and allergenfree options; Ugo offers a range of gluten-free Fusilli, Raviolini and Tortelloni. This page, clockwise from top left: ANA's allergen-free children's meal; Austrian Air's special meal offering; BA's partnership with M&S ensures full nutritional/ allergy labelling

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38 / SPECIAL MEALS

quality frozen meals to meet increased demand for personalised nutrition. She says: “Over five percent of our airline meals are special meals and this continues to rise. These passengers place a high importance on their nutrition and are very likely to comment on the meals on social media so airlines are beginning to pay more attention to the offer in this category. “We offer nearly all special meal codes and our product development kitchen is constantly working on new meals, in cooperation with international and celebrity chefs, to reflect food trends and ensure authentic and tasty recipes in all the categories. “For many airlines we produce only-halal meals but we also respond to requests for vegan/ vegetarian dishes, lacto-free, gluten-free, Asian, Hindu meals, diabetic and low fat or low salt.”

Getting it right

Clockwise from top left: BA offers fresh fruit as part of its Flight Wellbeing programme; Delta's vegetarian offering; Air New Zealand's plant-based Impossible Burger provides a meat-free alternative made from the roots of soy plants

Assuming the choices are right, the key to meeting order is a long-established discipline within personalised demand will be the technology for airlines for special meals and as an option in First pre-ordering. Nik Loukas, of Inflightfeed, points and Business but the trend towards personalisation to a couple of airlines getting it right. “Finnair has means this is changing, always been innovative with broadening the opportunity. its meal plans and its Nordic Many airlines have embraced Bistro pre-order service is free technology that makes preSpecial meals should be for Business passengers. There ordering possible wherever renamed ‘personalised is also a pre-order, buy-onyou sit on the aircraft, but like meals’ to suit lifestyles board service for Economy most things it does of course which includes savoury and allergies come at a price. sandwiches and salads as “Special meals have always well as a dedicated kids’ meal. been a pre-reserved entitlement that passengers The Sky Bistro allows passengers to mix and match can pre-order before they board but they are their meal options – selecting choices (to buy) that not personalised to the individual passenger meet their needs or pre-ordering from a range of as yet, although this is entirely possible with modern software. “Historically some special meals have been nothing short of appalling, so getting it right is reputationally important for airlines. The caveat that most airlines use of: ‘may contain traces of the allergy you are trying to avoid’ no longer cuts the mustard!” Laura Friedrichs of leading German airline caterer, Frankenberg, is tailoring onboardhospitality.com

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Integration + Innovation You can have both – that’s the #SpiritOfSPIRIANT

Our engineers invent, create and test and test again, such as with this foldable drawer that saves up to 85% of trolley space. Whether developing bowls that react well under pressure or analyzing how to minimize materials yet maximize efficiencies, we balance performance with inspiration so that you needn’t compromise. That’s the Spirit of SPIRIANT. www.spiriant.com

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40 / SPECIAL MEALS

nuisance. We have to create libraries of dishes that work, and present special meals so they look as good as any other meal served onboard."

Food labelling

For those who can’t or don’t pre-order, precise food labelling on inflight products has become vital. Walpole says: “Historically airline food has been quite processed and we have to make sure that the information on allergies and calories is available because once you are on an aircraft you have to eat what’s onboard, or nothing. Gone are the days of eating food just to fill up. Passengers want options and caterers must consider balancing less sugar, less fat and more wholegrain. Most passengers have a food regime they want to stick to and regular travellers need to combat bad food.” Friedrichs adds: “We are able to fully label products, not only the allergen information but also with full nutritional input, and this is more and more Clockwise from top left: nearly 20 special meal categories." important for personalised nutrition. It gives the dnata aims to ensure all its Turkish Airlines features a 'fly good, feel good' passenger full control of what they are eating and special meals have the same campaign and Air Europa has allows them to plan their daily attention to detail; Kosher meals from Langerhuize focused on healthy inflight calorie and nutritional input.” concepts coupled with some Meeting every individual’s fantastic design elements too. Allergen information and personalised nutrition full nutritional input is "Not only is it great to look at, preference onboard clearly but it's also very tasty,” says has its challenges but as more and more Loukas. investment in data-analytics important for In response to the increasing increases and tech-savvy personalised nutrition number of passengers with travellers increasingly look food allergies, especially children, All Nippon online to plan every element of their journey, it’s Airways (ANA) introduced a new 'Seven Allergenclear selecting a ‘special’ meal will increasingly Free Child Meal' this year made free from seven become the norm. • common allergens including wheat, buckwheat, dairy products, eggs, peanuts, shrimp and crabs. ANA also has a “Seven Allergen-Free Meal” and a “27 Allergen-Free Meal” for adults, and a “27 Allergen-Free Baby Meal,” which is for infants aged under two. For flights departing from Japan, orders are accepted up to 24 hours before departure, for those going to Japan, up to 48 hours. Snacks - First/ Creating a range of excellent-quality meal Business choices, which meet numerous special meal NibNibs requirements will be the practical solution to this growing challenge. BE A 2019 Stephen Templeton, global head of culinary WINNER at dnata, says: "For too long airlines have had onboardhospitality.com this trend on the back burner and seen it as a onboardhospitality.com

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Learn more about

Sample

innovative inight

the world's fastest growing travel region from top airline speakers

catering from across the region

See you in

Connect

with IFSA's Joe Leader and more than 40 IFSA member airlines

Singapore at our new Onboard Hospitality Forum-Asia

Combine tech talk with

hospitality buying

It's Asia's

biggest free to attend EXPO!

Be a part of our

inaugural

street food challenge in association with Happy K and APOT

NOVEMBER 13-14, 2018 MARINA BAY SANDS, SINGAPORE Onboard Hospitality has formed a strategic partnership with Future Travel Experience Asia EXPO to invite inight caterers, wellbeing and design specialists to meet at this wellestablished show, within a dedicated Onboard Hospitality area adjoining the Asia EXPO TO RESERVE YOUR SPACE or enter our Onboard Street Food Challenge contact: Event Director: craig.mcquinn@onboardhospitality.com or Publisher: sue.williams@onboardhospitality.com / +44 (0)20 8649 7233

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How to...

...confound the critics Gate Gourmet in Amsterdam is working with Aeromexico, helping to counter negative online reviews with professional collaborations with restaurateurs. Nik Loukas discovers more FACE FACTS

Aeromexico is building its services across South America and now operates daily services between Amsterdam and Mexico City. Whilst online reviews have not always been favourable, the airline is now collaborating with wellestablished brands and renowned chefs through Gate Gourmet, to enhance its inflight experiences. Feedback on this is good.

CLARIFY THE OFFER

Aeromexico is a full-service airline and offers complimentary drinks (including alcohol after 11am) plus meals/snacks depending on the flight time. On shorter flights, peanuts or cookies are served in Economy (under three hours), whilst flights of up to six hours include a hot meal. Tequila shots are served on flights after 11am!

MAKE CONNECTIONS

Edmund Wong Man Ho, owner of the Red Duck restaurant in Mexico City, has created the menus for flights to Shanghai, whilst Edo Kobayashi, owner of Torobi Murasaki (also in Mexico City), has created dishes for Tokyo routes. Overseeing Business menus is Enrique Olvera of the famed Pujol restaurant in Mexico City, ranked 25th in the world's top 50 restaurants for 2016.

FOCUS ON FRESH

Olvera has been overseeing the menus since 2014 and is a firm believer in using only fresh, quality ingredients that are free from preservatives or processing

Fact file Each month the team at Gate Gourmet prepares 1100 Business and 7200 Economy meals for passengers to Mexico City. In Economy chicken and pasta is offered every flight with seasonal fruit and a fresh salad

on each meal tray. Main meals are changed monthly. Business passengers are offered two types of cold appetisers (changed monthly) and a salad. Hot mains always include chicken, fish and pasta choices.

of any kind. Dishes in Business have included: shrimp in garlic with red quinoa; filet of beef with carrot pico de gallo, couscous and snap-peas; breast of chicken with oregano chimichurri, wild rice and string beans; and lettuce, string bean and potato salad. The aim is to showcase dishes that have European influence and provide choice. Beyond the meal service, sandwiches, savoury snacks and fruit trays are on offer.

ADD BRAND POWER

There are a number of Mexicanbranded snacks and drinks offered, but also local Heineken beer and, in Business, stroopwaffels, the very popular Dutch sweet biscuit. The Punta del Cielo Café is featured heavily in the airline’s lounge in Mexico City, the brand is dedicated to the production, sale and distribution of gourmet coffee from the states of Chiapas, Oaxaca, Guerrero and Veracruz. •

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it's time to bring cool, contemporary no fuss food onboard Stephen Templeton, dnata catering's new global head of culinary, talks grand ambitions and contemporary style

I

've come from a restaurant and event hospitality background at Rhurbarb in the UK, catering for VIPs and celebrities who always expected us to be at the forefront of trends, innovation and style. Now it is time to bring that level of contemporary high-end catering to the airline world. It's time to move away from that chicken and beef staple and bring cool, contemporary no-fuss food onboard where simple, quality, seasonal ingredients become superstars, presented with a wow factor that makes the meal a key reason to book a specific flight.

Creating a dnata DNA

I started working with dnata Catering as a consultant six years ago, feeding the high street demands and trends we saw at Rhubarb into the operation. Now the goal is to take that a step further. With an evergrowing network of 65 catering locations across 13 countries, the biggest challenge

is to create a global culture that everyone connects with and understands, plus clear goals and a way of working which every member of staff can identify with and which supports a specific dnata Catering style. We are creating a dnata DNA which will be recognised as our hallmark worldwide and the quality of the food will be at the heart of everything.

On trend

Chefs become chefs because they like to cook and want to be creative with food. They want to be proud of what they produce and that means buying great seasonal product and working with it in exciting ways. We will support them in that completely, empowering them to respond to cool culinary trends such as smoking,

sousing, drying and pickling. In the wider culinary world everyone is using these techniques and airline caterers must apply modern twists to their offer too.

Special meals

The issue of special meals is massive. On a recent flight out of Dublin, over 60% of the passengers requested a special meal. For too long airlines have had this trend on the back burner and seen it as a nuisance but these lifestyle eating choices are here to stay and we have to embrace them, create libraries of dishes that work, and present special meals so they look as good as any other meal. We will draw on the undoubted talents of the team and in a cut-throat market present the most exciting and innovative choices onboard. •

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Meat-free choices Meat-free brand Quorn is much loved by vegetarians and vegans but its health credentials are the key to getting it onboard. Laura Gelder finds out more

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he world’s number one meat-free brand is already available in 19 countries but is set for growth, particularly in Asia where a desire to eat more meat is now incongruously matched by a desire to be healthier. In recent years much has been written about countries like China and the problems caused by its rising demand for meat – global food price rises and the environment for starters – but Quorn was born from a realisation that demand for protein was on the up back in the 1960s. Predicting it could run out by the 80s, British industrialist J. Arthur Rank commissioned a team to look into alternatives. The story goes that they searched the globe, before discovering a new fungus in a field in Marlow, four miles away from the research centre. By 1985 this had been developed into a dough called mycoprotein which is used to create Quorn, and the brand was launched. The process for making Quorn is simple and efficient: the funghi is fermented, like you would with beer but only the dough-like solids are retained from the process, and egg white is added before it’s steamed, chilled and frozen. “In the past our approach to marketing was perhaps a bit too scientific," says Jen

Wheildon, sales and marketing manager is replaced by potato protein. – foodservice, for Quorn. “It’s actually a It's the health credentials which could very natural product – the simple process really elevate Quorn. “It isn’t just eaten by of fermentation is one of the oldest in the vegetarians and vegans – it’s also chosen world after all!” by consumers because it’s healthy,” The result is a sustainable protein says Wheildon. “Some 80% of Quorn requiring less wheat consumers are meatand water to produce reducers. We know and with a much lower that health is a major 80% of Quorn carbon footprint. driver of this, plus Quorn Mince uses 90% consumers are meat- consumers are starting less carbon than beef reducers and health to recognise the impact mince and has 90% less of intensive meat is a major driver calories. It also uses less production on the water. A Quorn burger and bun uses an planet. These are both major reasons our average of 90 gallons of water but replace products are listed in onboard menus.” the beef with Quorn and it's nine gallons. Quorn's sausages are served on a major As well as being high in fibre and UK train route and its Cottage Pie is low in fat, saturated fat and cholesterol, currently served by a British carrier. The Quorn caters for those on gluten-free, brand made its debut at WTCE this year halal, kosher and vegan diets. The hoping to scoop more travel contracts only difference with its vegan-certified with its range of ingredients, ready meals products is that the binding egg white and ready-made snacks. •

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48 / CABIN SERVICE

service planning George Banks had a long and distinguished career in inflight service and concludes attention to detail and consistency are key to an airline’s reputation

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ervice matters and airlines today spend a lot of time and money on cabin service training, teaching endless regimented routines for a speedy service. With often over 400 passengers to be served in Economy and a limited time-frame, crew need clear priorities. Passengers are scrutinising them - wondering why one aisle is being served before another, noting if the stewardess is avoiding eye contact and waiting to see if their choice is available. In premium cabins a more flexible, personal service is expected, but whatever the inflight service plan, every element has to be translated into practical training before a single passenger gets served. Inflight service routines are created by each airline

for specific aircraft. Every airline likes to differentiate its service style.

Procedure training

Standard training can be anything from three to six weeks, with additional premium cabin training later. Everything is covered, from safety and passenger psychology to personal grooming, food presentation, seat mechanics and the complexities of the IFE system. Every airline has different procedures but industry standards include offering a coordinated service down both aisles at the same time, and working from the front of the cabin to the back. Traditionally drinks are offered with a coaster and savoury nibbles or nuts, and glasses are continually cleared away with

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the use of a linen lined tray. Crew are expected to carefully monitor the meal choice ratios as they serve, recommending the least popular option as they go, as well as ensuring warm rolls are offered.

