Menu musts

January 29, 2019

As buy-on-board revenues become key to some airlines’ success, a well-designed menu can now be the difference between strong sales or none, and can even support repeat custom.

The onboard retail concept has given passengers ever more choice but creating menus that reflect changing consumer habits while still supporting the airline brand, can prove challenging.

TRE3 is among those focused on creating, developing and designing onboard services and its menu cards have flown with Air Europa, Evelop and Air Nostrum among others. Pep Manich Grau, general manager of TRE 3, describes the process: “Initially we have to go through a product selection for each airline. We study the passengers and their consumption habits and try to include products that reflect these, while still offering an element of surprise with new options. Then we focus on how these products should be displayed to best reflect the brand image of the airline, for example should the menu be colourful and loud for a fun brand, or clean and minimalistic for a high end market?

“Having the airline involved throughout the process is the best way to manage expectations, so our designers and photographers are constantly liaising with them.”

Talking trends
Having a menu that is innovative can help an airline to differentiate itself in a competitive market and gain positive publicity. Air Europa’s new menu, which launched in November 2018, for example, reflects the demands of a more health-conscious passenger with the option of healthy snacks, healthy drinks and fresh foods highlighted by associated images and neutral colours.

Manich Grau adds: “Air Europa wanted to separate itself from other airlines with a menu design that was elegant, and imagery that would stand out. We decided the best way to achieve this was to give life to the products through a professional photo shoot. We wanted to give the menu a fresh look and highlight the raw ingredients.”

He believes passengers are increasingly demanding with regards the menu choices they expect and airlines are increasingly keen to present these choices in an appealing way. He adds: “Of course, trends in snacks and beverages are important to follow and we always work together with the most important brands in the market.”