A shift in consumption habits is driving the beverage category forward into 2020 and beyond, with health and wellbeing, premiumisation and sustainability all key considerations for today’s consumer.
This explains why two in five visitors at last year’s World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) were seeking out new alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage products for their passengers. As the trend continues to grow, the industry’s leading onboard beverage suppliers will showcase their latest products at the Hamburg Messe from March 31 – April 2 at WTCE 2020.
Low and no set to grow
A surge in the popularity of healthier and higher-quality products is fuelling demand for low and no alcohol alternatives across the beverage industry. This trend has already been recognised by a number of major airlines such as Virgin Atlantic, which introduced the world’s first no and low onboard alcohol cocktail menu for its economy, premium and upper-class passengers earlier this year.
WTCE will be hosting onboard providers of low and no alcohol alternatives such as Longbottom & Co., which will be bringing its vegan and gluten free Virgin Mary, available in 150ml and 250ml cans.
Alcohol sales stay strong
Despite the growth of low and no alternatives, alcohol remains an essential category onboard and significantly contributes to total revenue for many airlines. Research within the sector shows consumers are willing to pay a higher price tag for that premium product, and as a result, operators are managing their product portfolios accordingly.
This is evident from British Airways’ 2019 activity, which included two new alcoholic drink options for its World Traveller Plus passengers: Gin Fizz (gin, orange juice and sparkling water) and Bloody Mary (vodka, tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce and spice).
A number of alcohol brands are already confirmed to exhibit at WTCE, with new exhibitor Cocktail House Swiss, an Italian distiller of handcrafted, ready-to-drink cocktails for cruise and airlines leading the way for innovative onboard beverage solutions.
The changing soft drinks market
Health, wellbeing and premiumisation are themes that continue to prevail within the soft drinks sector too, with plant-based waters, kombucha and functional beverages also gaining popularity.
UK-based soft drink manufacturer Radnor Hills will be at WTCE on stand 1A70 to help operators capitalise on the demand for healthier alternatives with its range of canned spring waters. Lightweight for easy transport, leak-proof, long shelf life and 100% recyclable, its 330ml aluminium cans of still or sparkling water provide the perfect option for airline, rail and cruise operators looking to capitalise on this growth in demand.
As excess packaging and single-use plastic begin to influence consumers’ decision making, soft drinks suppliers are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of switching to more sustainable formats. Buyers will be able to satisfy consumer demand for more sustainable products and improve the passenger experience by finding suppliers such as Global Inflight Products on stand 1E10 at show, whose ‘Green is Possible’ line includes biodegradable and recyclable products such as cups, straws and napkins.
Archana Sharma, Exhibition Director of WTCE, said:
“WTCE presents a fantastic opportunity for air, rail and cruise buyers to meet new suppliers, discover the latest trends and industry innovations. Its co-location with Aircraft Interiors Expo and Passenger Experience Conference completes the line-up which enables all our visitors to enhance their passengers’ onboard experience.”