Attention to detail

Passengers want efficient service and trays removed quickly but clearing can be harder than delivery because of the way used items are left on the tray. Passengers are not interested in understanding ‘the horse-shoe service routine’ (when one service cart is used to cover both aisles), the ‘double ended trolley’ or how hot towels should be delivered with tongs, but it’s these details which add up to a slick smooth service. Detail, detail, detail sums up good customer service in the cabin, and these details are now taught through Some airlines offer what they call restaurant service Above: British Airways cabin service without trolleys expensive modern training colleges with cabin mockin Business with everything hand carried rather than Below: Qantas used a tray ups and state-of-the-art galleys, audio video facilities using a trolley. It’s a more personal service but slows service when Business and formal classrooms. things down. Crew can find it challenging too and launched in the 1970s; Emirates issues crew service Agreed routines are carefully monitored to highlight the re-training needed is costly and time consuming. guides for each cabin and the difficulties of working in a small space and to It may however be essential to ensure an airline’s aircraft ensure a smooth-flowing service. service reputation. Consistency is key for ffood When new aircraft are introduced, service, reheating and new service routines are developed and trialled. The A380, Service consistency is delivery, especially for example, proved particularly in Business key to an airline's challenging and routines were and First reputation continually fine-tuned or replaced where meals by new techniques and strategies are often plated designed specifically for the larger cabins. in the galley. Plates must be hot, food Airlines wanted to offer an a la carte service in arranged neatly and garnished with Premium cabins with an ‘eat whenever you want’ fresh herbs, or other items such as lemon strategy (as on British Airways in the 1990s) but an a or lime for fish. la carte service in Business has proved difficult and This consistency is key to an airline’s only really successful on Qatar Airways and Etihad. reputation and must be monitored as often crew members disagree with some service plan procedures and are tempted to do their own thing, to the detriment of the airline. In the worst case, food is delivered luke warm or overcooked and service is indifferent or overlooked. Training has become increasingly reliant on technology but airlines still need to motivate and train crew to be reliably consistent in delivery. Those which monitor performance Service Equipment and run refresher training and influencing are For Crew ultimately the most successful. Zodiac Personal service with the basics of good Aerospace manners and genuine smiles remains BE A 2019 fundamentally importance and while other WINNER changes are certain to come, this fact will surely onboardhospitality.com never change. • onboardhospitality.com

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50 / focus on

Perth Inflight Catering

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This year Perth Inflight Catering marks its 20th year in the onboard hospitality sector, Julie Baxter met managing director Salim Hazife at his catering base to discover more

t is not often that the eyes of the onboard hospitality world turn to Perth so when APOT chose the Western Australian capital for its annual gathering this June, Perth Inflight Catering's (PIC) staff became eager ambassadors for the event. The company, founded by chairman Ismail Hazife and now run by his son Salim, has been based in the city for 20 years and seen the city’s airport evolve. Salim recalls: “When my father started the business 20 years ago he had a small kitchen and four members of staff. Today we have over 100 staff, creating around 5000 meals a day and our kitchens (including a dedicated halal kitchen), meal plating and cart set-up areas, warehouse and bonded storage units cover 2500sqm. “Our growth in part reflects the growth of Perth as a hub airport. The city is increasingly well connected by international and domestic carriers and a gateway for the mining industry of WA. The launch of a direct London-Perth route by Qantas has also helped raise interest in the region and make WA more accessible and we hope others will follow.”

Tailor-made service

re-engineering airline menus to offer The company's clients have included savings or seasonal local specialities. A strip Etihad, South African Airways and most and wash area ensures unopened regional recently, Virgin Australia, a contract it won catering can be recycled through food after Gate Gourmet took over Virgin’s banks and a kids’ breakfast club charity, catering from dnata/Alpha. Salim explains: and all cardboard and plastic is recycled. “Gate Gourmet doesn’t have a kitchen in Local flavours Perth so will work with Salim says: “We were us for these departures.” delighted to see The new deal meant gearing up fast to cater Our focus has always APOT come to Perth the Business cabins been on a premium as an opportunity on 20-30 flights a day tailor-made service to showcase the incredible local operated by Virgin produce we have access too. WA is a part Australia’s Boeing 737s and A330s out of Australia that often gets overlooked of Perth but Salim says: “This is just the in preference for Sydney or Melbourne kind of product we are set up to provide. but it truly has a diverse range of Our focus has always been on providing attractions, great natural beauty and a premium tailor-made service of the fantastic produce. We are keen to get that standard Virgin require.” onboard aircraft, connect the produce to Still family-owned and operated, PIC the destination and deliver the highest has a team of nine development chefs standards in onboard service.” • regularly pitching new culinary ideas or

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Unparalleled Quality For over 30 yearss Gourmet Foods Inc. has provided our Airline, Rail and Cruise Line customers a wide range of high quality products. Through our strict quality control programs, we have achieved SQF Level 2 Certification, guaranteeing the quality and care put into hand crafting every single product. In order to continue enhancing our products quality, Gourmet Foods has completely eliminated man made trans-fats, artificial colors, preservatives and other chemicals from our core line of products. Cage-free eggs, expeller-pressed oils, wild-caught shrimp, hormone-free dairy products, American Homestead pork, Mary’s Non-GMO enhanced animal welfare chicken, and sustainably farmed smoked salmon are just a few examples of what you can expect when you are considering our family of gourmet products.

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in conversation / 53

Rail customer experience will undeniably become the key differentiator Peter Rebelo Coelho, LSG Group head of train services Europe, gets set for hot competition in the rail sector

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he rail market in Europe is set to open up in 2020. As a result, each rail operator will need to reassess and re-evaluate its strategic positioning in a decidedly more competitive marketplace. In this new environment, the customer experience, which includes both the complimentary and retail onboard catering, will undeniably become an even more important key differentiator. Many already recognise that a new service concept can add value to the customer’s experience and see the advantages of working with catering specialists to develop these. They can draw on our capabilities in concept and menu design, catering, logistics and end-to-end IT to enrich the passenger experience in all classes, at the best value.

See you at InnoTrans

This year at InnoTrans our slogan will be: “Indulge your passengers with an

enriched customer experience”. We will demonstrate our capabilities as an integrator but also showcase the new Evertaste division launched earlier this year, offering packaged products and convenience-food solutions. This range of ready-to-eat products is a way rail operators can access creative food solutions made to the highest global standards, in any temperature range.

Innovative concepts

Like airlines, rail operators are looking for new innovative onboard concepts designed to cost, and our long experience in aviation helps put us ahead of the game in terms of understanding market trends, needs and demands of travellers.

There are significant differences in the operative requirements of the rail and air sectors, but at their core both are focused on enriching their passengers’ onboard experiences.

Rail growth

We see the rail market as one of the growth areas for our business, especially in Europe. With our knowledge in this field and our expert brands for developing catering and hospitality, equipment, packaged products and onboard retail, we are well equipped to help and excited to customise concepts according to the rail operators’ needs. Increasingly it will be about that need to differentiate the offer, in an increasingly competitive market. •

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54 / RAIL CATERING

Best in the west Great Western Railways in the UK has launched its first new intercity trains for 40 years. Roger Williams asks catering operations manager Sarah Creaser about the new, highquality, at-seat services

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reat Western Railways (GWR) has long been at the forefront of UK rail hospitality, with its good-quality onboard service, including the ‘Tripadvisor highly rated’ Pullman restaurants. Now, with new Hitachi 'Intercity Express Trains', and major changes in onboard design, Sarah Creaser and her team are upping their game further, in all classes. Creaser explains: “Initially we had to understand the new trains’ layout and how best to utilise the equipment. Our shiny new galleys are positioned at the end, behind First Class, and as they are packed with new appliances it was an ideal time to adopt a new ‘at-seat’ service. This was what our customers told us they wanted.” The new galleys, designed in Germany, include steam ovens, induction cookers, chilled stowage

and high-volume coffee brewers. Hot and cold food can be served to many more customers than before, and all delivered fresh to the table.

Flexible Logistics

Creaser adds: “Superior logistics flexibility is achieved using modular delivery carts, and with speciallydesigned cart bays on the train it is so easy to deliver, load and move stock on and off trains and up and down trains. This also helps with future at-seat offers for Standard passengers, which are planned to include hot snacks and even a breakfast service.

Increased staff

“Our resource planning was adapted to make sure we had enough hosts and we improved scheduling and turnarounds to maintain efficiency. With more hosts available onboard, support for customers has also improved – particularly important for customers with disabilities and special needs.”

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a light breakfast up to 11.00 or items from the 'Rest of the day' menu after that. Complimentary breakfast choices include porridge, low-fat yoghurt, granola, gluten-free flapjacks, fresh fruit or pain-au-chocolat.

Pictured: New intercity trains and in-seat dining menus

Pullman dining

The enhanced galley equipment enables ambitious Pullman services. Chef Paul Elliot, as well as Jenny Greenhalgh and Rageeni Mistry from RG, have developed and tested new menus. Smart chiller units with robust temperature control support the refreshed food offering.

Standard Class

Products and menus

In Standard, many passengers said they would prefer the delivery of food and drinks to seat. Creaser says: “A new trolley, manufactured by Sovereign, allows for this more personal service to approximately 80% of the train, raising the opportunity New menus embrace the for much higher retail sales. A lighter urn and dedicated amazing regional diversity and traditional filling and charging points mean hosts can replenish hot heritage of the route water without heavy lifting".

GWR undertook extensive research before choosing the relevant products for each service and time of day, working with caterer RG to combine customer feedback and the latest F&B trends. “New menus created for at-seat services in First and Standard, simultaneously embrace the amazing regional diversity and traditional heritage of the Great Western route. Examples include tea from Tregothnan in Cornwall, and breads and pastries freshly baked by Pullins Bakery in Yatton, Somerset among many others,” Creaser says.

Complimentary service

Carts instead of a trolley are used for the First refreshment service, for ease and speed. The offer is complimentary, with hot and cold soft drink selections,

The future

Further on-trend initiatives will focus on vegan, protein and gluten-free options, and a new Standard retail range launching in October, along with new meal-deals, will benefit from a new EPOS system. To improve sustainability, GWR is also looking at a ‘keep-cup’ with a discount for refilling any ‘re-use’ cup, as well as driving down the use of plastic packaging onboard. In First, October will see trials of hot breakfast rolls, a new alcohol cart and a real ‘Cornish Cream Tea'. •

Catering Innovations RG & gategroup

BE A 2019 WINNER

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56 / FOCUS ON

On a mission Vietnam Airlines Caterers has a simple mission. To be the best in the Asia Pacific region, for Asian, in particular Vietnamese, and Western cuisine and service. Julie Baxter discovers how

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t' s an easy statement to make but 25 years on from its launch – as a joint venture between Vietnam Airlines and Cathay Pacific – the team has plenty of customers who'll confirm it regularly achieves ‘mission accomplished’. In the past five years alone it has increased the number of meals it caters each day from 18,000 to 24,000. Its biggest client is Vietnam Airlines, for which it provides 16,000 daily meals for 150 flights out of Tan Son Nhat Airport (SGN) in Ho Chi Minh City (60% of its business). Vietnam Airlines Caterers (VAC) is particularly proud of the part it's played in helping the airline secure its four-star status for four consecutive years in a row, working with the airline team to create what it believes is now ‘the ultimate culinary experience’. The company also provides catering and loading services to over 36 other airlines including Emirates, Turkish Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Eva Air, Korean Air, Japan Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Qatar, Singapore Airlines and Air France VAC operates a 12,000sqm ramp-side facility at SGN, with a staff of around 1000,

including around 200 chefs, and has an VAC is eager for growth, looking to invest additional base at Phu Quoc International strategically in its current facilities while Airport (PQC). It has capacity to supply up maintaining its service standards. to 30,000 meals and facilitates delivery As the only caterer at PQC, the company with 31 hi-lift trucks and seven vans. is responding to tourism demand and It has won Best Caterer recognition from contributing to the island destination's Asiana Airlines in 2016, development as a Eva Air in 2013 and All Special Economic Nippon Airways in 2012 Zone. and most recently was VACS' gm, Nguyen Asia-Pacific aviation Quang De, says: “The ranked third in Southeast is growing at its Asia/China (2017) by Asia-Pacific aviation fastest pace yet Philippine Airlines. sector is growing at its Last year it expanded fastest pace yet. Rapid services at PQC (45 minutes from SGN) urbanisation, an increase in international to cater Thomas Cook from Scandinavia travel and the rising living standards and positive feedback from this has of aspirational travellers are driving brought additional customers for the growth. Demand is growing for better coming winter season. The team quality inflight food and more healthy plans to establish a full-scale facility options. Meals are becoming one of the here, with work beginning shortly. top considerations for passengers when Located at the heart of one of the choosing a flight and this trend requires world’s fastest growing regions, caterers like us to constantly innovate. •

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InnoTrans

Get inspired in Berlin

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n an innovative new partnership designed to inspire the rail industry, the International Rail Catering Group and Onboard Hospitality will this month (Sept 19) collaborate in Berlin at the first-ever Onboard Hospitality Forum - Rail. Located in the City Cube, within the InnoTrans Expo which is held bi-annually at the Berlin Messe, the Forum will deliver a top line up of experts sharing cutting-edge innovations that enhance the passenger experience. Free to attend, this will be a valuable opportunity to engage with industry leaders in hospitality, wellbeing, catering, technology and design as they work to connect the entire endto-end customer experience.

Presenting the way ahead

Six specially-invited experts from Eurostar, Deutsche Bahn, Rail Gourmet, ECR, Kaelis and LNER will present visionary insights from across the intercity rail spectrum. Delegates will include key members of IRCG who between them manage railway onboard catering, logistics and product services globally with around a â‚Ź2 billion turnover.

IRCG chairman, Roger Williams, says: “Catering and hospitality on trains and in lounges helps rail operators attract millions of passengers who would otherwise travel by road or air. We are proud to bring a highly-respected group of presenters to the Onboard Hospitality Forum so InnoTrans visitors can hear directly from them about innovations and ideas that can positively improve rail customer satisfaction."

Marc Noaro, Chief Customer Officer, Eurostar

Marc has worked with Eurostar since its inception in 1994, and has played a key role in driving customer service standards and strategy for this leading cross-border train operator. Well established as an international cutting edge travel brand, Eurostar connects 10 million customers to London, Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam and onward to over 100 locations. With a unique multi-cultural business, leisure and tourist demographic, Marc will describe how Eurostar nurtures and embraces its diversity and sustainability to ensure a consistently great customer experience across all of its routes, perfect insights for any international travel brand operator.

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christine stocKMann, heaD of proDuct ManaGeMent, onBoarD services, Deutsche Bahn

Christine has worked for DB for over 10 years and is responsible for both the DB lounge concepts and the F&B selection on long distance ICE and intercity trains. DB carries over 2.5 billion passengers a year and is one of the most recognisable of German brands. Christine will share the amazing insights DB gained into its customers’ needs, researched in part using digital virtual technology designed to support onboard redesigns and planning.

siMon pont, ceo ecr retaiL sYsteMs

Simon works to provide rail and other transport companies with customer-facing digital systems that are both cutting edge and practical. Technology, he believes, should make life easier for onboard hosts, provide intuitive customer interactions and help raise sales

revenue. He will share his experience of how mobile point-of-sale technology and apps can enhance the customer experience onboard, raising customer loyalty, driving repeat business and opening up new opportunities for onboard ancillary revenue. cLaire ansLeY, custoMer eXperience Director, Lner

Claire has recently been involved in the transition of the East Coast Main Line (2nd biggest intercity route in the UK) from Virgin Trains back into nationalised control, and now renamed LNER (London and North Eastern Railway). Her experience at Virgin Trains saw her working with RG and UK celebrity chef James Martin to revolutionise the catering offer. She will share insights into this collaboration for First Class as well as a better co-ordinated approach to retail sales in Standard Class. ManoJ priDhanani, creative ManaGer, KaeLis

Manoj is a real visionary when it comes to design, and working for Kaelis, a leading onboard equipment and service solutions business, allows him the chance to express his ideas for travel in many different ways.

