Focus on

Smell the coffee

June 12, 2019

The aroma of real coffee creates demand, brings a sense of home and carries a quality message. Julie Baxter discovers just how you can bring all that onboard

Expectation is rising. Passengers, it seems, are no longer prepared to put up with low quality coffee onboard and increasingly airlines are looking for branded offers, new service solutions and opportunities to up their hot beverage game.

We’ve already seen alliances with high street chains such as Starbucks, Costa Coffee and McDonalds onboard and all kinds of pods, capsules and granules now claim they can emulate the on-ground coffee drinking experience inflight.

Big brand coffees such as Illy, Nescafe, Nespresso, Kenco, Vittoria Cinque Stelle and Java Republic are in the mix too and no wonder they are keen to take flight, with United alone said to serve up to 72,000,000 coffees a year, Qantas 25,000 a day.

As with many service elements, many carriers are looking for independent offerings too, with a back story. Retail inMotion worked with Eurowings for example to put The Public Coffee Roasters coffee onboard. The cup graphics tell the story of this Hamburg coffee specialist and a patented SuprLid means coffee is freshly-brewed in the cup then filtered through the lid.

Trolley tricks
Branded trolley offers are also gaining recognition. Espresso machine manufacturer Spinel has joined forces with tailor-made trolley producer Italcarrelli to create an espresso coffee machine for a trolley catering onboard, powered by a long lasting lithium battery.

And newest in the mix is a three-way collaboration between SkyTender Solutions, gategroup and Douwe Egberts to create the dedicated SkyBarista L’Or.

Isha Maker, head of sales & marketing SkyTender, explains: “SkyBarista offers authentic barista coffee quality and 50 shades of choice: several blends and hints from toasted hazelnut, to caramel or a subtle touch of dark chocolate. The coffee is made easily as crew move down the aisle and is designed to be served
with love and enjoyed in a glass.”

Key insights
Key insights from onboard trials show the SkyBarista can increase coffee sales two to three times with a high consumption of frothy milky beverages noted. It is generating additional ancillary revenues and creating opportunities for up-and cross-selling, as well as data transparency.

Insights provided through the trolley can also support supply chain optimisation, track passenger consumption, note trends and minimise shrinkage control. •