bring chefs in to create theatre with mini-cookery displays and product samplings such as cheeses and jams…It is a brilliant category to demonstrate instore. “There is an increased interest

for new formats (coffee bars, chocolate rooms, restaurants) where quality food is offered. Consumers are ready to pay a bit more if they feel gratified.” Food Accademia, which acts as an

international agent and distributor for Italian fine food & beverage products in travel retail, says demand for fine food is growing in the sector but the process is slow, with space allocation a challenge. Nonetheless, Canal says: “More

retailers are seeing the opportunity and realising that, alongside local brands from a country, there is a definite market and need for top quality products regardless of their origin. Operators understand that high-end food products can be good business for them.”

Prioritising the mix While more eclectic and healthy menu options are on the rise, this hasn’t always been the case, with a number of airport F&B spaces still overpriced and of poor quality.

Nick Inkster, CEO, Nordics & Spain and Group Director Strategic Client Relationships at SSP Group believes there is plenty of choice available to travellers today, with SSP carefully tailoring its brand mix to the traveller demographic. “Certain brands will be better

suited for a business airport such as Zürich or London City, whereas others would be more appropriate at leisure destinations such as Malaga,” he tells TRBusiness. “This is not to say that the split is

simply business and leisure – it’s also down to people’s attitude towards food and the mindset they have while travelling. We’re very aware of the importance of giving our passengers value for money and we understand that they have a choice at the airport. “More passengers are looking for

premium dining experiences but that doesn’t always mean they want a sit-down meal as a result. Some want fine dining with shorter dwell times or premium meals to eat on the move, whether that’s picking up high quality Ibérico ham from Enrique Tomas or a chicken curry from the Michelin-starred Kin Khao Thai Eatery.” Inkster points to trends on the

high street permeating airports, such as premiumisation and the rising appeal for healthier food options. “There’s a definite trend towards

healthy and free-from food and this is an area in which we’ve been paying very close attention,” he confirms. “For instance, we’ve recently

opened a new Mama Campo unit at Madrid-Barajas Airport that’s dedicated to providing healthy

SSP America wins six F&B contracts at IND

SSP America has signed a deal to design, build and operate six concessions at Indianapolis International Airport. Here, SSP America will highlight

the best in local, homegrown food & beverage concepts. These include Harry & Izzy’s at

Concourse A, a popular hotspot within the Indianapolis region, offering Indiana- style grill items such as premium steaks from Midwest farms. Alongside Japanese delicacies such as sushi, speciality rolls, bento boxes, rice

APRIL 2019

bowls and ramen from Bento Sushi, Concourse A will also play host to Bob’s Burger. Meanwhile at Concourse B, the

Indiana State Department of Agriculture has partnered with SSP America to introduce The Farmer’s Market Featuring Indiana Grown. Here, customers can indulge in

Indiana’s culinary traditions from Chef Greg Hardesty, a ‘champion’ of local and seasonal produce. Other options include Sun King

Brewing, which sells a selection of handcrafted seasonal and speciality beers, tapas and small plates, and HotBox Pizza.

“Where airlines are selling wine, the margins they are making tend to be very high and as a result the quality can vary in what can be a commodity market.”

Rupert Firbank, Commercial Director, Global Travel Retail, Accolade Wines

and nutritious meals to passengers, including fresh fruit, cold- pressed juices and organic dishes created using sustainable, locally- sourced ingredients.” Accolade Wines sells its

products in travel retail and not in airport restaurants or fine dining establishments. However, the company has

contracts to supply wines for pouring onboard airlines and on cruise ships worldwide. “Where wine is complimentary the

quality varies from airline to airline, but is commensurate with their budgets,” observes Rupert Firbank, Commercial Director, Global Travel Retail, Accolade Wines. “Where airlines are selling wine,

the margins they are making tend to be very high and as a result the quality can vary in what can be a commodity market. “In the airports, prices may also

be expensive but there is generally a bit more choice,” he continues, but states quality varies enormously from airport to airport. Cruise ships, Firbank says, can also

Left: Health- conscious food options are a big draw for travellers seeking quality and wellness. Pictured is the signature shaved vegetable salad from Summer House Santa Monica at Chicago O’Hare Airport.

Farmer's Market. TRBUSINESS 49

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