World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) returns to Hamburg Messe from 14-16 June 2022, providing a unique opportunity for brands from across the inflight catering, onboard and passenger comfort industries to reunite and meet with buyers from the world’s leading airlines, rail companies and cruise lines.
As well as being its first face-to-face event since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, WTCE is also celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and the team behind the show has lined up an exciting series of initiatives to mark the decade milestone.
From insights into sustainable solutions and eco-friendly packaging, to macro food trends and culinary advice from top chefs, the event will focus on enabling the industry to accelerate its post-pandemic recovery and enhance the overall passenger travel experience. With research from travel firms citing that bookings for travel abroad are up 19% compared to summer 2019, with a particular rise in long-haul trips[i], passenger comfort onboard is a key consideration for the industry as it welcomes customers back.
What’s on at WTCE
Key themes for the free-to-attend event this year include sustainability and wellness, passenger personalisation, boosting ancillary revenue and inspiring the next generation. Visitors will be able to immerse themselves in the latest innovations, learn from industry experts and attend exclusive sessions and demonstrations. With many businesses putting new product development on hold during the pandemic, visitors can also look forward to discovering the latest launches that are due to be unveiled for the first time live at the event.
The show floor will feature over 250 suppliers of onboard products and services, including more than 75 companies who will be making their WTCE debut this year, such as GreenMouse, Cocktailmenot, International, Landgarten and SATS Catering. The event will also herald the return of over 60 businesses who have been exhibiting at the show every year since it began in 2012, including Monte Vibiano, Meiko, Frankenburg and Linstol.
Speaking of the role that WTCE has played in the company’s rapid growth, a Linstol spokesperson said: “WTCE is the largest show in our industry, and it gives us the opportunity to have meaningful face-to-face contact with existing airline partners and connect with people that have new roles/positions. WTCE has helped us grow our business by providing the ideal platform to showcase new products, new partnerships and innovations that airlines have come to depend on us for. Every year our team agrees that we had a better show than the previous year and all the effort we put into the show is 200% worth it.”
Matt Crane, CEO of Monty’s Bakehouse added: “WTCE is without doubt the most important fixture in our calendar, offering the chance to bring exciting new concepts to market and share new ideas and ways of thinking.”
For those looking to explore the freshest food and drink trends, there will be more than 70 exhibitors dedicated to showcasing their latest innovations in line with consumer trends. These include confectionery products such as Playin Choc’s dairy, nut, gluten free chocolate, that also uses sustainably and ethically sourced ingredients and is packaged without plastic, as well as Lily O’Brien’s premium and award-winning chocolates with innovative flavour profiles, and luxury chocolate company Canonica. Additionally, Love Corn will be highlighting its deliciously crunchy low sugar snack made with minimal ingredients, British manufacturer NibNibs will introduce visitors to its sweet and savoury snacks in bite sized formats, while premium ice cream brand founded by American TV personality Tyra Banks, SMiZE Cream, will give attendees the chance to experience the first of its kind luxe-meets-fun dessert for airlines.
There will also be several exhibitors specialising in coffee, which should be of particular interest to visitors since the pandemic caused a 500% increase in people drinking the popular beverage[ii]. Canigo Coffee will bring its new line of on-trend and innovative soluble premium Fairtrade coffee packed in handy sachets, whilst Blaser Café will share its high-quality coffee solutions to meet the fast-changing needs of customers around the world, and Coffee Planet will bring its specialty-grade 100% Arabica coffee beans to the show floor – all must-sees for those looking to tap into this upwards trend. Additionally, SkyTender Solutions will have its innovative and highly customisable beverage solution on stand to demonstrate to visitors how its sustainable and efficient beverage experience can improve passenger’s experience when enjoying drinks from popular brands such as Nestle, Bucher, Coca-Cola, Pepsi and many more.
Global leaders in airline catering, LSG Group will also be at WTCE this June to showcase how its expertise in helping airlines enrich their customers food and service experiences can ensure expectations are met. With 140 locations worldwide, WTCE’s visitors from across the globe will benefit from visiting LSG Group’s experienced team of specialists at show.
Speaking of visiting WTCE, Kevin Lowe, Head of Culinary at Alpha LSG said: “If you want to see something new and exciting, you have to attend WTCE. It’s very rare that you get this calibre of food and drink and onboard products in one place, so it’s definitely worth the trip.”
Visitors can also view a large selection of products from a broader range of categories including packaging, passenger comfort and wellbeing, food service equipment, hygiene, onboard retail and logistics.
Invest in Skane, the official trade and investment agency for the southernmost part of Sweden will be on hand to advise visitors who are looking to establish and expand in the Skane region of Sweden, while Coolike will be showcasing its refreshing and biodegradable guest amenity towels and hand and surface disinfectants. Wessco will highlight its range of luxury in-flight products which have been designed specifically to offer airlines a point of difference, while Qikfresh, provider of innovative dental and oral care solutions for travelers, will be demonstrating its new mouthwash powder – waterfree, 100% natural and made without alcohol, the mouthwash is applied directly and comes in convenient, clean and flexible single-use sachets for fast and effective dental care on-the-go. In addition, because the powder only comes in 2g sachets (rather than 20ml per single-use of mouthwash) there is less weight and waste onboard.
