Focus on: Supporting start-ups
Airlines are often accused of not reacting to market trends fast enough but Retail inMotion has found a way to get start-ups onboard. Laura Gelder finds out how
Back in April, Retail inMotion announced a collaboration with low-cost carrier Eurowings and NX-FOOD, an innovation hub of cash and carry brand METRO, in a bid to bring exciting new snacks onboard.
NX-FOOD, short for Next Generation Food seeks out new technologies, trends and innovative F&B products shaping the future food system. It offers these start-ups the chance to showcase their product in a three-month market trial at METRO Cash & Carry, and now also onboard Eurowings.
The new venture follows the model which NX-FOOD uses with on-the-ground retail – start-ups apply to NX-FOOD, airline-appropriate F&B are submitted for approval by a joint jury (Eurowings, NX-FOOD and Retail inMotion). The top ten products are presented in a Dragons Den-style assessment and then up to four are selected to fly for three-months.
Four products started flying this August and their life onboard beyond the three month trial will be decided based on sales data and customer feedback, including social media coverage. The jury is already selecting new products in an ongoing process.
“Our goal is always to support our clients by offering them the trendiest and most innovative items we can for their onboard retail programmes,” commented José Lirio
Silva, head of onboard retail, Europe, for Retail inMotion. “Entering into this partnership with NX-FOOD is a great way for us to identify up-and-coming food products and trends and offer them directly to Eurowings’ passengers.”
“We wanted to bring new products onboard but we wanted a special process, adds Jordan Locke, manager communications at Retail inMotion. “Start-ups follow F&B trends, like healthy and functional foods, more closely and NX-FOOD is a route to market for them. Eurowings flies around two million people a month so it’s an ideal testing ground.”
Onboard now are Karl Karlo Energy Balls (karlkarlo.com), an organic, vegan, longlasting energy snack; Energieliebe (2kiq. de), an all-natural energy beverage with an attached sachet that passengers can mix in for extra vitamins, minerals and flavour; Wildcorn (wildcorn.de), air-popped popcorn with salty/savoury flavours; and Nouri Boost Shot (mynouri.de/en), a 100% natural, vegan, organic energy shot.
Locke hopes that at least 50% of the new products will stay onboard. He added: “It’s a win for the start-up, which gets its product onboard, it’s a win for the airline, which gets new and exciting products for its customers and it’s a win for the customer, who gets to taste unique products that they wouldn’t have easy access to otherwise.”
Moving forward, passengers may be involved in the process and the concept could be rolled out on other airlines.
Our goal is to offer
our clients the trendiest and the most innovative
items we can