Manoj’s mission is to create designs that harmonise the travel touchpoints and show how attention to detail in concepts and small touches in customer service can transform the rail journey into a truly beautiful experience. He will share the latest trends in equipment and provide valuable insights to assist any rail company looking to enhance their hospitality profile. nicoLa weBB, coMMerciaL Director, rG

Nicola's portfolio includes controlling interactions with an ever-changing range of around 250 suppliers, who between them deliver to RG's vast logistics network approximately 500 million products a year for trains in the UK and across Europe. With a previous background in airline catering, Nicola draws comparisons from that industry and looks at current trends to see how the future of onboard rail service could benefit from innovations drawn from other parts of the hospitality industry and travel catering markets. Her unique insights will help to ensure your rail customer service offer is developing in the right direction. •

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60 //BEER BEER

low

Sales of low and non-alcoholic beer are skyrocketing, writes Andy Hoskins, but will the trend take-off onboard?

pressure

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distinctly recall the pub landlord's comment: "The trouble with these non-alcoholic beers is they taste terrible,” he said as he sloshed my beverage from bottle to glass. I was the designated driver that night, of course, why else would I be asking for non-alcoholic beer? I wasn’t pregnant, for sure, nor am I a recovering alcoholic! Ten years ago, that was about as far as a conversation about low and non-alcoholic beers – the ‘low/no’ or ‘near-beer’ market – would extend. And that particular landlord’s evaluation was shared by many. Taste, or lack of it, has been something of a stumbling block for this niche market until relatively recently. Non-alcoholic beers were largely bland, gassy and insipid – and many still are. At the turn of the millennium, the UK market was dominated by Kaliber – from the mighty Guinness company – which in 2001 had a reported 68% share of the low/no market (beers of 0.5% ABV or lower). How times have changed. Today, every major global beer brand has its low/no offshoot: there’s Beck’s

Pictured: Mikkeller's Mikkel Borg Bjergso

Taste, or lack of it, has been a serious stumbling block for this niche market until recently Blue, Budweiser Prohibition Brew, Carlsberg Zero and Heineken 0.0, for example, while Guinness has recently launched Open Gate Pure Brew after two years of trials. It's a ‘full-flavoured’ lager with ‘fruity aromas, a hint of citrus flavour and a smooth, malty finish’. Smaller German and Czech breweries have been doing it well for a while, and the craft beer movement is also tapping into the trend. Nanny State, first brewed in 2009, is Brewdog’s evidence that ‘alcoholfree doesn’t have to mean taste-free’. It has ‘huge hoppy aromas and flavours… and almost no alcohol to speak of’, says the Scottish brewery. It is its fourth highest-selling beer with 2017 sales at £3.3million – a 134% increase from 2016. Big Drop Brewing Co., meanwhile, is among a handful of breweries focused just on alcohol-free beers. Co-founder Rob Fink, formerly a city lawyer, says: “I realised there was a serious shortage of alcohol-free

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62 / BEER

conscious about their health, but they still want a good tasting drink” he says. “’Mindful drinking’ is a term bandied around a lot, and companies are reacting to the fall in alcohol consumption.” Indeed, this year’s Mindful Drinking Festival in London was sponsored by Heineken 0.0 and featured a line-up of ten alcohol-free beers from the likes of Big Drop, Nirvana, FitBeer, St Peter’s Brewery and Braxzz. “Alcohol-free beer is the Craft Beer Revolution – the Sequel,” says beer sommelier Jane Peyton. “For the first time people who want the taste of beer but not the alcohol have a choice of brands from brewers who are brewing satisfying, flavoursome beers.” Netherlands-based Braxzz had a busy summer in London as it also became the first brewery to offer a range of non-alcoholic beers at the 41-year-old Great British Beer Festival. “Alcohol-free beer has become increasingly important in recent years and thankfully brewers have been keeping pace with consumer demands,” says Catherine Tonry, the event’s organiser. “There are now some fantastic innovations in the sector and a much wider range of styles and flavours than ever before.”

Left: Big Drop broke the mould with an alcohol-free stout Below: Heineken has broadened its range to meet the alcohol-free trend Right: SAS now offers Mikkeller's Drink'in the Sun onboard

beers. Pubs would carry just one mass-produced lager that wasn't very nice. Even in craft beer pubs there was a lack of choice for alcohol-free.” Founded in 2016, Big Drop eschewed the traditional There are now some lager offerings and took the fantastic innovations in Taking it onboard bold decision to launch with a the sector and much Consumer trends often take stout. “It was received insanely longer to filter through wider range of styles well,” says Fink, who produces to the travel “alcohol-free beers that people and transport actually want to drink” – rather sector, and so it is proving with than because of the circumstances, he explains. alcohol-free beers – despite their Big Drop now offers six alcohol-free beers: a stout, obvious benefits in the onboard a pale ale and a lager, plus a sour, a red ale and a environment. Not only do alcoholspiced winter ale. free beers contain far fewer calories “Our sales increased by 1000s of percent from the than their regular counterparts, first to our second year,” says Fink. Its beers are already widely distributed in the Netherlands and Scandinavia, but they also have less of a dehydrating effect by virtue of and it is set to boost its UK reach this autumn with a their low alcohol content. deal to appear on the shelves of one of the UK’s ‘big On the flip side, the sensitivity four’ supermarkets. of tastebuds are dulled in Tapping into trends compressed airline cabins, so At a time when global alcohol consumption is the issue of taste and bold declining – with beer sales slumping more than wine, flavours once again becomes cider or spirits – sales of low and alcohol-free beers are fundamental. And from a heading in the opposite direction. According to figures practical standpoint, airlines from the BBPA (British Beer & Pub Association), there's prefer canned beer – rather than been a 150% rise in the sales of low and no-alcohol bottles – due to safety, weight beers in the past four years. and stacking considerations. One reason behind its success, says Big Drop’s Nevertheless, there are a Rob Fink, it that “a lot of people are becoming more few examples out there. onboardhospitality.com

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F.S.P. GmbH Flight Service Products GmbH

SAS Scandinavian Airlines’ ongoing collaboration with Denmark’s Mikkeller brewery has seen the introduction of a non-alcoholic beer, Drink'in the Sun, on all SAS routes this summer. It has a “light yet fruity taste, where the hops, Belgian yeast and spices offer a complex and very drinkable beer”, notes the airline. “We believe we lead the market with our offering,” says SAS head chef Peter Lawrence. “Since launching our new onboard dining concept a year ago, we have introduced several different beers, including exclusive brews from Danish brewery Mikkeller, but felt we were missing a non-alcoholic beer”. SAS and Mikkeller have so far worked together to develop 18 different and exclusive beers, one cocktail and one vodka, with a further six beers currently in development – a prolific collaboration. Meanwhile, Heineken 0.0 is now available to purchase on Ryanair’s vast European network, alongside Heineken and Bulmers cider. Heineken says the beer – it’s first zeroalcohol beer in its 150-year history – is a response to the “global cultural trend of living a balanced, healthy lifestyle”. Could Big Drop’s Rob Fink be tempted to target the aviation sector too? “We’re thinking very seriously about it [canning its beer], but there needs to be the demand. Of course, we’d be very happy to talk to airlines about it.” Beverages He adds: “The alcohol-free On the Rocks market is absolutely not a Craft Cocktails flash in the pan, but the seachange will only come when BE A 2019 a pub group has the guts WINNER to put one on keg front and onboardhospitality.com centre of the bar.” •

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UNIFORMS OF THE

FUTURE GLOBAL LEADER IN

DESIGN - PRODUCTION - LOGISTICS

WWW.WEARSKYPRO.COM/CORPORATE

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Mixing it up From modern mixers to trendy tonics, there’s a fast-growing array of flavours making a splash win gin, vodka or rum, says Jessica Pook LUSCOMBE DRINKS

DOUBLE DUTCH TONICS

Founded by twin sisters, Double Dutch’s premium tonic range features flavours chosen through experimentation and taste pairings and include Cranberry and Ginger Tonic Water, Cucumber and Watermelon, and Pomegranate and Basil. All options are made without artificial flavouring, colouring or preservatives. doubledutchdrinks.com

FRANKLIN & SONS

Franklin & Sons' new Epicurean Collection combines Natural Light Tonic Water with garnish inspired flavours to create Rosemary & Black Olive; Pink Grapefruit & Bergamot; Rhubarb & Hibiscus, and Elderflower & Cucumber using British fruit, roots and herbs and only natural ingredients. franklinandsons.co.uk

FEVER-TREE

Fever-Tree sources its quinine bitterness from a plantation located on the Rwanda/Congo border, which it believes is producing the purest quinine in the world. It creates a range light tonics as well as a range which includes Aromatic Tonic Water, Elderflower Tonic Water, Madagascan Cola, Smokey Ginger Ale and Spiced Orange Ginger Ale. It has also launched a limited edition Cucumber Tonic for this summer. fever-tree.com

MERCHANT’S HEART

Described as ‘spirit enhancers’, the Merchant’s Heart collection is the product of scientific research and master mixology. Each drink contains a blend of carbination, flavour and aroma designed to match specific spirits. Pink Peppercorn pairs well with spicy gin, vodka and Cognac; Ginger Ale enhances bourbon and whisky; Hibiscus complements gin, vermouth and white rum; Floral Aromatics adds flavour to gins, vodka and tequila, and Classic/ Light Tonic pairs with gin and vodkas. merchantsheart.co.uk

Devon-based Luscombe Drinks has launched a new mixer range to complement spirits, cocktails and mocktails. The collection includes Cucumber Tonic Water, Sicilian Bitter Lemon, Hot Ginger Beer, Lime Crush and Devon Soda Water. All are available in 20cl bottles. luscombe.co.uk

TURNER HARDY & CO

The tomatoes used for these juices are hand-picked from the vine, then squeezed and spiced to enhance the flavour. The Lively One is the original concoction and is lightly spiced. The Feisty One is intensely spiced, and The Pure One is a natural tomato juice. Mix with vodka for a Bloody Mary, gin for a Red Snapper, tequila for a Bloody Maria and even sunshine beers for a Michelada. turnerhardy.com

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66 / SPARKLING CHOICES

Shaking it up Nothing says celebration like sparkling wines and Champagnes but increasingly fizz traditions are being dumped and new excuses are being found to pop the cork on bubbly, says Julie Baxter

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or generations we’ve paired roast meats, steaks and rich meaty casseroles with a glass of red wine, but in a move which startled traditionalists, a team of innovative European chefs has now insisted that Champagne complements such meals just as well! The chefs were working on a food and fizz collaboration involving no lesser Champagne aristocrat than Moët & Chandon, and their five course menus were each paired with a different champagne. Dispelling the myth that only red wine should be drunk with beef, chef Damien Adams, explains: “A roast sirloin main dish produces an exciting and unexpected pairing, highlighting the Pinot Noir grape in the Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage 2008. This Champagne has a longer time in the cellars, to develop more intense

flavours and a fuller body which stands up to the richness of the dish, the same way we’re used to with a red wine.” As well as beef, the chefs paired ham hock with Brut Imperial, trout with Rosé Imperial and meringue with Ice Imperial Rosé. Perhaps that was all just a publicity stunt but it certainly made people think again about Champagne, and in other parts of the sparkling market other traditions are being abandoned fast too. If you close your eyes and visualise the land where your glass of bubbly came from you’re probably thinking of rural France, but now a champion of independent wine, Vagabond, has begun making sparkling wine in the heart of London. Vagabond’s urban winery, is located at Battersea Power Station

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and is selling UK-grown Bacchus, Pinot Noir Rosé and a sparkling Pét-Not (its own take on Pétillant naturel). Grapes are sourced in the UK by winemaker Gavin Monery, who says: “We’re making wines with the same techniques and attention to detail as the best estates in the world. English wines are gaining in popularity and London has been at the centre of the global wine trade for 200 years, so it was a perfect fit for us to locate a winery in the city.” Vagabond’s md, Stephen Finch, adds: "In the midst of an explosion of craft breweries and brewpubs we asked ourselves: 'Why should breweries have all the fun?' An urban winery can bring the excitement and education of a top-flight winery to the city.”

Breaking with tradition

UK startup, The Uncommon, is bringing another new twist to UK sparkling with its English sparkling in a can, produced in line with the highest EU quality Cans can rating, Protected Designation of Origin, the same Focused on convenience and cutting wine wastage, grade given to Champagne. the brand looks at sustainability too, claiming singleThe inaugural release is a lightly sparkling dry serve aluminium cans can help reduce the billions white, with notes of pear and elderflower. The wine of wine thrown away each is made from 100% Bacchus year - fizz that’s gone flat. The grapes, harvested from cans chill in just 15 minutes; vineyards at the forefront of new biodynamic techniques, Consumers are becoming are infinately recyclable and lightweight with a carbon reducing the need for more open-minded to footprint 80% lighter than glass. pesticides and chemicals. alternative formats Euromonitor research Buoyed by global trends for fizz suggests cans are certainly in favour of sparkling wine, here to stay for wines although founders Henry Connell and it recognises that it is taking the traditionally Alex Thraves wanted to create a contemporary wine conservative sparkling industry time to come on brand designed to be unpretentious and fun, and board with the idea. also do their bit to raise the profile of English wine. Wine in a can is already spiking in the U.S. and is a hot topic of debate among purests. It has the benefit of portability, versatility and durability and clearly reflects the millennial inclination for making fizz less formal. The lower cost plays to this demographic too. It's a trend mirrored in the U.S., where year-onyear sales of canned wines is running up 43% as consumers become more open-minded to alternative formats for fizz. Oregon-based producer, Union Wine Company, led the charge, causing a stir when it released a Pinot Noir in a 12-ounce can to try and encourage the “beerification” of wine. Others such as Nomadica have followed with sparkling whites and rosés in a can and Tinto Amorio, a low-calorie sparkling red wine cocktail with lemon has been another U.S.

From top: Singapore Airlines keeps up its Champagne tradition; Nomadica puts its sparkling wine in a can

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68 / SPARKLING CHOICES

success - inspired by the Spanish wine cocktail ‘Tinto de Verano’.

growth, especially in the onboard sector, and it TGV rail contract surely marks something of a landmark moment. The renowned French high-speed train Processco passions operator selected Bottega The classic style of Champagne Il Vino dei Poeti Prosecco also faces challenges from DOC, in the 20cl (mini bottle) Italian and Spanish sparkling version for its onboard service Prosecco mini bottles wine producers. Prosecco out and the listing clearly had a have become an sold Champagne last Christmas special value for the Italian undisputed best seller by ten to one and by 2020 the winery and distillery because onboard worldwide consumption of usually the French are more Prosecco is expected to surpass inclined to select French wines, 412m bottles. That’s an estimated increase of 36% particularly when it comes to sparkling. over five years, compared to Champagne’s Bottega Prosecco was chosen for its freshness, forecasted 1% growth. versatility and ease of consumption, qualities said to Most Prosecco is made with the Charmat be particularly appreciated during a train journey. method method, where fermented wine goes Furthermore, the small bottle is a one-serve size through a secondary fementation in big which addes manageability and practicality, and steel tanks rather than a bottle bottle, which lends itself particularly to onboard service. means it is quicker to produce than The Bottega mini bottles are indeed already listed Champagne and hence producers are by over 20 clients worldwide, including British more able to respond quickly to increasing Airways, Air Canada, Easyjet, Virgin Atlantic and Swiss. demand. It's a trademarked wine that Valentina Dalle Mule, export manager for airline must be produced in certain areas of north business at Bottega, says: “Bottega mini bottles have east Italy if it is to be called Prosecco, and become the undisputed best sellers in this niche for should carry DOCG (the most premium buy-on-board, offering choices from premium quality range) and DOC labels to confirm its Italian Prosecco to the increasingly popular sweet Moscato. quality assurance. It offers degrees of They are unique, versatile and modern products, perlage too too, from fully sparkling spumante and bring a touch of quality and genuineness in an for those who prefer strong bubbles, to increasingly globalised business." frizzante for a gentler gentler, lighter sparkle. Last year Bottega saw a 3.6% increase in duty free Bottega has been at the forefront of this and travel retail sales and added new packaging sets: onboardhospitality.com

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a two-bottle set, a four-bottle set and an ice bag with four bottles. Dalle Mule adds: "The most impressive growth is coming from UK airlines for buy-on-board mini sparklers, and Asian airlines for inflight duty free". Andrew Brown, md at suppliers Ratcliffe and Brown, confirms the ongoing love affair with Prosecco saying: "Everyone wants Prosecco, it's a global phenomenon! It's easy to drink, not as alcoholic as cava or Champagne and has an attractive colour and flavour to suit a broad range of palates. Sales are going from strength to strength."

