The World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) – part of Passenger Experience Week – returns to Hamburg Messe from 2-4 April 2019, providing food and drink brands with a unique opportunity to meet with buyers from the world’s leading airlines, rail companies and cruise lines.
The importance of onboard hospitality
The travel catering market has never been more buoyant and the in-flight sector alone expects to achieve CAGR of 6.4% over the next seven years, taking its value to around US$29bn[i]. And it’s no surprise when you consider a Boeing 747 flying across the Atlantic is stocked with almost seven thousand items, including 500 bottles of wine and 350 bags of pretzels.
The growth is driven by ever increasing passenger numbers demanding food and drink options that reflect what they can purchase on the ground – be it in a supermarket, restaurant or cafe. Catering is now a prerequisite for airlines, rail businesses and cruise lines who are striving to improve the onboard experience, and seeking out the very best in food and drink is a key driver for the thousands of professionals attending Passenger Experience Week.
Halls of inspiration
The free-to-attend exhibition features a smorgasbord of new food and drink products that reflect the trends taking the travel catering world by storm, with visitors seeking out innovations in gut food, vegetarianism, free-from and world foods. And with three other co-located events covering the entire passenger experience industry, there is no better place for brands to meet new contacts across the onboard services sector.
As demand for meat-free food soars – up by 987% in 2017 according to Just Eat – WTCE 2019 visitors will be hunting for the latest vegetarian, vegan and plant-based options. Among the products being showcased will be Fleury Michon Airline Catering’s pre-prepared seasoned farro with red bell peppers, creamy vegan spinach and rustic carrot meal, and Chum Fruit Snacks‘ 100% natural, no added sugar, gluten-free vegan snacks.
Thanks to a shift in consumer preferences towards ‘healthier’ products, the free-from movement shows no sign of abating and these products remain popular with travellers across the world. During WTCE 2019, visitors will be seeking the most exciting launches, including those from Langerhuize kosher meals and Dr. Schär Group.
It’s not just about food though, onboard operators are paying more attention than ever before to their drinks offer. Reflecting the ever-growing consumer focus on health and wellbeing, this year buyers will be looking for more companies offering non-alcoholic beverages. Among those already confirmed to exhibit are cold-pressed juice producer Bless International Group Limited and Radnor Hills, which manufactures a wide range of spring waters and soft drinks.
Alcoholic beverages are still popular among global travellers, highlighted by Virgin Atlantic’s recent launch of a Flying Bartender programme. As ever, there will be a large number of dedicated alcohol suppliers at WTCE 2019, including new exhibitor Caves d’Esclans, a leading producer of a renowned range of Côtes de Provence Rosés.
Gaining industry insights
One of the most eagerly anticipated features of WTCE is the Taste of Travel programme, which is run in association with Onboard Hospitality magazine. Spanning all three days of the show, the specially curated, free-to-attend sessions will feature live demonstrations from the world’s leading onboard chefs and exclusive presentations from passenger experience professionals. Covering a diverse range of pertinent issues, such as sustainability, wellbeing and food waste, this is the premier opportunity for brands to learn about the trends coming to the fore in 2019 and beyond.
And to further demonstrate the innovation at the show, suppliers will be able to sample food and drink products during lunchtime sessions, enabling attendees to experience novel new products in an informal setting.
Additionally, the Heineken-sponsored, free-to-attend Drinks Reception at the Taste of Travel Theatre on Tuesday, 2 April provides yet another opportunity for brands to get together with visitors to discuss opportunities to generate revenue opportunities onboard.
Archana Sharma, Exhibition Director, WTCE said:
“WTCE presents a premier opportunity for food and drink brands looking to break into the onboard industry. Its co-location with Passenger Technology Solutions, Aircraft Interiors Expo and Passenger Experience Conference completes the line-up for the annual, not-to-be-missed Passenger Experience Week which offers airline, rail and cruise professionals a vitally important platform to source new products and define the future of the passenger experience industry. We look forward to welcoming food and drink brands to WTCE to meet with the industry’s creative, trend setting innovators and to discuss the exhilarating opportunities to transform their business overnight.”
For more information on the opportunities to exhibit at WTCE or to register to attend, visit www.worldtravelcateringexpo.com
About Passenger Experience Week
Four leading events – the Passenger Experience Conference, Aircraft Interiors Expo, World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo and Passenger Technology Solutions – one week, one destination. Delivering content, driving innovation and developing connections to transform your business. Showcasing the latest in cabin interiors, inflight entertainment and connectivity, onboard technology, passenger comfort, catering and travel retail to create the ultimate passenger experience. Taking place 1-4 April 2019 in Hamburg, the events attract more than 18,000 visitors including 2,000 buyers and decision makers from major full service, regional and charter airlines and rail operators and offers the opportunity to meet face to face with suppliers and manufacturers covering the full spectrum of the industry. https://www.passengerexperienceweek.com
About Reed Exhibitions
Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events organiser, with over 500 events in over 30 countries. In 2016 Reed brought together over seven million event participants from around the world generating billions of dollars in business. Today Reed events are held throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa and organised by 38 fully staffed offices. Reed Exhibitions serves 43 industry sectors with trade and consumer events. It is part of the RELX Group plc, a world-leading provider of information and analytics for professional and business customer across industries. www.reedexpo.com