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EVENT COVERAGE

Abu Dhabi to host the 36th edition of the

MERCURY AWARDS SIAL Middle East 2017, the professional trade exhibition for the food, beverage and hospitality industries, announces the launch of the 36th edition of The Mercury Awards set for next December. Special to PAX International by

T

he Mercurys recognizes the finest in travel catering and honors entrants across meal; service concept; food product; beverage; and equipment categories. An integral part of the 8th edition of SIAL Middle East, the awards will take place at a gala ceremony on December 11 at the Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat al Beri in Abu Dhabi. “2017 will mark 36 years for the Mercury Awards and will celebrate and accolade the best innovators within the travel catering industry.” said Joanne Cook, Managing Director at The Mercurys. “Judged by a panel of independent experts, the awards recognise the very best in on-board catering with five main award categories spanning airline meals, service, general onboard food and beverages and equipment.” Last year’s awards recognized 10 companies in the travel catering industry: • The taste and quality of the Chicken Tikka Masala by DSI Foods was an example of a classic dish that was awarded best Airline Meal Economy Class, enticing judges by the fullness and flavor. • The Airline Meal Premium Class award was taken by Etihad for a special range of dessert offerings focusing on textures around a single flavor. The judges were impressed by the well-presented innovative dessert plates that featured flavors from raspberry, elderflower to beetroot with a sponge, a parfait and jelly. • The radical approach of Qantas new economy won best Service Con-

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cept Economy Class for their Qantas International Dining experience that resulted in larger meals for the passenger and easier management by the crew. Qatar Airways’ Super Food Salad won the Service Concept – Premium Class demonstrating careful design and thought into not just the flavor combination but also the well-being of the passenger. Monty’s Bakehouse impressed the judges with their Chinese BBQ Style Chicken Savory Pastry packed in a convenient hand-held oven-friendly box, setting the snack apart from other entrants in the Food Product – Snack category. This product was a step beyond the usual hot snack offerings, impressing the judges by the quality of packaging and the product. Green Gourmet captivated the judges by serving sweet potato fries on the aircraft. With extensive research and clever use of packaging, Green Gourmet solved the problem of soggy fries and took home the Food Product -Savory item award. AB Klaipedos was recognised in the Food Product - Sweet category for the Dione Premium Ice Cream Bar, which had all the qualities of a premium deluxe cup yet was sustainable in its ingredients and production. The Beverage award was won by Caffè Di Artisan for the simplicity and quality of their coffee capsules. Malton was recognized for the Equipment Production category with their

Ministro Vacuum Flask. The judges were very impressed by the detail and lengthy research put into the design of this product that was able to retain heat for longer with a steel double walled vacuum. • The Equipment Passenger was awarded to Faerch for their Airline Modular Concept. Made from 30% recycled materials and itself 100% recyclable the judges were wowed by the variety of ways the interlocking attributes could be applied to various service concepts. The winners honored with the awards have responded: “Mercury Awards is the Oscar of the Airline Industry. The team at DSI foods is thrilled with this achievement, and it is extremely motivating for us to share the stage with big names in the industry. Our winning dish Chicken Tikka Masala has been tastefully developed to appeal to a wide spectrum of passengers. It meets all the four quality attributes namely appearance, aroma, taste & texture. This recognition in the global arena has opened a new chapter for DSI foods,” stated Puneet Arora, Deputy Managing Director, DSI Foods. “We recognise the Mercury Awards as being the most prestigious awards of inflight catering, the Oscars of the industry, and are very proud to have received the award for Best Premium Service Concept 2016,” commented Lorna Green, Manager Communications – Customer Experience, Qatar Airways. “For the team in the UK and Abu Dhabi www.pax-intl.com  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  83

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