Cava fight back

Spain’s largest Cava producer Freixenet is even jumping on the bandwagon with the launch of a DOC Prosecco, in a bid to emulate the popularity of the Italian fizz. Launched in May it is the first time the producer has offered an Italian sparkling and reflects the fact that Cava sales fell under the shadow of the more bouyant Prosecco. Delta has added a Processco to its complimentary Much of the growth in sparkling has been driven by options, loading mini bottles of Avissi Prosecco on the millennials for whom a bottle of fizz adds a dash of international long-haul flights. style and a sense of occasion to Champagne style foodie-focused lifestyles. Classic Despite the challenge from Champagnes are seen to be other choices, Champagne beyond their budgets and in Champagne sales remains a mark of quality and the U.S. millennials have turned continue to be strong style for those in the premium in part to the cheaper options despite the rise of other cabins and that isn't likely to and Californian sparkling wines. sparkling wines change any time soon. The U.S. sparkling sector has Prestige Cuvée Champagne grown by two million cases is normally regarded the top Champagne and in the since 2010, according to Impact Databank. UK (the second biggest market after France) sales Increasingly it is being served for non-special continue to rise - up 88% since 2010. Pink Champagne occasions and as a drink with dinner or within is also seeing good growth. cocktails. Calls for rosé sparklings are also on the rise. British Airways recently announced it was expanding its range of Champagnes and English sparkling wines to add Gusbourne English Sparkling Wine and Lanson Rosé Champagne in First, Canard-Duchêne Cuvee Léonie Brut Champagne and Champagne Besserat de Bellefon in Business. And Malaysia Airlines has just unveiled new Champagnes - Duval Leroy Fleur du Champagne Premier Cru NV in Business and Joseph Perrier Cuvee Josephine 2004 in First. Champagne, it seems, continues to have its own magic aura and is untroubled by the upstarts fizzing elsewhere in the market. And I guess if you've paid several thousand pounds for your long-haul flight in a premium cabin you're going to expect to drink Champagne, whether you like it or not! •

Facing page: Bottega's cool bag set; British Airways add sparkling rose; and a UK first sparkling English wine in a can from The Uncommon;. This page: Bottega Processo now onboard TGV, France

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70 / OPINION

Unique onboard experiences

Bespoke beverages Neil Soni is Founder and ceo at Unlimited Brewing Company, a business helping reinvent the beverage market with bespoke signature offers, tailormade to match a brand

We are currently living through a period of unprecedented product choice, and as companies compete to offer better service to their customers, the logical end-point is a push for personalised solutions across every aspect of service delivery. Fashion and cosmetics sectors are already creating personalised products at a reasonable, though luxury price, and there are moves in the F&B sector too. Hotels are perhaps a little ahead of the airline sector in this, embracing personalisation to create bespoke experiences for guests by stocking new types of products, partnering with the onboard experience on-demand delivery can support the brand, companies, creating create memorable signature dishes, or Crafting a beverage can moments, increase developing uniquelysupport the brand, create passenger satisfaction branded beverages. and drive word of mouth memorable moments These touches add and increase passenger marketing. Surprise and character and difference delight opportunities like satisfaction to a brand. Brands like this lead to passenger Park Central, Westhouse, conversations for weeks and Marriott have been looking at bespoke and months to come. beverages, working to develop unique beer Equally important, a bespoke beverage can offerings that complement each property’s be complemented by onboard experiences attributes. For example, Park Central Hotel in (such as a tasting) which allows for even more New York City worked with us to partner with engagement and enjoyment. a New York farm brewery and create a NYCCustomising beers and other alcoholic and themed beer with locally-grown ingredients. non-alcoholic beverages has become our All parts of the beer, from the packaging to specialism. Sourcing or creating a holistic the story and the beer itself, reinforced the beverage experience can be a huge challenge brand message. for an individual hotel or transport provider There remains a on its own but the likes of Unlimited Brewing massive opportunity make it possible to create a bespoke product in this regard for at a similar cost to an off-the-shelf craft beer. onboard hospitality Businesses really can create unforgettable providers. Crafting experiences for their customers now, rather a beverage than deciding between mass-produced or specifically cookie-cutter options. to match unlimitedbrewing.com •

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72 / PACKAGING

the whole

package

To inspire sales, suppliers are fast evolving the 'packaging experience' for buy-on-board products. Jessica Pook looks beyond the brand

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he average consumer takes just seven seconds to judge whether they want to buy a product or not, and a third of that decision-making process is taken by assessing the packaging. With this in mind, it’s simply not enough for packaging to just, well, package. Nowadays it’s less about basic functionality and more about 'Instagrammability' as consumers expect an ‘out of box’ experience that is both innovative and visually appealing. Richard Wake, creative and marketing director at EnRoute International, says: “The rise of the ‘experience economy’ is currently one of the most important global trends. Each part of the purchasing journey should be sympathetic to the

brand, while providing just enough surprise to make the buyer feel they are getting something special.“ Having social media appeal is also an invaluable asset. Research from The Paper Worker suggests that almost 40% of consumers will share photos of packaging on social media if it is interesting or giftlike. Ariane van Mancius founder of Now New Next says: “The next generation is visually orientated and the addition of Instagram presents an opportunity for suppliers to attract new consumers. It is important that businesses harness this marketing potential.” The latest concept from Now New Next

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features transparent components that separate hot and cold foods using an innovative 'plukon rendering click system' which is functional while also ensuring the food offer is visually appealing.

Packaging with a purpose

Others are theming their ‘out of box’ experiences, as with En Route’s Movie Box which allow passengers to enjoy snacks whilst watching their favourite movie on a handheld device. The box is large enough to double as a tablet support and comes with a headphone splitter so passengers can share the experience. Gateretail's Minibarbox cocktail range offers an interactive experience in the beverage range, inviting passengers to unwrap all they need to mix their own cocktails using colour-changing botanicals. The cocktails are packaged in a collector's item box with premium liquor, sophisticated mixers, botanicals, paired snacks and a stirrer. The Evertaste package brand from LSG Group bundles a selection of treats in a 'Picnic Box' designed to create a sense of occasion around the product. The box can include a selection of crunchy nachos or indulgent popcorn and is offered as a buy-on-board treat that passengers can share.

The sharing theme continues with Tapas and Meze Box selections as created by Gastro Culinary Innovations, while Retail inMotion makes a gift of cake with the Crumble and Co. cake line packaged in visually attractive boxes to reflect the high quality of the individually-wrapped cakes. Each cake flavour comes in a uniquely-designed box, which also helps crew.

Tech appeal

Packaging is increasingly drawing on technology too. Ireland Craft Beers has developed immersive packaging with its Down Stream range, the world’s first beer to use blockchain technology, which allows digital information to be distributed but not copied. A quick response code is embedded within the branding, allowing consumers to watch the story behind the beer as well as its brewing methods from their iPhone by scanning the label. They can also interact with the brewery through popular communication apps such as WeChat & Whatsapp. Des Thurgood, sales director at WK Thomas says: “On a crowded retail trolley packaging specialists like us have to look at ways in which we can add value through design. Creating consumer experiences is one way to stand out. Innovation comes in many forms and being a pioneer is often what sets a brand apart from the norm.” •

Service Equipment For Passengers deSter

BE A 2019 WINNER

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Supporting start-ups Airlines are often accused of not reacting to market trends fast enough but Retail inMotion has found a way to get start-ups onboard. Laura Gelder finds out how

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ack in April, Retail inMotion announced a collaboration with low-cost carrier Eurowings and NX-FOOD, an innovation hub of cash and carry brand METRO, in a bid to bring exciting new snacks onboard. NX-FOOD, short for Next Generation Food seeks out new technologies, trends and innovative F&B products shaping the future food system. It offers these start-ups the chance to showcase their product in a three-month market trial at METRO Cash & Carry, and now also onboard Eurowings. The new venture follows the model which NX-FOOD uses with on-the-ground retail – start-ups apply to NX-FOOD, airline-appropriate F&B are submitted for approval by a joint jury (Eurowings, NX-FOOD and Retail inMotion). The top ten products are presented in a Dragons Den-style assessment and then up to four are selected to fly for three-months. Four products started flying this August and their life onboard beyond the three month trial will be decided based on sales data and customer feedback, including social media coverage. The jury is already selecting new products in an ongoing process. “Our goal is always to support our clients by offering them the trendiest and most innovative items we can for their onboard retail programmes,” commented José Lirio Silva, head of

onboard retail, Europe, for Retail inMotion. an attached sachet that passengers can “Entering into this partnership with mix in for extra vitamins, minerals and NX-FOOD is a great way for us to identify flavour; Wildcorn (wildcorn.de), air-popped up-and-coming food products and trends popcorn with salty/savoury flavours; and and offer them directly to Eurowings’ Nouri Boost Shot (mynouri.de/en), a 100% passengers.” natural, vegan, organic energy shot. “We wanted to bring Locke hopes that new products onboard at least 50% of the but we wanted a new products will special process, adds Our goal is to offer stay onboard. He Jordan Locke, manager added: “It’s a win for our clients the communications at Retail the start-up, which trendiest and the inMotion. “Start-ups gets its product most innovative follow F&B trends, like onboard, it’s a win items we can healthy and functional for the airline, which foods, more closely and gets new and exciting NX-FOOD is a route to market for them. products for its customers and it’s a win Eurowings flies around two million people for the customer, who gets to taste unique a month so it’s an ideal testing ground.” products that they wouldn’t have easy Onboard now are Karl Karlo Energy Balls access to otherwise.” (karlkarlo.com), an organic, vegan, longMoving forward, passengers may be lasting energy snack; Energieliebe (2kiq. involved in the process and the concept de), an all-natural energy beverage with could be rolled out on other airlines. •

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EXCLUSIVELY DESIGNED FOR

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OPINION / 77

Retail imperatives

Make it easy Buy-on-board service is now a key revenue earner and airlines need to pay close attention to some service details if it is to succeed, says Rob Britton

Since the early 2000s, established airlines and start-ups alike have enthusiastically adopted onboard retailing as part of a larger shift to unbundling service elements that were once included in the ticket price. Revenues from a wide range of ancillary services have become major elements in airline profitability. As part of this, onboard sales are recognised as a big growth opportunity but I have observed wide variations in the planning and delivery of buy-on-board services, reducing their financial potential and, more importantly, frustrating the customer. Many carriers seem to ignore the maxim 'make it easy to buy', and best practices are slow to evolve and slower to spread.

century. Get rid of it. If a customer only has cash, his or her seatmate will Keep it simple Many carriers ignore the gladly be the banker. Here are three basics to maxim 'make it easy to Configure your onboard consider. First, be sure buy' and best practices payment systems so to streamline and test they don’t reject foreign are slow to evolve and the entire chain, from credit or debit cards – be spread wholesale purchasing to prudent, but err on the delivery. Pay attention to side of trust (European every part of supply. Monitor and track what’s airlines often reject my MasterCard that is never put on board, what sells, and what gets left – close to being maxed out!). Accept ApplePay and use that data. Airlines can now capture and other widely-accepted systems. And if the this data quickly and easily and understanding customer pays in advance, while making an what works reduces waste and improves both online booking, make sure the transaction data the guest flows flawlessly to the cabin crew. experience Update tech and the Thirdly, shop carefully for onboard sales bottom line. technology. Don’t get tied to failure-prone Secondly, devices, like in-seat NFC credit-card readers, simplify nor to proprietary handheld POS terminals. payment Leaders in onboard sales, like Delta Air Lines, systems. Many use off-the-shelf hardware like iPads and Nokia airlines still smartphones, which are cheap and easy to buy accept cash, even though most customers (or replace); use apps that are quick and simple use cards or phones for everyday purchases. to write and modify; capture whatever data you Handling cash is expensive: it disappears, it need; and require much less crew training. • requires physical deposit, and it’s just so 19th

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Rapid retail Minime Labs, a start-up in Cyprus, is offering an inflight entertainment system that is built for rapid deployment and nimble onboard retailing. Nik Loukas discovers more

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inime Labs’ goal is to provide airlines with a complete turnkey IFE solution which offers maximum engagement with passengers for a minimum investment. It uses a FlyingPlaza product to entertain, engage and transact onboard in a way that enhances the airline’s bottom line. Airlines using the product can secure additional ancillary revenue streams through the content, targeted advertising, onboard shopping and destination bookings, all sold on a share-of-revenue model, with a minimum income guaranteed. Sales projections are strong with potential for exponential growth over the longer term. The new system is being offered to airlines for a fraction of the cost of wireless systems. Dino Demetriou ceo of Minime Labs, says: ''By concentrating on this segment we are able to transform inflight entertainment from a cost centre to a profit centre.'' The product is hardware agnostic and customisable. ''Instead of looking at the solution as an app, it is more like an Android or Apple platform of the skies that incorporates hundreds of new revenue streams never heard of up until now',' adds Demetriou. Passengers are able to use the system on their preferred devices to order meals, shop, and access a wide range of entertainment options as well as being able to access

newspapers and magazines. For inflight airline’s requirements. More importantly meal orders passengers use their own compared to other systems this product devices, and crew deliver the items only requires one Airbox 3.0 per narrowwhen ready. For the crew it's as simple body aircraft. as receiving an order notification in the Mobile IFE solutions also offer galley, preparing it and delivering. opportunities for customer segmentation For airlines the and new ancillary benefit is that there revenue streams. is no specialist fitting, Because the no downtime, no loss passenger is identified, We are able to of earnings and a and has potential transform inflight semi-permanent history with the airline, entertainment from it is much easier to installation. a cost centre to a The Airbox segment the content profit centre 3.0 holds RTCA by customer class or DO-160G loyalty programme Certification as is required status and give, for example, access to by all TPED (Transportable the content as an incentive for continued Pressure Equipment Directive) loyalty. It is also much easier to provide devices for use onboard each passenger with the most relevant aircraft. It can be installed content based on their past usage and within three months current destination. or less depending on the minime-labs.com •

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80 / ACTIVATED CHARCOAL

jet black wonder?

Activated charcoal is the latest health trend and it can be applied to beauty and food. Laura Gelder asks, can it work onboard?

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eople put strange things onto and into their bodies in the name of wellness – they douse their cereal with tiger nut milk, (actually a tuber rather than a nut, but apparently it’s stripy), take straw baths, sip turmeric lattes and now they're swallowing slather and slathering on black activated charcoal. Activated charcoal has long been added to beauty products, with face masks, soaps and whitening toothpastes containing it widely available. It’s also popular as a natural way to absorb unpleasant odours, bacteria, pollutants and allergens,

and dehumidify air, without adding a strong masking scent to the mix (which might not be appreciated by passengers on a packed plane or train). But now activated charcoal is popping up in food and drink product ranges because, it supporters claim, it can cleanse us of toxins, beat bloating and even cure a heavy hangover. A few years ago there weren’t many edible things that came in black – squid ink pasta and liquorice for two – but in the age of Instagram serving black food is a one-way ticket to social media fame for many businesses. Think of it as the edgy cousin of the unicorn frappuccino/ice cream/cup cake. It sounds like something you’d use to start a barbeque and it’s not far off! Activated charcoal is made from carbon-containing material, like wood or coconut shells, which is heated at high temperatures to create charcoal, then oxidised – or activated.

