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

Onboard Hospitality - - Contents -

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 (kar­lka­, 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 (wild­, air-popped pop­corn with salty/savoury flavours; and Nouri Boost Shot (my­, 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

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