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World Travel Catering & Onboard Services enjoys the taste of success

The show attracted more than 1,400 (pre-audit figure) high calibre visitors as well as over 230 exhibiting companies, representing 28 countries, of which more than 60 were first-time exhibitors.

According to Aaron Glover, Head of Sales for Propercorn, “World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) is the best food show… the quality of buyers and visitors that attend is top-notch. For our continued business development, we see WTCE as pivotal to our future growth”. This was the general consensus on the exhibition floor at the third edition of WTCE; platitudes which confirmed the event’s standing as the world’s largest travel catering event.

The show attracted more than 1,400 (pre-audit figure) high calibre visitors as well as over 230 exhibiting companies, representing 28 countries, of which more than 60 were first-time exhibitors. Organised by Reed Exhibitions, the show took place at the Hamburg Messe from 8-10 April and covered 5,600 sq.m. of floor space; a 12% increase on the event’s previous edition. A comprehensive catalogue of stakeholders from across the onboard sector – such as LSG Sky Chefs, gategroup, DFMI, Frankenberg, Wessco and many more – showcased the very latest product innovations which contributed to a unique networking environment where key decision-makers from international companies were engaged by the diverse range of exhibiting companies.

“We’ve been very impressed with the number of quality contacts we’ve made this week and the number of leads that we have to follow up”, said Andrew Brown, Managing Director at Ratcliff & Brown Wines and Spirits Ltd. “We believe it’s been time well spent to attend WTCE 2014 and we look forward to returning in 2015”. His thoughts were echoed by Sonia Ginty, Sales and Operations Manager at Qbag: “After conducting our research, we decided to exhibit for the first time at WTCE 2014 because the show is well-placed and is the established event in Europe for the onboard services sector”.

More than 1,400 visitors from across the world attended WTCE 2014
Exhibitors who returned to the exhibition were amazed by the growth the show has undergone in recent years. “As a returning exhibitor, we’ve again been overwhelmed by the variety of international visitors, buyers and distributors who have visited us this week. We’ve had great interest in our new FlyFit ambient yoghurt range which has resulted in some very positive discussions and we will definitely come back next year”, said Boudewijn van Eeghen, Chief Commercial Officer of FlyFit.

Shoe manufacturer SkyPro demonstrated its new range of work shoes designed specifically for cabin crews and pilots; Falkan Globus Trading launched a polyethylene-based, lightweight, tear resistant and waterproof map; Monty’s Bakehouse released new bakery ranges of muffins, croissants, Danish pastries, lattice pastries, Calzone pizzas and its Snack Shack buy-on-board products; and Rollover introduced a mini hot dog in a soft roll targeted at the Complimentary meals market and a larger version pitched at the Buy-Onboard market.

Meanwhile Brain&Work introduced the latest product in its patented Magic-Boxes, Cold-Boxes and Ice-Boxes range; which utilise the latest insulation technology to effectively store and transport frozen, chilled and hot catering foods. First-time exhibitor Aaldering Vineyards & Wines took the opportunity to offer tastings from its recently released barrel-fermented Pinotage Rose. Green Gourmet launched a new range of products (under the three brands; ‘Deli Q’, ‘it’s just’… and ‘Subcentral’) and revealed new additions to its bakery and savoury Complimentary and Buy-Onboard ranges. AVID Airline Products introduced three new ergonomically optimised noise-cancelling headphones; the NC-306, NC-308 and NC-311 equipped with microphones that send out waves which block incoming noise.

The eclectic product mix, in conjunction with the emphasis on innovation, continues to motivate visitors to attend the event. “I am visiting suppliers who are interested in keeping up to date with the latest industry products and services”, said Herbert Kranz, Programme Management, Office Aeronautics Research for the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology. “I’ve been a regular to the show and I think it’s an excellent opportunity to network with fellow professionals as well as keeping up to date with new programmes, products and development trends that are relevant to our market interest”.

Throughout the exhibition, the Taste Of Travel Theatre offered an invigorating programme of debates, demonstrations and challenges; lending an interactive experience to the exhibition floor. Highlights included demonstrations from Lead Chef Axel Henkel from German beach restaurant Sansibar, who is creating exciting menus for airberlin; an audience with Willie Pike, Masterchef and member of the DHL Food Innovation Council; and an engaging session hosted by the Parisian-based Ferniot brothers.

“I am delighted with the feedback we have already received from both exhibitors and visitors”, said Exhibition Manager Archana Sharma. “Not only has the exhibition received plaudits from attendees, but the Passenger Experience Conference – which took place at the CCH, Congress Centre Hamburg on 7 April – has also been singled out by delegates on account of the strength of the stream dedicated to ‘Hospitality and Service: Making the Onboard Experience memorable’.

“The impressive rise in visitor numbers is testament to the quality of onboard services present at WTCE. The products present here are set to shape the travel catering scene in the years to come. Reed Exhibitions is looking forward to broadening and strengthening this international platform in 2015 when the event moves into a larger dedicated space in the A Halls at the Hamburg Messe from 14-16 April”.

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She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication & Mass Media from Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens and she has been editor and editor-in-chief in various economic magazines and newspapers.