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The activated version is porous with lots of small holes in its surface. Its this sponge-like structure that allows it to soak up whatever it comes into contact with, hence its use for detoxing. But dietician Eloise Bain says to be wary: “The detox ability of activated charcoal is undisputed, it's always been used by emergency doctors to prevent poisoning as it absorbs chemicals, but charcoal can't choose between harmful chemicals and healthy nutrients, binding to both so that you may lose the benefit of the latter. It may also mop up medications.” In reality most products only have small amounts of activated charcoal in them though. One of the UK's market-leading charcoal drinks, Wow Body Cleanse, recommends it's consumed at least an hour before or after medication but it uses just 0.5g in its blend of

Facing page: activated cold-pressed juices, derived from coconut shells and charcoal in a face mask and a put through a steaming process. WOW founder, Oliver bagel. This page: charcoal ice Dickinson says: “WOW Body Cleanse is an affordable, cream; a charcoal burger bun; and Wow Body Cleanse great-tasting, cold-pressed drink, great for resetting your body or as a refreshing pick-me-up.” The low-calorie drink doesn’t taste remotely of ash and comes in three fresh flavours: Lemon & Ginger, Mint and Raspberry. It’s not alone in the market. High-end supermarket Waitrose has been selling a salmon and cream cheese charcoal bread bagel for two years, endorsed by celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal. Burger King was an early pioneer, offering a ‘kuro burger’ in some of its Japanese stores as far back as 2012, sandwiching a patty between a charcoal bun, with black cheese, and a black sauce of squid ink. Some experts may not be convinced of its health credentials. The New York Department of Health banned foods containing activated charcoal this June. But in 2011 the European Food Safety Authority supported the claim that it can reduce flatulence! Travel and troubled stomachs go hand-in-hand so perhaps this is a trend which has legs for onboard hospitality. As an element within onboard F&B, at its worst activated charcoal is probably an ineffective but Wellbeing comforting placebo. At its best it demonstrates Uppy! wellness awareness and is bang on trend. It’s also a natural colourant which makes a dish stand BE A 2019 out form the social media crowd. Whether it’s a WINNER onboardhospitality.com passing fad or not, it’s one worth considering – after all, the unicorn 'fad' is still here! •

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How to...

...offer healthy food This spring, LSG Group launched a new FlyYourVeda concept designed to support healthy lifestyles onboard. Julie Baxter, discovers how Find food for flying

“You are what you eat” is a notion that is becoming increasingly popular and LSG Group wanted to support passengers focused on this by offering meal options that specifically supported body function at 30,000ft. FlyYourVeda was the concept specifically designed to support wellbeing onboard, offering meals adapted to suit the passenger's flight plans (work, rest or play).

create functional food

The team created two different variants of the FlyYourVeda concept: one menu designed to be activating – supporting cognitive functions and encouraging a productive flight. While the other menu focused on relaxation and was designed to help passengers unwind more easily – a choice particularly recommended for a night flight.

keep it light

set positive criteria

The ingredients for the FlyYourVeda products are chosen to set criteria. They must have a positive effect on the body, taking into consideration the conditions which affect physical wellbeing inflight such as lower air pressure, dry air and jet lag when the route is between different time zones.

Make it super

Both menus are based on easily digestible, nutritious, high-quality foods but the activating menu includes superfoods such as berries and seeds that promote concentration and support cognitive activities onboard.

Fact file The first FlyYourVeda product was designed for frequent long haul travellers in Business The range combines high-quality products with culinary excellence and stateof-the art nutritional knowledge

Collaborations between LSG Group's different companies helped evolve the range for different classes and passenger types Each FlyYourVeda meal tray contains a hot meal, salad, snack, dessert, tea bag, and towel

The relaxing variant contains plant proteins and has been designed not to 'lie heavy in the stomach', something experienced even more inflight, where the digestive system has to grapple with the lower air pressure and may be affected by the stresses that sometimes come with travel. FlyYourVeda tries to counteract these effects and support body function.

brand collaboration

Initially the concept was a response to demands from Business travellers but with growing numbers of healthconscious flyers in every cabin, LSG Group's Culinary Excellence team cooperated with its packaging and design colleagues at SPIRIANT and the packaged products team at Evertaste to create two disposable tray set-ups available for complimentary, buy-onboard or pre-order. •

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OPINION / 85

Inflight wellbeing

Health warning? Flying is a tough business for both the body and an airline’s bottom line. Health and wellness expert, Adele Wolstenhulme, discusses ways to improve both

Adele is a clinical psycho-neuroimmunologist and nutrition consultant, and the founder of Inside Out Nutrition (UK) Ltd / Profit from Your Health. She previously spent 10 years in travel-retail and global consumer research on buying at airport locations. adelewolstenhulme.com

A growing band of airlines are embracing ‘wellbeing’ as an opportunity to improve onboard catering and retail offers. However, I believe the industry is missing a huge opportunity to help educate consumers on the benefits of flying fit, and the products and services that can help achieve this. Personally, I always take my own F&B to be sure of products free from preservatives, allergens and sugar, and I also scrutinise the inflight catalogue for products that can substantiate health claims on alleviating the effects of flying. I recognise this is a scary area for airlines because of the legalities Positive marketing can around claims and build customer loyalty, endorsements but it attract new passengers strikes me there’s space There is space for savvy and begin to dispel the for savvy airlines willing airlines willing to stand idea that nutritious isn’t to stand out, where the delicious. out. The rewards could rewards could be huge. A little bit of education be huge LCC Air Asia is one to goes a long way, nutrientwatch and ceo Tony dense hangover cures Fernandez has big ideas in this area. Aligning or mile-high mood enhancers could net big with partners, including health and wellness or rewards for onboard sales, or be a welcome functional medicine professionals, where ethical addition to a wellbeing pack in First or Business. products and services could be ‘rubber stamped’ Before Monarch’s demise the airline introduced by experts is one way to go. F&B providers, ‘Mile-high mood food’, working with food brands and airport retailers are showing interest psychologist Professor Charles Spence to make in this, taking the ‘health-conscious’ market to a passengers happier. The food box featured new level. ingredients to lift mood and reduce stress. Licorice and echinacea ice-cream and green tea and lavender mocha rice cakes were just a few items included to tantalise taste buds, aid sleep and give travellers an immunity boost. We need more innovation like this onboard. I live in hope that soon the onboard offer will meet expectations – or at least convince me that the sign ‘Last stop before airline food’ proudly displayed outside one airport F&B outlet is just a bit of competitive fun. •

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Delicious egg specialities

y l e t i s i u exq ared prep Gut Springenheide GmbH • Weiner 152 • 48607 Ochtrup • Germany Tel. +49 (0) 25 53/10 22 • fax 10 25 • E-Mail: info@gutspringenheide.de

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how to... / 87

How to...

...keep the kids happy Milk Jnr’s & Kidworks provide children's activity packs for the likes of Etihad Airways and Marella Cruises. Zoe Telfer, client services director, explains how Know your audience

Getting the balance between educating kids and providing fun is important but the real challenge is engaging with children in a way that's exciting. At the beginning of any project we use the school national curriculum to inform the brief and then, through creative research and further testing we ensure the pack content is appropriate for the proposed age group. This ensures the activities are not only challenging but above all fun.

Learn through play

Clients want young passengers to engage with their packs as soon as they check-in and whilst onboard; whether that is just for a few hours or for two weeks on a cruise. Children develop observational skills and understanding of patterns through visual games. They improve communication and literacy skills through story writing and can practice logic and problem solving with numeric puzzles.

Back the brand

It is incredibly important that every pack is unique to the client. That ensures their own brand identity and ethos is communicated, whether it's by adding value to an existing experience, creating a lasting impression, driving brand popularity, increasing sales or focusing on repeat bookings. We always offer a bespoke solution that sets a brand apart from its competitors, whilst considering the budget requirements. This way we can offer products that are practical yet tailored and inventive.

Go green

Sustainability is at the forefront of almost everything that travel companies are doing at the moment. Many want to promote sustainability by incorporating educational elements into their packs – especially around environmental issues.

Tech turmoil

Fact file Milk Jnr’s & Kidworks create kids packs for the TUI Group, the National Trust, Etihad Airways, Marella Cruises, SeaWorld and more

month and updates them annually

The company currently produces over half a million activity packs per

Milk Jnr’s & Kidworks work with clients - in cruise and aviation sectors worldwide

The packs can include games, puzzles, stories, characters and challenges

Whilst we don’t feel that traditional media will ever lose its appeal, we do think that we’re living in an exciting time where virtual and augmented reality can work in sync with other formats to create a new experience for children. Generation Z is more digitally savvy than any other and parents are under increasing pressure to limit their children’s screen time, so our role is to offer solutions that promote family interaction and get them to make the most out of the holiday. A screen will never replace the pleasure of a story! •

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88 / PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

Horizons new STEPHANE KOEMAN

AND SO FAREWELL... CAROLINE THOMPSON, director and co-founder of Gastro Culinary Innovation, has stepped down after seven years of dedicated hard work building the business. Moving on to enjoy more time with her family and to pursue her many other interests, Caroline has been instrumental in ensuring the company’s strong position in the sector. Commenting on her departure, Jacqui Davidson said: “Caroline’s huge energy and bubbly personality will be sadly missed. Its been great working so closely with her to grow the business but we fully respect and support her decision. We wish her every success for the future.”

Alyna Trotman

GASTRO CULINARY INNOVATION Following the departure of Caroline Thompson from Gastro Culinary Innovation, Trotman will support the team in expanding its global network of customers and brands and drive business development. Trotman’s aviation experience spans three decades, across inflight services, cabin services and commercial departments. Chris Jennings, international sales manager for Scorpio, also joins the Gastro team presenting its range to his established inflight retail customer base.

Dorothy Burton

SUPPLY CHAIN DIRECTOR ADELIE FOODS Burton is well known across the airline catering sector through her previous roles at British Airways and was most recently responsible for new product development and procurement of Food Services for DHL. She has now moved to Adelie Foods a food company supplying ready-prepared sandwiches and salads plus some third party logistics to on-thego catering and retail chains such as Starbucks, Costa, Caffè Nero, Boots, Shell, BP and many others.

VP SALES AND MARKETING FLEURY MICHON AIRLINE CATERING Stephane has over 30 years of marketing and sales experience with a proven record in building strong customer partnerships and growing businesses. He is known for his numerous leadership and management skills as well as for his commitment to developing strong professional partnerships. Raised by his European chef father, he was exposed to different cuisines from an early age which has given him a personal passion for food. His deep understanding of global food cultures will now help ensure he becomes a key player at Fleury Michon Airline Catering team.

Rudy Agudelo

DIRECTOR SALES IN THE AMERICAS CLIP Inflight equipment specialist CLIP Limited has expanded its team with the addition of Rudy Agudelo. With over 20 years in the service and onboard product industry, Agudelo has past management experience at LSG Sky Chefs and until recently worked at Global Inflight Products responsible for sales across the Americas.

SPECIAL RECOGNITION... MERRILL J FERNANDO, DILMAH TEA The World Association of Chefs’ Societies has honoured Dilmah tea founder, Merrill J. Fernando, with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his commitment to ethical tea production.The Sri Lankan company ensures that a minimum of 10% of its pre-tax profits goes to the Merrill J. Fernando Charitable Foundation, which aims to empower youth and women in

difficult economic and social circumstances and helps children with special needs. Fernando also advocates the Empower Culinary School, a WorldChefs approved school that offers culinary training free to young disadvantaged people. A second school will open in August this year at the MJF Centre East. The award was presented by WorldChefs president Thomas Gugler before over 1,000 chefs representing 100 Chefs’ Societies from around the world.

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PEOPLE ON THE MOVE / 89

RESPONSIVE. Please send your appointment news to laura.gelder@onboardhospitality.com

RELIABLE. RECOGNITION FOR APOT STALWARTS

PHILLIP HO • RAKITA JAYAWARDERA • DE NGUYEN QUANG • ISMAIL HAZIFE • ABDUL RAFEK MDHSALED • PAT OSBOURNE Six lifetime membership awards were presented at this year’s APOT event in recognition of the support and commitment shown by key players in the association. The awards went to Phillip Ho (Keisha), Rakita Jayawardera (past chairman), De Nguyen Quang (Vietnam Airlines Catering), Ismail Hazife (Perth Inflight Catering), Abdul Rafek Mhd Saled (Halal consultant and auditor) and Pat Osborne (dnata Catering). They were presented by APOT founder, Happy K, current chairman Bambang Sujatmiko and ceo Jeremy Clark. Sujatmiko thanked them for their commitment to the association and added: “The main purpose of our APOT event is to provide an opportunity for networking with industry colleagues, catching up with old friends and making new ones. APOT continues to go forward as we establish closer ties with other forums and regional events. There Textiles are few opportunities in WESSCO our industry for focused networking and APOT will BE A 2019 WINNER maintain this opportunity onboardhospitality.com for as long as you, our friends and colleagues are here to support it.”

RESOURCEFUL.

SEARCH...Services

onboardhospitality.com/finder

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90 / TECH UPDATE

Onboard Entertainment & Connectivity

O

Let's talk tech

nboard Hospitality has launched its latest Onboard Entertainment & Connectivity supplement, distributed with this issue, at APEX Expo 2018 in Boston, and online. This edition includes news, views and features on IFE solutions for millennials, the latest developments in onboard retail technology, blockbuster gaming and air-to-ground connectivity. TECH UPDATES

Read insights and innovations from Gogo, Bluebox, Viasat, TouchStar, Thales, Immfly, GX Aviation and more in the new Onboard Entertainment and Connectivity.

MILLENNIAL DILEMMA

Are inflight entertainment systems really worth the expense if millennial travellers just want to use their own devices and curate their own content? We ask four industry experts for their take on the issue and discover changes you can make to your offering to ensure digital savvy travellers stay engaged. Follow the full debate in Onboard Entertainment and Connectivity.

RETAIL SHIFT

Simple, user-friendly technology that can help airlines monetise the passenger journey are becoming a top priority amongst the big players in the aviation industry. Explore the latest onboard retail technology developments in the newest edition of our Onboard Entertainment and Connectivity supplement.

AIRFI CATCHES THE BUS

AirFi, a leading supplier of wireless IFE systems to the aviation sector, is now rolling out its products to a major UK bus and coach company to help enhance the passenger experience onboard its network. Discover how this product is transitioning onto the roads in our latest Onboard Entertainment and Connectivity supplement.

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TECH UPDATE / 91

Make connections SEARCH...Services

With just one click STAY POWERED UP

Everyone is talking about in-seat and USB power. Passengers are asking for it. Seatmakers are integrating it. Airlines are installing it. Onboard Hospitality asks digEcor how it is delivering it. The company explains how its modular, affordable power solution is offered with reduced components and results in a lighter weight and lower cost. Discover more in the latest Onboard Entertainment and Connectivity.

BLOCKBUSTER GAMING

Blockbuster gaming titles beloved on the ground are still not playable in the air. Discover the obstacles blocking progress in Onboard Entertainment and Connectivity.

Technology Lufthansa Systems

BE A 2019 WINNER

ONBOARD FINDER onboardhospitality.com/finder

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The only comprehensive survey of the aircraft cabin environment from the 1970s to the present day. Airliner World

JETLINERCABINS:Evolution & Innovation E-BOOK APP by Jennifer Coutts Clay

Available on Amazon, Apple iTunes®, and Google Play™ More information available on www.jetlinercabins.com

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TAKE YOUR PICK / 93

Game on ANGRY BIRDS WORLD TOUR

Beyond the film and audio options, seat back gaming can distract young kids and help passengers wile away the flying hours. Benjamin Coren highlights a selection that are regularly turning heads

This addictive puzzler challenges passengers to align three sparkling gems of the same type to score, with the aim being to hit a higher and higher score each time you play. The popular title has been available on PEDs and home PCs for some time, and is now available in the sky.

