This year’s WTCE in Hamburg is set to turn the spotlight on a huge transformation underway in the beverage category driven by consumer demand for variety and choice in non-alcoholic and healthy alternatives.
Two in five (40%) of VIP visitors attending the annual World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) are seeking out new beverage products for their passengers and a new Beverages Pavilion will help focus their search.
According to recent research by Euromonitor International, bottled water continues to lead the soft drinks. One exhibitor looking to capitalise on this is MeMento srl which will showcase its blend of distilled aromatic waters filled with the scents of the Mediterranean, while Radnor Hills will present a range of spring waters and soft drinks.
Clean label, organic and functional flavours are also capturing the imagination of consumers, according to Euromonitor. And an increasing number of travellers, from abstemious millennials to health-conscious weight-watchers, are increasingly ditching alcoholic beverages for soft drink alternatives.
Other exhibitors in the beverage pavilion will demonstrate products with functional flavours, including Fentimans – an expert in natural botanical drinks – and Folkington’s which manufactures premium natural mixers, crafted from small-batch citrus and floral botanical extracts. They will be joined by Bless International Group Limited offering a wide range of cold-pressed juices, including its R54 Eye Protector Juice, of pear, red grape, red dragon fruit and blueberry.
Alcoholic offerings will continue to rank high on buyers’ agenda with Hawaiian Airlines’ alcoholic beverage programme, for example, still accounting for nearly 40 percent of annual onboard revenue. And it’s not just airlines investing in alcohol. Last year, Cunard added a “Gin & Fizz” menu on both the Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria ships, and worked with Jack Daniels and The Savoy to bring a 300-litre Jack Daniels barrel aboard the Queen Mary 2.
More than 20 alcohol brands are already confirmed to exhibit at WTCE, with Thistly Cross Cider bringing its seven-strong range including Whisky Cask (6.9%), Original (6.2%) and Elderflower (4%) varieties; Chateau d’Esclans Whispering Angel, a leading producer of a renowned range of Côtes de Provence Rosé including Garrus, Le Coq Rouge and La Poule Blanche; and FBS International, a leading distributor of spirits, wines and champagnes with over 30 years’ experience supplying to airline and rail companies.
Archana Sharma, Exhibition Director of WTCE, said:
“WTCE presents a premier opportunity for beverage brands looking to break into the travel catering industry and buyers to source new products. Its co-location with Passenger Technology Solutions, Aircraft Interiors Expo and Passenger Experience Conference completes the line-up for the annual, not-to-be-missed Passenger Experience Week which enables airline, rail and cruise professionals to enhance their passengers’ onboard experience.”