A visitor from CC Consulting, the leadership and coaching consulting company that specialises in supporting businesses reach their goals added: “We come every year to meet with our current suppliers and source new ones as everything is conveniently in one space. It never fails to be a successful and busy trip. We love meeting not only the bigger players in the industry, but also the small companies who have the potential to shake up the industry.”
Education to inspire innovation
Alongside a show floor full of innovation, the Taste of Travel programme in association with Onboard Hospitality magazine will take place across three packed days of seminars, presentations and live demonstrations, all based around the hottest topics of the moment. The sessions, which are curated by well-known industry experts and tailored to ever-changing needs of the sector, will help visitors understand how they can flex their businesses in order to see strong upwards growth post-pandemic.
From chef demonstrations that cover the fastest growing dietary trends and flavour innovations, to education around sustainability concepts that help operators tackle waste and packaging concerns, a line-up of expert advisors and consultants will lead sessions on the trends shaping the industry, as well as shed insight on how operators can adapt to growing trends that are set to change passenger demands in the year to follow.
On day one of the show, visitors can look forward to a session led by Marc Warde on The Future of Special Meals, including a live meat-free cooking demonstration from chef Steve Walpole. Discussions around new onboard catering models and concepts will also see top culinary experts share their knowledge on the food trends influencing the industry. New sustainability initiatives will also be a key topic of discussion at the Taste of Travel Theatre and a line-up of panelists including Marc Starke, VP communication, marketing and digital transformation at Newrest, Anne De Hauw of IN Air Travel Experience, Bill Carrejo, director of sustainable operations at Linstol and Matt Crane of Aviation Sustainability Forum. On the topic of sustainability, visitors will also have the opportunity to join sessions on consumer attitudes to plastic onboard led by Foodcase, the true price of real sustainability and a session on improving the supply chain while cutting waste and increasing revenue streams and the role of sustainability in the recruiting/retaining process. Furthermore, the urgent need for global collaboration session will look at why global standardisation and collaboration are essential to achieve a more sustainable inflight service.
Celebrating a decade of WTCE
To mark WTCE’s 10-year anniversary, the organisers are running a host of initiatives to encourage the industry to join in with the celebration of a decade of innovation and successes.
The launch of the Onboard Icons competition will spotlight the industry’s most influential people and recognise the outstanding contributions made by individuals in the sector over the last decade. The significant progress that the onboard catering and services industry has made since WTCE’s first event in 2012 would not have been possible without the hard-working people at the helm of the industry, and the Onboard Icons competition will celebrate their determination to accelerate the sector’s success. Results from the public nomination and voting process will be announced live at show in the Taste of Travel Theatre on Tuesday 14 June.
Furthermore, in the lead up to this year’s exhibition WTCE has partnered with Foodcase to create a research report into sustainability onboard aircraft. The report will encompass the latest data on what airlines are doing to minimise waste and reduce the use of single use plastics, as well as valuable commentary that highlights what onboard catering suppliers believe airlines need to do and why. With sustainability being a key discussion point for the tenth year of WTCE, the report will drive awareness of the issues, which is set to be of particular interest to airlines looking to gain insight from the businesses leading sustainable innovations.
Additionally, a showcase of 10 of the 60+ companies who have exhibited at WTCE since 2012 will be celebrated, with each of the business’s achievements shared, as a way to inspire others in the next 10 years to come. The likes of Linstol, Diskomat and AMKO have exhibited at WTCE every year for the last decade and all have inspiring stories to tell, particularly when it comes to the role the show played in their success.
WTCE Event Director Polly Magraw commented: “We’re thrilled that we’ll be reuniting back at the Hamburg Messe for WTCE once again after a three-year break, and I’m sure the industry is equally as keen to meet old contacts and create new relationships at the event. We are particularly excited to celebrate WTCE’s 10th anniversary and share some of the industry’s fantastic successes from the past decade, while looking ahead to the next 10 years. Although it has been a tough couple of years for the aviation and travel industry, we’re looking forward to celebrating and supporting our visitors and exhibitors with a programme packed with opportunities to learn, discover and build sustainable businesses for the future.”
Personalise your visit
With so much to look forward to at this year’s exhibition, the organisers behind WTCE have launched an online show planning tool which will enable visitors and exhibitors to make the most of their time at the event and easily discover new contacts and arrange meetings in advance of arriving in Hamburg. The WTCE Connect tool will help attendees create new relationships, meet the right people and find the products most suited to their needs, meaning that they arrive at the exhibition with a personalised schedule to help plan their time at the show. Attendees will need to pre-register for the event to gain access to the platform that has been designed to help the industry make up for lost time post-COVID. Visitors simply need to fill in their registration questionnaire and the tool will match their responses to relevant products, services and exhibitors.
All visitors and exhibitors will also be invited to the free-to-attend Drinks Reception, which will once again present the perfect opportunity for individuals to celebrate the 10th anniversary and to network with other attendees. Sponsored by Heineken, the event will take place in the late afternoon as the show comes to a close on the evening of Wednesday 15th June on the Taste of Travel Theatre, providing yet another chance for attendees to meet new contacts and discuss opportunities to increase passenger satisfaction and generate revenue onboard.
For further information or to register for the event, visit here.
About RX (Reed Exhibitions)
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All images credited to WTCE