This hit mobile phone game has flown to the skies courtesy of Global Eagle Entertainment and developers RoVio. Passengers can fling angry birds around the world and rescue their eggs from bad piggies.

TETRIS

PLANTS VS ZOMBIES

A smash hit on the ground, this game see Zombies invade the back garden prompting players to think fast and plant aggressive exotic flora to keep the walking dead at bay. It has been brought onboard Global Eagle Entertainment.

BEJEWELED 2

This classic Russian puzzle game challenges players to twist and turn shaped bricks to create a wall. Multiple gameplay modes are available and inflight systems are linked up for multiplayer challenges. Inflight, the game can be played either with a handset or through touchscreen technology.

WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE?

The hit TV quiz game is a popular choice onboard and is hosted by numerous carriers. The rules are the same as on the TV show – correctly answer 15 questions to see if you have what it takes to take home a million. There are over 1,000 questions available and passengers can compete against each other. Sadly no money is ever actually awarded onboard!

FORTNITE: BATTLE ROYALE

The mobile version of this popular 100-player online multiplayer game can be played onboard when highspeed wifi is available. As more IFE is delivered this way, onboard play of this type could evolve to ultimately see whole planes full of people competing on route.

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IN CONVERSATION / 95

ONBOARD ENTERTAINMENT NEEDS TO FEEL INNATELY FAMILIAR Ivonne Prugnaud, of content specialists Anevia, champions on-demand viewing and live TV onboard as a way to make passengers truly feel at home

H

istorically, airline, rail and cruise passengers enjoyed luxuries beyond anything they could imagine in their own homes. Yet today many homes have every comfort and all the latest technologies. Consequently, even going on a high-end cruise can mean doing without some of the everyday pleasures, including viewing the latest TV boxset. Of course, many airlines and most cruise companies provide a TV in cabins or on the seat back but on-demand platforms and over-the-top (OTT) content providers such as Netflix or Amazon Prime have brought us a new experience. Instead of flicking through channel guides, many consumers now prefer to fire up streaming or catchup TV services on their own devices and pick up where we left off with their favourite programmes.

Getting personal

These services increasingly encourage us to ‘log-in’ and provide relevant data for the

personalisation of the home page interface and options that make our preferred content more easily and quickly accessible. Personalisation also extends to the viewing device – mobile, laptop or smart TV.

Streaming on the up

Recent research from Conviva found that global viewing of streaming OTT content more than doubled to 12.6 billion hours in 2017 compared to 2016, with the number of devices being used to watch going up by nine percent, to 2.4 billion devices. Airlines, rail or cruise companies could benefit from this kind of personalisation. With it, they could provide access to an entertainment service that feels innately familiar. Catch-up TV and OTT services play a huge part in this. Suppose too that passengers could watch a film, give it a rating out of 10 and then be given suggestions for other films they’re likely to enjoy based on that rating?

Onboard bandwidth is rarely robust enough to enable passengers to access their favourite OTT services using their own log-in details. However, if travel companies could create their own OTT service, complete with personalised content that could be accessed from the passengers’ own devices, this could be a real differentiator from competitors. There are now highly secure and scalable products on the market that fill this need. These enable mobility, seamlessly adopt to any client infrastructure and support broadcasting standards from any country. Their cloud monitoring capability also means the provider can supervise their usage remotely. This can be a first step towards offering an all-encompassing customer experience where all onboard services are personalised, offering a better way to ensure customers are feeling fully at home and well looked after throughout their journey. •

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96 / FOCUS ON

“Alexa – upgrade me!” Amazon's Alexa has become a household virtual assistant around the globe, gradually increasing its usefulness. Newest to its skillset is booking travel tickets, says Roger Williams

I

n a technological first for the travel industry, UK rail and customer service innovators Virgin Trains and retailing giant Amazon are leading the way in the use of digital voice-tech for rail bookings on the West Coast mainline. Alexa is already established as tech which can help with music and to-do lists, alarms, streaming, weather, traffic and other real-time data. And now, with one, simple voice-based instruction, passengers looking for advance single tickets can ask Alexa-enabled devices to book them directly onboard a train, with Amazon Pay completing the transaction on their behalf. In a fun launch promotion, anyone who named Alexa is getting a free upgrade to First! For those yet to experience this kind of technology, Alexa is Amazon’s AI (artificial intelligence) voice service and the brain behind tens of millions of devices. It's similar to Apple's Siri. For both Virgin and Amazon this cutting-edge partnership is the logical step following on from the 'skill' developed by Virgin last year to allow customers to browse service information. The word 'skill' relates to a capability or 'skill' of Alexa to communicate on a particular task – rather like an App on a

you’re busy doing something else." One of a host of digital projects to be introduced on Virgin, John Sullivan, Early adopters Virgin Trains cio comments: "We’re very Whilst, at this early stage, Richard excited to be the first travel company Branson’s only remaining UK train in the world to sell tickets through operating company is Amazon Alexa; it’s just unlikely to see amazing another example of growth from such Virgin Trains leading an innovation, it is the way in digital This is a first-of-aindicative of the type kind service. Rail is innovation within the of ‘can do’ approach rail industry." leading the way that he brings to the How long before with this digital organisation, where you can also pre-order innovation he is apparently often your onboard meal referred to as ‘Dr Yes’. service this way too? Giulio Montemagno, director, Amazon Certainly no-one can argue with the Pay EU, says: "With Alexa and Amazon numbers - ridership last year peaked at Pay, Virgin’s customers can search, select 38 million – some 24 million a year more and buy train tickets entirely through than travelled on the same line in 1997 voice. This is a first-of-a-kind service when he took over. making it easier than ever to find and It’s not clear how many are called book the ticket you want, even when Alexa but that’s a different story … • smart device – and allows customers to personalise their interaction.

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CASE STUDY / 97

Portable power Air Europa now offers its passengers a personalised type of inflight entertainment – using BoardConnect Portable by Lufthansa Systems. Richard Williams discovers more

A

ir Europa's aim was to "create a unique passenger experience” as it started to plan the installation of an IFE system on its short- and medium-haul fleet. The service had to be at the cutting edge of technology and easy to install. But most portable solutions on the market used batteries and sounded like a lot of complex handling and logistics. So it looked for an alternative. BoardConnect Portable by Lufthansa Systems turned out to be the answer. This flexible solution combines all technical components such as server and access points in a single device. It is the size of a conventional tablet and qualifies as nonpermanently installed equipment, so no STC certification is required.

On Air Europa planes the portable device is stowed in a newly-developed safe inside the overhead storage compartment. This Power & Safe solution was developed by Lufthansa Technik in close cooperation with Lufthansa Systems. An additional power supply inside the baggage compartment eliminates the need for battery replacement. The installation is classified as a minor modification and can take place during normal downtime. The innovative content and portal approach is based on the open platform BoardConnect 5.0, which enables the integration of digital partner services. For content and personalised services Air Europa cooperates with Epteca. In addition to TV series and games,

passengers can learn about their travel destination, get personalised and access useful information, as well as using the booking options for tourist attractions at the destination. The platform also includes shopping and enhanced advertising opportunities. “Lufthansa Systems supports us in our desire for continuous improvement. With our new personalised services we are able to enhance our customer experience in all phases of their journey and offer them a unique onboard experience. The combination of BoardConnect and Epteca's travel platform makes it exactly the right choice for us, complying with the best standards in the market,” said Alexis Capdevila, IFEC manager at Air Europa. •

THE AIR EUROPA IFE TECHNOLOGY BRIEF Spanish airline Air Europa wanted to offer a unique user experience. They wanted the IFE to provide differentiation in the market and a smart way to provide personalised

services. Lufthansa Systems offered the carrier its modern portable BoardConnect IFE system. BoardConnect is a digital platform that enables access to different types of content, plus the easy integration of partners such as Epteca to create ancillary revenues.

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98 / ECO CHOICES

Plastic

not-so

fantastic

Plastic is suddenly public enemy number one but replacing this cheap, light-weight wonder material isn’t that easy – especially for airlines. Laura Gelder breaks down this hot topic

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ECO CHOICES / 99

I

f there’s one subject that’s really pierced the public’s consciousness in 2018, it has to be plastic pollution. In the UK, this sudden, seemingly universal preoccupation was, in part at least, spurred by a BBC nature documentary which showed a mother whale clinging to her dead calf, poisoned by plastic ingested from her milk. Ever since then, the number of press releases Onboard Hospitality receives about plastic and how travel and catering companies worldwide are trying to reduce it - by ditching single-use straws or rewarding people for not using disposable coffee cups – has risen exponentially. And it's not just the UK by any means. Alaska Airlines became the first U.S. carrier to ditch plastic straws and cocktail sticks this July, and Nordic cruise line Hurtigruten banned all single-use plastic the same overseas pests and diseases and these prevent the month. Even since I started researching this feature, recycling of anything that has touched meat or dairy American Airlines has announced it will now use products, i.e most airline meal trays. And even for bamboo drink stirrers and plastics that don't, the chances biodegradeable straws. of them being recycled are But solving the problem of largely dependent on where Banning straws is a step the plane lands. Airlines can do plastic pollution isn’t easy and although banning straws is a in the right direction but everything in their power to step in the right direction, it’s it's the tip of a huge and separate recyclable waste but if the tip of a huge and growing growing plastic iceberg the destination airport doesn’t have the plastic iceberg. Low-cost carrier Ryanair has vowed to become facilities to process those products then entirely plastic-free by 2023 but for full-service airlines it’s all to no avail. who offer more than just a snack and a drink it’s Europe’s war on plastic not that easy. For long-haul services in particular, A ban on the most prolific single-use stringent regulations exist to stop contamination from plastics (SUPs) found on Europe’s beaches has now been officially proposed by the EU and it looks like the intention is to push the legislation through before the new parliament starts in spring 2019. If applied to airlines it could cause significant upheaval. Fabio Gamba, md of the Airline Catering Association, says it’s a commendable move but also a political one: “There is growing consensus, quite rightly, that something needs to be done about plastic pollution in the oceans and successfully implementing laws to tackle it is good PR for the EU and those MEPs who aid the process,” he says. But, Gamba points out, the impact assessment done on the ban was 250

Below: Galileo Watermark's OCN, cosmetic packaging made from repurposed plastic litter from the oceans; and straws, everyone's worst SUP. Above: Airline cabins use plastic to stay light

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100 / ECO CHOICES

From left: Plastics currently feature widely on the meal tray (British Airways Economy); RMT Global Partners is offering bamboo alternatives

pages long but didn't mention the airline industry once, despite the fact that a ban will potentially have a huge effect on the way carriers do business. The choice for going 'green' is a mind boggling one as every solution seems to propose more questions.

uses completely biodegradable bagasse and one is a bio-based range made from PP plus bio materials which takes less energy to produce. Options are growing. Here's our rundown of plastic and some of the replacements:

Hard choices

Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)

Galileo Watermark won a Future-Scoping Business of the Year Award from Onboard Hospitality this year for its clever repurposing of marine plastics into containers for amenities. It is committed to offering airlines practical eco options and urges them to focus on doing something positive to address the problems. Passengers like to see something they’ve been given is made from recycled plastic, but a bigger issue remains. Can it be easily recycled again? The stark fact is that plastics can only be recycled a few times before they're downcycled into something which will end up in landfill - unlike metal or glass which can be recycled infinitely. Natural materials like sugar cane sound great but does the process used to mould them sap more resources than the plastic it replaces? New materials like bio-plastics are compostable but how dependent is this on high-tech processes Sustainability which aren't widely available? And is it truly safe? WK Thomas This year deSter revealed its new offering, a simple range of three options to help airlines BE A 2019 take a step towards being green, but within their WINNER onboardhospitality.com own operational constraints and budget. The first option utilises already recycled materials, one

The most widely recycled plastic in the world, PET is used for bottles and packaging and is strong, light and flexible. But it's made for single use and if used over and over, some studies claim it can leach chemicals and, if scratched, can harbour bacteria. PET can be recycled as fabric and Emirates’ on-going use of recycled PET inflight blankets by Buzz are expected to rescue 12,000 tonnes of bottles from landfill by 2019.

High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)

With a high strength-to-density ratio, HDPE is the most widely used resin for bottles, it's commonly recycled into furniture, bottles and pipes. HDPE can tolerate high temperatures and is dishwasher-safe.

Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE)

Similar to HDPE but less rigid and more expensive. LDPE is used for squeeze bottles. Its rigid version is commonly recycled but flexible LDPE (used for carrier bags) is less accepted at recycling plants.

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

Used for cling wrap, toys and window frames, PVC isn’t widely recycled and its use in packaging is declining.

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Polystyrene (PS)

Being phased out by many companies, PS is most famous in its foamed form, for its use in packaging breakable goods, but is also used for food packaging in its rigid form. It’s notoriously hard to recycle and some studies have said it leaches so its image is bad.

this can be wholly or just in part. Bioplastics can be derived from renewable biomass sources, such as vegetable fats and oils, corn starch, straw, wood chips and food waste as well as agricultural by-products and used plastic containers using microorganisms. Many bioplastics are biodegradeable, in theory.

Polypropylene (PP)

Corn starch or Pla

From left: WK Thomas' award winning black bagasse tray; consumers are now waging war on disposable coffee cups. Next page: Matrix's award-winning Bio Form plastic

Used for food tubs, bottle tops, waterproof clothes and Corn-based packaging made with polylactic acid bags, this plastic’s recyclability is increasing although (Pla) is a popular bioplastic used by some of the it's less widely accepted than world’s biggest food brands PET, HDPE or LDPE. It can be (Wal-Mart, McDonald's, Del repurposed for objects like Monte). It looks identical to PET The stark fact remains crates and signal lights. and, if it's treated right, is that plastics can only be biodegradable. In 2008, recycled once or twice Biodegradable British eco-responsible and will end up in landfill brand Innocent announced 'Items which decay naturally into harmless substances' – the it had stopped using Pla sort of rubbish put into compost heaps. Technically because commercial composting was "not yet a all materials are biodegradable (although a plastic mainstream option in the UK," and this is still true. bag takes hundreds of years and we can't prove the Bio Form process is harmess) so for practical purposes only Joint winner of our Future-Scoping Business those that degrade within a relatively short period are Future-Scoping of the Year Award, Matrix is creating Bio Form considered such. Many biodegradeable plastics end Business products in an airline-exclusive deal with plastics up in landfill where they degrade without oxygen, Galileo specialist Breakdown Plastics. It uses an organic slowly and releasing methane, a greenhouse gas 23 Watermark & additive which can be added to every type of times more powerful than carbon dioxide. Matrix plastic to accelerate biodegradation by creating BE A 2019 Bioplastics an opportunity for microbes to use plastic as WINNER A broad term covering all plastics based on organic food and energy. Testing has shown up to 24.7% onboardhospitality.com biomass rather than petroleum – but, and this is key, biodegradation within 160 days in optimised onboardhospitality.com

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ECO CHOICES / 103

ACA UPDATE

conditions leaving just biomas and C02. It's shelf stable and safe with food. Matrix has options for meal service, amenity kits (and tcontents) and textiles. Could this be the answer? Of course it costs, but Matrix believes buyers will recognise that the increase in cost brings inordinate value in terms of an airline’s CSR and environmental credentials.

