Subscribe Free
in Events

Gluten-free onboard meals to be a key focus at WTCE 2017

Posted 13 January 2017 · Add Comment

Airline operators are being urged to improve their free-from offering to satisfy the huge demand for these products onboard.

In the UK alone, one in five people consider themselves to have a food allergy or intolerance and the number of cases has doubled in the past decade. While for many, consuming free-from foods is a lifestyle choice, for others, it is necessary to prevent serious illness. As a result, airlines are under pressure to cater more comprehensively to this need.

At the 2017 World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE), there will be more free-from foods on display than ever before. One of the key areas of interest will be the thriving gluten-free market, which is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of approximately 6% between 2015 and 2019, according to a report from Technavio. A key factor driving continued momentum in the category is a perception among consumers that gluten-free foods are healthier.

While growth in this market is slower in the UK, research from Mintel states that sales of free-from food are forecast to grow 13% and reach £531m this year[3]. The trend has increasingly found its way onboard with most airlines catering for vegetarian, vegan, diabetic and gluten-intolerant preferences.

Asian airlines do this very well, according to Nikos Loukas, consultant to the airline industry and author of Inflight Feed. ”Most Asian-based carriers offer an assortment of allergen-free meals and usually offer something that will suit almost any request. ANA Group stands out among the best. Allergen-free meals can be ordered up until 96 hours before the flight time, while Kosher and vegetarian meals can be ordered just 24 hours out from take-off,” Loukas commented. ANA offers a 27 allergen-free meal including the seven most common allergens and 20 less common such as crab, banana, kiwi fruit and Matsutake mushrooms.

WTCE 2017 will see a host of free-from companies exhibiting at the 2017 show, reflecting the increase in demand for these products in onboard catering. One such company is Lovemore Free From Foods, a division of Welsh Hills Bakery, which produces a range of gluten, wheat and mostly dairy-free biscuits, cookies, cakes, tarts and fruit pies.

The percentage of the company’s airline-based sales is rapidly growing and it now supplies Gate Gourmet & Vueling. Julian Cruttenden, Key Account Manager for Welsh Hills Bakery, said: “The major retailers are growing at 30%+ year on year in gluten-free produce. We see snacks, cakes and biscuits as particularly in demand in this sector.

“WTCE is a window to the onboard industry and we have now attended twice. The increased focus on free-from food within the industry and at WTCE makes this an attractive proposition for us and the onboard sector alike.”

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

KhalifaSat flown to Korea with Emirates SkyCargo

KhalifaSat, the first fully UAE-built Earth observation satellite, has been flown to South Korea prior to its launch in Japan later this year. Steve Nichols reports.

Oman Air receives its third new Boeing 737 Max 8

The 737 MAX family has been designed to offer customers exceptional performance, flexibility and efficiency, with lower per-seat costs and an extended range that will open up new destinations in the single-aisle market. Oman Air

Etihad Airways enhances its chauffeur services in the UAE

Etihad Airways has implemented new features enhancing its chauffeur services in the UAE.

Pegasus launches flights to Muscat and Dammam

Pegasus Airlines is adding Oman’s capital Muscat and Saudi Arabia’s business hub Dammam to its flight network, to open up new markets in the Arabian Gulf to business and leisure travellers.

DC Aviation Group continues to grow its Aircraft Management fleet

Stuttgart headquartered DC Aviation Group (DCA), the German joint venture partner of DC Aviation Al-Futtaim (DCAF), continues to grow its aircraft management fleet with the addition of a Dassault Falcon 7X.

Sohar ...so good

The Oman Aviation Academy is expected to start operations soon as it gears up to produce future generations of pilots for the Gulf region. Alan Dron reports.

TAA SK0902311218
See us at
Istanbul Airshow BT22018MEBAA BT1004121218GATM BT1004061118Cargo BT1004091018BIAS BT271017161118AIME19BTA3005120219ASDubai BT1004091018