How to…

How to diversify into drinks

October 01, 2019

BestPartner has been supplying airlines with hot snacks for 15 years, so why, and how, did they move into beverages, asks Laura Gelder

Never say never
BestPartner first moved into beverages simply because they were asked to, explains BestPartner’s ceo, Frank Hollander: “Airlines wanted us to source good-value Champagne and following our success with that, we were asked to supply high quality water with our snacks.”

Be different
“We chose Aquavia water because airlines were looking to source water for their Business cabin and they wanted high quality with extra health benefits,” says Pieter Jansen, BestPartner’s account manager.

Aquavia, is sourced from one of the most alkaline springs in the world – with a pH reading of 9.4. Alkaline water with a pH over 7.0 has a higher concentration of negative ions and although the body’s natural pH is 7.4, this is often lowered due to the consumption of acidic processed foods. “Aquavia can help balance things out. It transports nutrients to cells and helps to improve metabolism,” Jansen explains.

Al Awadhi adds: “We have rethought the entire F&B programme to make it a contemporary, bistro style offer – moving away from trays full of square products – and instead investing in quality produce and portion sizes that are up to 25% bigger.”

Go to the source
BestPartner’s airline partner wanted its own label Champagne at a competitive price so Hollander approached wine makers in France directly. “Our Champagne comes from Épernay, the heart of the Champagne region,” he says. “How we secured the deal is still a secret but the brand is exclusive to us.”

Balance value and quality
“Our Veuve Charlotte Champagne offers the best quality for a price lower than well-known brands like Moet or Veuve Clicquot,” says Hollander. “In fact, its grapes actually lie next to Moet’s vineyards and it has a similar, although still unique, taste, while costing 25% less than Moet per bottle.”

Be the whole package
Diversifying its product range means BestPartner can now sell itself on being able to provide the whole package for customers. “Whatever airlines want, we can bring it to their doorstep,” says Jansen.

“We currently have no plans to add other beverages to our product catalogue, but if we see a unique beverage that will stand out from the crowd, we will definitely think about offering it,” he adds.