“The Airline Catering Association (ACA) welcomes the EU’s move to ban single-use plastics (SUPs) but there are questions to address. “The most obvious replacement for disposable plastic plates is rotable plastic but EU legislation also dictates that catering waste from outside EU borders is incinerated or buried in landfill so that wouldn’t make sense and incinerating rotable plastics or other replacement materials may cause even more harmful emissions! “One of the reasons that airlines

“Switching to rotables would be a logistical challenge for caterers. But it will be up to the airlines to decide how to deal with it – with choices ranging from rotable to recyclable plastics, non-plastics to no catering on short-haul flights. “The latter would be a nightmare scenario for the catering industry, but we remain hopeful it won't come to this since passenger experience is the main differentiator in this industry. "If the EU’s directive is to eliminate marine litter then the airline industry,

chose SUPs is that they are lighter, less weight means less fuel and less emissions – enforcing this change on airlines is not necessarily an environmentally-friendly move. “Even if we found a light, reusable or recyclable alternative you must consider that all materials touching food have a finite life cycle and that recycling itself uses lots of energy. “In addition, would this apply only to airlines flying within the EU? What about planes landing in the EU from the U.S., or heading out to Asia?

which doesn’t contribute to this at all, could be exempted. “But we don’t want to shy away from our responsibilities, nor use economic arguments that would rightly be rejected. We simply want to ask questions and assess feasibility. "I don’t want to see a law rushed through without consequences being considered. After all, it’s not just plastic which impacts the environment.”

Bagasse

The pulp left after juice has been extracted from sugarcane, sugar beets, sorghum stalk, or agave. This fibrous plant debris is similar to wood pulp and as well as being used as a bio-fuel, the fibres can be used to replace plastic in food containers, as well as replacing products like tissues and boxes. Disposed of correctly it's biodegradeable but landfills mean waste can't access the air, moisture, and microorganisms necessary so it often won't. Bagasse is waterproof and heat proof. WK Thomas won the Onboard Hospitality Award for Sustainability for its black bagasse tray making eco look cooler.

The conclusion

There are no easy answers! But as long as airlines are clear of the pros and cons and consciously endeavour to make responsible choices, there is hope for a healthier planet. •

Fabio Gamba, managing director, Airline Catering Association, (ACA)

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in conversation / 105

We are designing for the future onboard experience Virgin Atlantic is looking to the future, investing £10m in new cabin designs. Daniel Kerzner, vp customer experience, explains how

O

ur new A330-200s will all be retrofitted throughout with a new look and feel for all cabins - Upper Class, Premium and Economy. As well as ‘Virginising’ the new aircraft this investment allows us to open the door on future enhancements so we have been looking at and designing for the future onboard customer experience.

Always connected

These day Personal Electronic Devices (PEDs) have become a permanent extension of our customers and a connection to us. The digital experience is therefore at the forefront of the work we are doing and is likely to be so on our A350 aircraft too next year. As we think about connectivity we are also thinking about how it affects our crew. By giving them tablet computers we can provide them with more, easily-accessible information which enables them to create

a more personalised service experience onboard. For us, it’s not about monetising the experience but enhancing it overall. We are constantly updating the crew apps and we are looking at what new functionalities we can add. For us though, the ‘Virgin Magic’ happens through the crew themselves so the technology has to support them.

Suite success

On redesigning the Upper Class cabins some attributes had to be there as a baseline including lie-flat seats, all-aisle access, wifi and IFE, which were then overlaid with Virgin's own new design narratives and developments. We have, for example, created three types of suite: Love Suites, Corner Suites

and Freedom Suites, so we can offer customers a seating arrangement that best suits their needs whether they are travelling with a partner or want privacy.

Onboard 'magic'

Airlines have to differentiate their product and we’re now seeing people travel with us because they’re getting something they won't get anywhere else. We’re looking at how people spend their time onboard, how they use their space and then we're adapting the offer to suit those activities. When you walk onto a Virgin Atlantic aircraft, you know it’s different to other airlines. The investments go to create that unique environment - it’s a combination of elements that create the passenger experience - design, IFE, food and crew. •

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How to...

...use VR to design The design team at Galileo Watermark has been using virtual reality to help bring its product innovations to life. Ali Atkinson, creative director, explains how UNDERSTAND THE TECH

Galileo Watermark has been exploring the uses of VR in aviation for several years. The opportunities are huge. A few years ago we introduced VR into the traditional kids’ kits and more recently we've seen that a VR experience can really help the design process.

IDENTIFY THE BENEFITS

VR allows the user to sit in a virtual cabin and interact with objects and the environment around them. We want our customers to know that our products will look and feel right in their cabin environment. VR enables them to interact with the products virtually and give immediate feedback. We can make design changes (often in real time), speeding up the process and ensuring our first physical prototype is close to 99% approved. We've designed VR cabin interiors too and have found substantial cost savings.

become standard practice. We have been using AR (Augmented Reality) for the last three years - allowing customers to see our products in their final environment through the screen of a smart device. VR is the evolution of this and will give the user a fullyimmersive experience whilst interacting with onboard products.

TEST RUN IT

Our clients loved the VR experience we showcased at WTCE and could immediately see the benefits. We are now bringing our VR capabilities into several projects, primarily those with a tight lead-time. We have also been asked to generate cabin interior designs – which is a great use of the technology.

THINK AHEAD

We already incorporate VR into our design process but as our customers become more familiar with the technology, we believe the use of VR will

FACT FILE VR can bring a fullyimmersive, 360degree experience onboard to enhance the travelling experience AR and VR are forecast to be worth over $36 billion within the

travel industry by 2022 according to IDC VR is not just for gaming and entetainment, it is also used in healthcare, the military, engineering and many other industries

GET CREATIVE

There are endless possibilities for this technology! We are working on VR experiences that will let clients show off new cabin designs and products as a marketing tool and we are also investigating ways to bring VR inflight, letting passengers explore their next destination, navigate through airports and lounges, climb mountains, sail the ocean or go into space! As the technology progresses, VR systems will become smaller, more powerful and see a higher level of interactivity. •

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Personal Travel Comfort

BLANKETS DUVET SETS PILLOWS HEADRESTS PILLOW COVERS TABLE LINEN HOT TOWELS

+44 (0)1422 372237 www.johnhorsfall.com

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focus on / 109

Gispol Portuguese plastics manufacturer Gispol has reinvented itself as a more visible player in the inflight tableware market. Laura Gelder discovers why and how

G

ispol has been around for over 30 years but its presence at WTCE this year caused a stir. The reason? This plastic specialist has always been behind the scenes – designing and manufacturing tableware for other companies in the industry but never shouting about it. Family-owned, Gispol is located near Portugal's Marinha Grande, the ‘Silicon Valley' of the mould-making industry. In the 1990s, it was manufacturing plastics for companies like Johnson & Johnson but in 1993 it won its first aviation contract with TAP Air Portugal and airline catering equipment soon became its core business. Gispol became the exclusive production manufacturer for Helios in 2000, producing rotable, disposable, injection-moulded and thermo-forming products including trays, glasses and cutlery for many airlines until Helios was bought by gategroup in 2012. Gispol believes it’s now time to come out of the shadows and offer its creative designs and manufacturing expertise directly to airlines. The company offers an end-to-end service to airlines, from

concept to delivery, with its own in-house Gispol recently announced it's the first design studio team. Portuguese company to be EcosenseSays Ricardo Alves, Gispol’s ceo: “Gispol certified. This EU foundation seeks to has a strong offering: European quality consolidate a circular economy within products but with competitive prices the food tray industry and ensure the thanks to direct sourcing, in-house traceability of industrial and post-industrial manufacturing and waste. Certification independent logistics. recognises Gispol's use Gispol’s use of 3D of recycled materials, Gispol offers printing is also a cost approved recyclers and European quality saver because it can waste management. produce prototypes Gispol also partners with competitive without a mould. with recycling non-profit pricing The Gispol design Sociedade Ponto Verde team is proud of its heritage: “We draw and Sogilub (Ecolub), through which all its inspiration from our Portuguese culture, raw materials packaging waste is collected colours and architecture,” says designer, and sent to certified treatment facilities. Maria Sampaio. Gispol is using 80-90% recycled material Adds her colleague, Daniela Carrico: “We in its thermoformed products, with most think each client has an individual identity of it coming from plastic bottles and meal and we strive to translate ideas into trays. The R&D department is focused functional, reliable and aesthetic product on light-weight new materials and ecoconcepts, inspired by the client’s needs.” conscious production technology. •

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we're cREATIng great FLAVOUR FROM what would otherwise be waste Jo Austin talks to Gerard Bertholon of Cuisine Solutions on ways in which he is attempting to reduce food waste and boost flavour

T

he U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates U.S. food waste to be about 30-40% of the food supply. Most food ends up in landfills and much of it is fruit, vegetables, roots and tubers. At Cuisine Solutions we are challenging this, especially the waste of the parts of fruits and vegetables that are normally thrown away. We have developed an extraction process in which we cook the peels, leaves, husks and seeds using the sous-vide technique at a low temperature, for a long time. It extracts the flavours and produces a very pure product that retains all the natural minerals and nutrients. We then cryoconcentrate. Cryoconcentration is the process in which water and solids are separated during freezing. Dr. Bruno Goussault started experimenting with the technique several years ago and has trained numerous chefs in it worldwide including

three-star Michelin chef Yannick Alleno, who is using it for 80% of his sauces. He takes a traditional French sauce and using extraction and cryoconcentration makes them tastier and healthier by using less butter, sugars and fats. You can use 100% of the cucumber. The peels, seeds and the inside all have a different taste. You can make a sauce or a dressing and add cryoconcentrate at the end to add flavour. Most recently Thomas Keller and Daniel Boulud brought their chefs to Cuisine Solutions' Culinary Research Education Academy (CREA) in Washington D.C. for training by Dr. Goussault. We work with over 140 fruit and vegetables including corn husk and hair, onion peels, artichoke petals, mushroom

caps, celery peels, carrot peels, cucumber peels, clementine, blood oranges, tomatoes, beet skins and fennel. The process creates healthy sauces because we retain/preserve minerals and nutrients through the freezing process and using it in a sauce can intensify flavour without the need to add fats or sugars, so the result is low calorie but an amazing flavour. You can taste the freshness and can actually get more flavour from the peel than the centre. The peels and skins also hold many of the nutrients and minerals. Mixologists are starting to use the technique to add flavour to cocktails. In the air, people say food loses its taste. We believe that with cryoconcentration it is possible to elevate the dining experience for all passengers. •

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Virtual reality Airlines and their suppliers are increasingly using VR technology to enhance the customer experience and sales, says Benjamin Coren CREW TRAINING

Tre3 is working with specialists Inflight VR to offer IFE and lounge entertainment, VR product promotions and tailored VR training for crew. VR allows crew to learn new tasks in 'real' environments which is proving more effective, more fun and less expensive. Worldwide crews can also meet virtually and train together using the technology no matter where they are based. tre3.eu

ŠLUFTHANSA GERMAN AIRLINES

TAKE YOUR PICK / 113

UPGRADE TOOL

KIDS ENTERTAINMENT

Eurostar's Odyssey VR experience enables passengers to take a virtual reality journey to the bottom of the Channel. Accessed via an iOS or Android device, it provides the illusion of a glass roof over the train through which passengers can see and interact with sea life along the way. eurostar.com

CINEMA STYLE

Lufthansa has trialled the use of VR technology at the boarding gate as a way to sell upgrades to passengers prior to boarding. Passengers viewed the upgraded cabin experience being offered and the trial led to an increase in upgrade sales. lufthansa.com

Skylights offers an Allosky VR headset product which has been successfully tested on a number of airlines. It offers 2D, 3D and 180 degree content, and provides a cinema-style view of films and TV programmes. Lightweight and comfortable, it provides a new way of viewing IFE. skylights.aero

CABIN TOURS

DESIGN SUPPORT

Galileo Watermark’s design team is using VR as a way to showcase product ideas to airline customers. Learn more page 107. galileowatermark.com

Emirates and Virgin Atlantic have been utilising VR technology to showcase their cabin offerings. Emirates has introduced online web VR across its platforms to display cabin interiors and give customers the chance to explore their seats and cabins. The system can even be used for seat selection. Meanwhile, Virgin Atlantic recently utilised the technology to showcase its refreshed cabins its fleet of A330-200 aircraft. emirates.com virginatlantic.com

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114 / OPINION

Rail conundrums

American dream?

©AMTRAK

America is renowned for its love of the car but as some start talking of transport sustainability, Roger Williams, chairman International Rail Catering Group (IRCG), asks could highspeed rail be the new American Dream?

In America there seems to be a constant conundrum – big businesses are maintained by and rely on burning fossil fuels, including the massive air and road transport industries. But whilst many recognise that can’t continue they also don’t want to damage the economy or jobs. That’s where Andy Kunz comes in. He’s the president and ceo of the U.S. High Speed Rail Association and has been making the case for spreading high-speed rail across the U.S. His vision for sustainable transport includes a 17,000-mile national network to be completed by 2030. Is that a pipe dream or could it really be the new American other parts of the world. Dream? 2030 is the end game Recently he set out his but planning starts Plan early for great top 10 reasons for the now - so my message customer experience change ranging from to Andy is don't forget onboard and it will pay the additional benefits being carbon neutral through to safety, dividends in the future of a great customer job creation, city and experience and good for U.S. rail operators housing regeneration design in the space, and and using rail development as a tool for build in capabilities early on in your process. economic growth. In The reduced stress and improved well-being short, many of the that passengers experience when properly things countries and looked after in transit, in stations and onboard communities have is always underestimated but makes such a already benefited difference to customer satisfaction. It's a factor from with highforgotten at our peril and often the distinction speed rail in between commercial success and failure in Europe and many any new enterprise. The rail hospitality industry, led by members of IRCG, is well equipped to help define the best onboard service solutions, with experts in the design of retail and catering concepts, brands, supply chains, service areas, equipment, technology and logistics; so plan early for a great passenger experience and it will pay dividends for the future success of any new high-speed rail operations and the customers alike! •

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How to...

...upgrade rail Germany’s national rail operator DB is half way through an upgrade of its iconic ICE 3 trains designed to take onboard hospitality to a whole new level. Roger Williams discovers how KNOW WHAT'S NEEDED

DB is targeting its spending on the areas research showed passengers most wanted – luggage storage, seating quality, reservations signage, seat numbering, sit down dining, disabled accessibility, lighting and family areas.

SEAT THEM COMFORTABLY

Coach seating layouts are being harmonised to simplify reservations and there will be over 1280 extra First seats. Modern seating fabrics replace old styles; whilst slide-forward seatbacks will replace simple recline positioning, to avoid annoying the passenger behind. Grab handles on aisle seats, and high contrast numbering on headrests aim to reduce stress for customers boarding. A second wheelchair space has been added, both with heightadjustable tables, and visually-impaired customers are guided by ergonomic touch points.

for customers to access and keep an eye on their cases.

AIM HIGH WITH CATERING

Amazingly, and in a move that bucks a trend, the redesign also provides a stylish new 20-seat dining car. In the past, these trains simply had an onboard bistro but now the galley, counter and standing area have all been revamped and appliances replaced.

