May 30, 2024

Congratulating 2017 winners…

Winning products:
The Foodmaker range by Newrest
Snack box-to-go French Fries

2017 Best for Catering Innovation (Joint winner) & 2017 Best Onboard Snack (Economy)

Brussels Airlines won two awards this year. The team worked with Newrest to create an innovative buy-on-board Foodmaker range which was a joint winner in the Best for Catering Innovation category. Grégory Baillet head of product at Brussels Airlines explains how this product took flight

Q.How do you and your team develop new inflight catering options?
A. Aiming to be the most personal airline, we put our guests in the centre of everything we do. A mission that is especially important when defining new inflight catering options. At Brussels Airlines we like to think out-of-the-box to surprise our guests with exciting and fresh new concepts and services. That’s why we also look at unusual providers, who challenge known truths and come up with high-quality products that are healthy, something that is definitely not standard in aviation.

Q.What do you think puts your product ahead of others in the same field?
A. There are multiple factors that differentiate our new menu from other airlines.
First of all, our new selection of snacks and meals in cooperation with The Foodmaker is fresh, surprising, mostly organic and mainly locally sourced. Their healthy and fresh food offer is very much appreciated by our guests.Secondly, as the leading Belgian airline we are of course an ambassador for our country. That’s why we have teamed up with various Belgian companies to offer our guests a culinary journey through our country: Our guests can have Belgian fries onboard topped with Devos-Lemmens mayonnaise, have a hot warm Liège waffle afterwards, dip a Lotus Speculoos in the after-dinner Rombouts coffee and finish off with an exquisite Neuhaus chocolate. It is important for us that our Belgian guests feel at home from the moment they step on board and that our foreign guests can learn about our Belgian food culture.To keep surprising our customers we rotate the products of our menu on a monthly basis. Whenever you fly with us, we invite you to try something new!

Q.Are airlines looking for more unique dining offerings today?
A. Most airlines prioritise cost as a defining factor when defining creating a new catering concept for short & medium haul economy class. Since a buy on board concept puts a selection of your meals in direct competition with airport catering, we think an airline needs to provide its passengers an added value, in order to be successful. This is why we prioritised the quality and the expectations of our guests want while creating our menu, despite the risk of increased costs due to waste and logistics, because in the end this is recuperated if your customers buy more. When designing the menu we defined the customer journey like visiting a supermarket for a few hours: You need to provide your guests a high quality product at a reasonable price to attract their interest and position your selection above the mentioned competition.

Q.What product trends will you be responding to next?
A. We plan to extend our cooperation with The Foodmaker and other partners further, to continue improving our catering concepts. For example, the introduction of complimentary Foodmaker products for Flex&Fast, our flexible Economy class, was highly-appreciated by our guests. Additionally we are monitoring ongoing trends in the industry in order to further increase customer satisfaction and keep the spirit of a young and lean company.

Q.How has winning an Onboard Hospitality Award helped your business? 

A. We feel greatly honoured by the award when thinking about the countless hours of work we put into it, in a really short timeframe. The recognition of our concept not only by the customers but also by the industry encourages us to keep exploring risks in order to come up with truly innovative concepts!