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

Southern comfort

Jetex Flight Support’s latest building at Dubai South won the FBO of the year title at last October’s Aviation Business Awards. Dave Calderwood went along to find out why and also discovered other excellent facilities along the way.

Garmin introduces the GFC 600H helicopter flight control system

Garmin has launched the GFCTM 600H flight control system for helicopter owners and operators – a breakthrough in cost-effective technology that reduces pilot workload and improves mission effectiveness.

Pegasus Airlines is bouncing back and looking to new markets

Pegasus Airlines has released a statement saying it is looking forward to expanding after ‘weathering Turkey’s tough times for Turkey's aviation sector in recent years.’

TAV Airports revenue reached EUR 1.1 billion in 2017

TAV Airports Holding increased passengers served 10% and reached 115 million.

Double honours for Emirates Group Security and Transguard

Emirates Group Security and Transguard have cemented their industry leadership position by clinching two accolades at the 16th edition of the Sheikh Khalifa Excellence Awards (SKEA).

Algerian minister confirms bids submitted re cargo market tender

Algerian Minister of Public Works and Transport, Abdelghani Zaalane, has confirmed that four bids have been submitted to government regarding the proposed liberalisation of the country's air cargo market, reports ch-aviation.

TAA SK0902311218
See us at
SOFEX BT2018BIAS BT271017161118Aviation Africa BT18418Global Aerospace BT2018ArabianTravelMkBT250418Istanbul Airshow BT22018AirportShow BT1502090518MEBAA BT2018Abu Dhabi AirExpo BT2018