Butlers for service
September 30, 2020
Foodcase innovators have developed a way to ease back catering with ambient options designed for minimal touchpoints and maximum consumer confidence, reports Julie Baxter
Specialist in ambient food solutions, Foodcase (like most inflight caterers) saw a 95% drop in its business at the start of the pandemic and adapted fast of offer post-COVID solutions.
Wilbert de Louw, chief executive officer, says: “We were determined to take on the challenges of the pandemic in a positive way and began immediately to work on new ideas and take steps to ensure we would come out of this crisis stronger than ever.”
The company’s ambient specialism was helpful. He explains: “Ambient food products have been very useful for starting up inflight service and we are now receiving a lot of requests from all over the world for ambient meals and return catering boxed solutions, as well as for our new hygiene kits. Alongside our airline range we developed pre packed and sealed food and packaging concepts for the hospitality industry and within a month of lockdown had a full service breakfast solution for four hotel chains in Europe. Our R&D team also developed a No Touch Door Opener to help with touchless delivery.”
He believes the airline industry has already dramatically changed, with the focus very much on food safety. He says: “There are a lot of myths circulating around food safety but consumer perception counts for a lot and we believe airlines will react to this by offering sealed food for a considerable period. Boxed solutions will become even more important in the long term as consumers prioritise food safety as they are seen as very safe, and also minimise waste streams and save costs. Thankfully we have heavily invested in these concepts over the last three years.”
Key to new developments from Foodcase is the Butler Box concept which provides smart pre-packed and sealed solutions in a practical, minimal-touch way. It was developed to meet the need for secured return catering activities allowing airlines to serve food without being dependent on caterers or suppliers outside their main hubs.
“We had already recognized a need for smarter and easy-to-handle solutions even before COVID-19. And we knew sustainability and waste reduction were a high priority for airlines so we worked to jump into this gap, offering a full ambient tray set-up. Learning from the past and adapting to what is truly needed we believe we have now found the perfect solution for a post pandemic world.
“Our No Touch Door Key is a good example too of an innovation which would never been thought of if there was not a pandemic. Now we are working on a solution which will have huge impact on the perception of safety onboard – it is in the development stage, watch this space!”