MAKE IT EASY

Luggage carriers and push-chair users will find more space, with additional luggage racks positioned in the middle of the open saloons, giving improved floor level storage and making it easier

FACT FILE The DB upgrade has started with the refurbishment of 66 eight-coach trains, overseen by project manager Jan Poppendieck, who previously managed the ICE 2 upgrade The €210 million investment is on

scheduled to be completed on time by 2020 Some 35,000 square metres of new carpet will be laid throughout the trains Re-using materials has cut the upgrade costs by 80%

THINK GREEN

The redesign also makes environmental sense, with most components and materials, such as the wall panelling, being reconditioned and reused, saving around 80% of material costs compared with a new train and dramatically helping towards DB’s overall recycling target of 97.5%. •

IMAGES COURTESY OF DEUTSCHE BAHN AG – OLIVER LANG

TECH TALKS

All First Class seats will have individual, rather than shared, power sockets and all halogen lighting is being replaced with low energy LEDs. A network of 2542 larger and more easily readable portrait display screens will show live journey times and connections. A new LAN network provides higher bandwidth in conjunction with the latest wifi technology.

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116 / GALLEY GOSSIP

Lounging around George Banks won our 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award following a long career in inflight service. Here he looks back at the rise and fall of onboard lounges

T

1940s

oday’s premium airlines are proud to boast about the luxury lounges they offer on larger aircraft such as the Airbus A380, but look back in time and you'll see lounges are not new. Their style and use has varied but they have been a luxury staple throughout decades of aviation.

Onboard lounges became a significant marketing feature in the 1970s, as wide body jets made their mark and airlines created imaginative themed and stylised lounges on the 747s, but although they were presented as new and exciting, their history stretches back to Flying Boat days, through DC-6s, Super Constellations and Electras, and then on to the era of the jetliners - DC-8s and Boeing 707s. Onboard lounges generated great publicity but the truth is few passengers were invited to enjoy them. The lounge on the Boeing 707s and DC-8s, for example, were very near the galley and crews often preferred using them for crew meals and rest! Some lounge seats were certified for take-off/landings so got used for staff or over bookings. Often they became a dumping ground for crew hats and bags! The exception being on Far East airlines which did always use the lounges well, dressed with flowers or lavish furnishing. Ultimately, economics intervened. 747 upper decks thrived in the 1980s while there was excess seat capacity and space to play with but their days were numbered as oil prices rose and managers saw that normal seats could bring Business or First revenue instead. Pan Am experimented with an upper deck dining room but again, it did not produce any extra revenue. Onboard lounges come and go depending on economics, load factors, marketing needs and profits. Only time will tell whether the current selection of onboard apartments, suites and lounge bars will remain a reality into the future.

FLYING HIGH

Flying Boats led the way with lounges for passengers as early as 1945

COME UP AND SEE ME

The Boeing 747 caught the headlines with its unique upstairs lounge, presented as an exclusive domain for First passengers. It was accessed via an elegant spiral staircase on early model 747s used by BA, Lufthansa and Alitalia, and presented as a super cool haven of blue and white tranquillity by Air France. Air India’s Maharajah Lounge was positioned as ‘your palace in the sky’ with female crew in silk saris and jewellery. Other carriers had themes: the nautical Captain Cook’s Lounge on Qantas and Iran Air’s Persian Tea Room dressed with beautiful Persian carpets. JAL offered The Tea House in the Sky, and American Airlines introduced a Piano Bar. Continental Airlines had The Pub Lounge on its 747s and DC-10s, and Pacific Southwest had a downstairs lounge on its Tristars. Gulf Air had a boutique plus gold and leather seating on its Tristars.

1970s

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MEET YOU AT THE BAR

BOAC and Pan Am had a 14-seater downstairs bar on their Stratocruisers, ideal for the 18-hour flights (with two stops) to New York from London. Uniquely, TWA offered the 707 Coach Lounge for Economy passengers, while Pan Am's Boeing 707s included an attractive six seater Clipper Lounge forward of the First cabin, with an individually-designed bulkhead and curved seating on North American routes. United’s DC-6 flights (and airlines using Lockheed Electras) featured a socialising lounge at the rear with a dressed table.

1950s DRESS TO IMPRESS

Japan Airlines had a four-seater Kiku-No-Ma lounge on its DC-8s, while Malaysia Singapore Airlines had the Sky Bar Lounge on its 707 fan jets, complete with Singapore orchids. Avianca Colombia, one of the oldest airlines in the world, introduced Boeing 720B jet services linking New York and Miami with Bogota and featured a small First lounge at the front of the aircraft on its Red Rhuana service.

1960s

CREW PRIORITIES On its second hand Boeing 707s Kenya Airways retained the lounge until the late 1990s, but it was rarely used as such, as crew preferred to use it as a working space! On earlier aircraft, Air France had a First lounge on its Super Constellations, but never introduced this facility on its Boeing 707 fleet.

1990s

ONBOARD STYLE

The Gulf carriers have lead the way with onboard innovations in more recent times, such as the onboard bar seen here on Emirates.

2000s onboardhospitality.com

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118 / GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE

The world view We're going global every day by going social. Meet us in the virtual world via Twitter and Linkedin. Here's just some of digital chat you may have missed... Follow us for more: @OBHMagazine and Linkedin.com

It's a dog's life Air Transat was named the World’s Best Leisure Airline at the Skytrax World Airline Awards and if you want to know why, perhaps consider their policy towards pets! The carrier is now offering UK passengers the chance to take their pets in the aircraft cabin on flights to Canada. Perfect for those planning longer holidays and designed to give passengers greater peace of mind when travelling with furry friends. The majority of flights now welcome cats and dogs 10kg or less (including the cage) onboard. The animals must be kept in a cage and placed under the seat in front of the traveller. Thank goodness for that! @airtransat

Going, going, gone Gamification took a new twist this summer as Etihad Airways launched dynamic live auctions for customers who want to bid for a premium seat in a higher cabin class. Customers can take part in a bidding system where real-time notifications of their bid are displayed on their screen, allowing two or more individual bids at the same time. The move is meant to add a fun element to travel before the journey begins, with passengers competing for upgrades and paying whatever they want, trying to out-bid. Bidding takes place from 24 to six hours before the flight’s departure, with the successful winner notified immediately. @EtihadAirways

High-flying kids Emirates has responded to a survey that shows parents are taking their kids abroad earlier than ever, with 43% of those surveyed experiencing their first flight by the age of one. This jet set generation's parents first got on a plane at an average of 10 years old so it's clear that kids' are ever more important customers. Emirates has teamed up with author, actor and mum Giovanna Fletcher to create a limited-edition series of family holiday milestone cards to help highlight those memorable landmark moments. @Emirates

In it for the long-haul Singapore Airlines (SIA) will launch the world’s longest commercial flight in October, with a non-stop service between Singapore and New York using the new Airbus A350-900ULR (ultra-longrange). The aircraft will be configured in a two-class layout, with 67 Business Class seats and 94 Premium Economy Class seats. Flights will cover a distance of approximately 9,000nm (16,700km), and travelling time will be up to 18hrs 45min. @SingaporeAir

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Blogger watch

Private lounge sir?

TV chefs used to reign supreme, when it came to trend setting but now it seems it's bloggers and social media gurus you need to keep an eye on. With 162.6 million Instagram posts using the hashtag #foodporn, making food pretty is now just as important as making it tasty. And there’s a smorgasbord of content creators proving that social media chefs are a recipe for success. As palates diversify and trends change, these online followings seem to represent a cultural shift to watch. Followers want variety and attainability, according to these social media kitchen maestros being championed on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube and Twitter. #foodporn

Slovenian business men Mihael Meolic and Grega Mrgole have a new vision for the passenger experience when transiting airports, and the vision is AirPods. AirPods are effectively a private lounge - a capsule-like unit designed to be installed in public locations as private places to relax, sleep or work. Features include an ergonomically-designed seat that converts into a bed, free high-speed wifi, air conditioning and air purifiers, power sockets (USB/electricity), storage and information about flight status. Airport trials are underway and the first commercial trial is to be implemented in EU airports in autumn 2018. @air-pod.io

Vending ventures

Party time Brussels Airlines is taking passenger 'experience' to a new level with party flights from all over the world taking festival goers to Tomorrowland in Boom. Some 240 flights brought music fans from 83 different airports to Belgium, uniting 100 nationalities at the 'World’s Best Music Festival' and the party started as soon as they stepped in the aisle, with music pumped out onboard. Nine flights even hosted live DJ-sets at 30,000ft and there were some 30 gate parties preboarding too! @FlyingBrussels

Looking to offer food-to-go from the departure gate? Well forget pre-order and instal a pizza vending machine. Their popularity is apparently spreading, with the Japanese the latest to get in on the trend. Japanese consumers shop for food on the go from over five million vending machines nationwide and the pizza one is the latest incarnation. Japan’s first ever pizza vending machine is a 24-hour selfservice machine which delivers the pizza of your choice in just five minutes. For less than £10 a serving, it comes in Margherita or Four-Cheese options, delivered in a ready-to-go box and bag. Ideal carry on? pizzaself24.com

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CREW EQUIPMENTS PILOT CASES AND LUGGAGES professional pilot cases and aircrew luggages supplier/manufacturer

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NEW ARRIVALS / 121

Nuts to go *N

EW ARRIVALS *

Craft peanut butter is all the rage and ManiLife is winning awards and a following of foodie fans with its blitzed and blended manises (nuts!) for snacking on the go Everyone loves a success story and at Onboard Hospitality we have been excited to see just how successful specialist companies can be once they get onboard. We’re on the look out for newcomers to the industry, be they young people, young companies or young products: those that may be the faces of the onboard sector tomorrow. So if you're making your way into the onboard market, get in touch and we’ll spread the word, champion the cause and watch your business as it heads sky high or gets on track.

Going nuts Spearheading a new trend for craft peanut butter, this entrepreneurial new brand is applying the same level of craft seen in coffee, chocolate and beer to make what it claims is the tastiest peanut butter yet. They roast, blitz and blend their peanuts, fresh each week and have three variants; Smooth, Original Crunchy and Deep Roast Crunchy.

sugar as the nuts used are naturally sweeter and have a fat profile akin to olive oil.

45 friends, two blenders, a rugby club Snacking alternative kitchen and a ton of peanuts came together The 15g ManíLife snack pots can be paired with porridge pots, yoghurts, to launch this range

fruit pots and toast, and can also provide a tasty alternative for dipping if served with fruit or added to freshlymade shakes. The ManíLife story started in 2015, when the company's manufacturing partner withdrew and they were left with a tonne of peanuts, being stored in a bedroom. Instead, 45 friends, two blenders and a rugby club kitchen came together to make the butter. ManíLife has grown rapidly and is now sold in over 1,200 stores as well as experiencing a seven fold increase in online sales. mani-life.com •

Texture & taste Made with high oleic manises - peanuts or groundnuts and a pinch of salt, each variant has a slightly different texture and taste. There is no palm oil and no added

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122 / EVENTS

Next-gen experiences This year’s Global Aviation Festival in London will showcase the latest developments in enhancing the passenger experience. From next-generation connectivity and digital engagement to inflight entertainment, retail strategy and product innovation, all will come under the spotlight among the stands and during the conference sessions. The conference features over 300 speakers including Sir Tim Clark, president of Emirates, easyJet ceo John Lundgren and Finnair’s chief digital officer Katri Harra-Salonen. The exhibition will feature over 130 suppliers

WHAT: Global Aviation Festival WHERE: Business Design Centre, London WHEN: Sept 5-7

CALENDAR

selling a wide range of onboard products with hundreds of new technologies to try out. To top it off, there will be over 80 seminars. Register for tickets here: terrapinn.com

Time for lunch! Get inspired WHAT: lunch! WHERE: ExCel, London, UK WHEN: Sept 20-21 2018

A record 370 exhibitors – from the biggest to the latest names in food-to-go, will show case thousands of innovations at this year’s London show. Some 6,300+ attendees are expected to visit the event to see more new food and drink products, packaging, equipment and catering technology than ever. For food-to-go buyers, lunch! has become a favourite. Martin Hambleton, head of procurement at En Route International, says: “lunch! continues to be the best trade show for the food-to-go sector, with real innovation and industry passion at its core.” Dorothy Burton, former head of food services at DHL Airline Catering adds: “lunch! 2017 was a great source of innovation, with lots of companies displaying new healthy eating items. It was great at reflecting today's trends”. The full exhibitor list – featuring the 370 companies – is now available online and features 144 new exhibitors and 28 emerging brands launching innovations in the Start-up Zone. lunchshow.co.uk

WHAT: Speciality Fine Food Fair WHERE: Olympia London, UK WHEN: Sept 2-4

This show is set to be a hotbed of inspiration for both traditional high-end products and innovative items serving special requirements or tackling issues like sustainability. Visitors can meet Dr Craig Rose, AKA Dr Seaweed, a pioneering marine biologist and wild seaweed harvester who’s on a mission to help consumers understand seaweed (stand 3482); as well as sustainable chocolate brand Seed and Bean (stand 1641) with its Fairtrade and Soil Association Organic range of bars wrapped in compostable and fully-recyclable packaging. Spanish fine foods champion Brindisa (stand 2011) will celebrate its 30th birthday with a host of new product launches; and herbs specialist, A Little Bit (stand 2210c) will showcase an expanding range of all-natural condiments, cooking sauces and dips including a sophisticated ketchup – Freshly Picked Thyme & Blackberry. specialityandfinefoodfairs.co.uk

SEPTEMBER 7-9 Hosfair - Guangzhou International Hospitality Supplies Fair en.hosfair.com ------SEPTEMBER 19 Onboard Hospitality Forum - Rail (within InnoTrans Sept 18-21), Berlin Messe innotrans.de ------SEPTEMBER 24-27 IFSA Expo; APEX Expo; AIX USA - all Boston ifsa.aero; apex.aero; aircraftinteriorsexpo-us.com

------OCTOBER 16 Innoveat, Heathrow innoveat.co.uk ------NOVEMBER 13-14 Onboard Hospitality Forum - Asia (within FTE) Singapore onboardhospitality.com/ FTE

Kids’ Kit Buzz

BE A 2019 WINNER

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Professional wash-up systems for Inflight Catering

Cleaned for take-off Fly on the wings of perfection in terms of cleanliness, hygiene and safety: MEIKO Inflight Catering warewashing systems. Security and safety are the most important values an airline can offer today. A great number of checks are required before the captain and cabin crew of an aircraft are finally able to welcome the first passenger on board. This includes, making certain that travellers will receive a clean and hygienic service. With our warewashing systems for Inflight catering, we at MEIKO stand for a clean and perfect start. Whether you are city-hopping or launching for a long haul flight, MEIKO’s professional warewashing systems are guaranteed to reach the recommended level in purity, hygiene and cleanliness without comprise. This is the reason why you can find our technology everywhere around the globe where reliability, safety and efficiency count – from small business airports to large international traffic hubs. Discover the versatility of our tailor-made warewashing systems. Find out what we at MEIKO call the clean solution.

www.meiko.de

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Freshly Ground. Filtered. On Board Today!

Missed your coffee while on the go? We’ve got you covered! Now you can enjoy freshly ground, filtered coffee, while you travel! The revolutionary SuprLid™ is a portable cafetiere, allowing you to enjoy freshly brewed coffee that has been hand-roasted at our Dublin roastery. javarepublic.com

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Onboard Hospitality September/October 2018  

The hub for news, views and top trends in travel Hospitality. This edition: Special meals, IFSA Expo preview, Packaging, Street food challen...

Onboard Hospitality September/October 2018  

The hub for news, views and top trends in travel Hospitality. This edition: Special meals, IFSA Expo preview, Packaging, Street food challen...