September 19, 2021

Taste of Travel 2021 goes virtual

Onboard Hospitality is pleased to be partnering with the World Travel Catering Expo (WTCE) to bring seven topical hospitality sessions to the Taste of Travel Theatre, moderated by our former editor Jo Austin.

This year a digital theatre will host seven sessions offering insights into the future of onboard services and products. Topics range from wellness and diet trends to careers in onboard hospitality, catering concepts and sensory approaches to future menus. Highlights will include…

Where to next? Sustainability trends

In this session, visionary sustainability champions debate how the global industry is coming together to support the challenges of environmentally-conscious onboard hospitality, and how global consistency and collaboration can change behaviours, reduce waste and improve the customer experience.

The panel will feature: Matt Crane, founder The Aviation Sustainability Forum; Mel Berry, director of inflight customer experience at Iberia; Ariane van Mancius, owner of NowNewNext and Anne De Hauw, founder of IN Air Travel Experience.

Food allergies and managing wellness onboard  

This session will inform airlines how they can manage dietary requirements and allergies onboard in preparation for new laws (including Natasha’s Law, soon to come into force in the UK). Participants will also discuss new wellness initiatives offered onboard through attention to healthier nutrition. Virgin Atlantic joins the debate to tell us how the airline is responding to the increasing demand for allergy and special diets.

Moderated by Marc Warde, owner and director, Niche Free From Kitchen/ Libero, the panel will feature Audrey Hart, manager of inflight services food, beverage & ancillaries at Virgin Atlantic. She will be joined by food safety expert Caroline Benjamin, director, Food Allergy Aware and Julianne Ponan, owner/director of Creative Nature.

A career in onboard hospitality – engaging and inspiring our next generation of leaders  

How can we attract new talent to our industry? What are the priorities for our future leaders when evaluating a potential employer? What can companies do today to engage and inspire employees? These are just a few of the topics set to be discussed as this session which explores what steps our industry needs to take to rebuild post-COVID.

Moderated by Sandra Pineau-Boddison, IFSA Foundation board president and partner at The Hayward Partnership, the panel will feature Sinje Wojahn, head of global HR and people management at LSG Group; Michael Pooley, partner at The Hayward Partnership; April Waterston, assistant editor at Onboard Hospitality magazine; Holly Leadbitter, insights lead at Monty’s Bakehouse, and Helen Jones, product development manager, Niche Free-from Kitchen.

Why hospitality is key to rebuilding passenger confidence   

This panel debate, moderated by Julie Baxter, editor of Onboard Hospitality, discusses how to get hospitality back onboard and bring back the joy of travel. It will focus on why hospitality is integral to rebuilding passenger confidence. It will include examples of airline projects doing just that from Simon Soni, director guest experience activation at Westjet, and Genevieve Reis Rosario

head of product development & service design at Qatar Airways. Alison Wells, md at Plane Talking Products, will outline the suppliers’ role in reviving the joy of travel and Tom Szwed​, client partner director at Black Swan Data, will provide insights from social listening research on this topic.

The future of plant-based 

Plant-based diets are not just a trend. They are here to stay. Small changes to menus can make a significant impact on the environment and could also be a way of streamlining menus and dietary needs to cut complexity, while also pushing innovation and flavour trends.

Steve Walpole, a highly regarded chef with wide expertise in the airline catering world will talk through the increasing range of meat-free diets as he creates two dishes using plant-based alternatives using both modern and classical techniques.

New catering concepts

This session will explore how the pandemic has given the industry a unique opportunity to pause, rethink and reset. It will focus on two main changes: Pre-ordering to ensure hygiene, and sustainability. It will debate how technology is driving change and how caterers, logistics companies and the airlines can collaborate to facilitate pre-ordering and buy-on-board programmes.

Moderated by Lance Hayward, MD & founder at The Hayward Partnership, the panel will include Antony McNeil, director food & beverage – inflight service delivery at Singapore Airlines; Jose Lirio Silva, head of onboard retail Europe for Retail inMotion; Michelle Green, director of business development, strategy & innovation, Tourvest Retail Services, and Robin Padgett, chairman of the Airline Catering Association and SVP catering and retail at dnata.

Making inflight food appealing again: a sensory approach  

Michelin-starred chef Nicholas Poulmentis (a White House guest chef and champion of Chopped USA will look at food and beverage preferences and trends in a post-covid world. His comments and predictions will be backed by scientific research from Dr Stathis Kefallonitis, a world expert on passenger engagement strategies and consumer behavioural attitudes.

“This year’s Taste of Travel programme is better than ever, featuring some of the world’s leading airlines talking to senior industry players about topics that really matter to us all,” says Jo Austin, Taste of Travel Theatre moderator. “Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from those in the know and try some delicious new recipes for yourself after demos by top chefs Tune into the WTCE Virtual September 14-16″

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