Taste of Travel Sessions 2021

Produced in association with:

The Taste of Travel sessions are considered an invaluable part of WTCE’s programme. Produced in association with Onboard Hospitality Magazine, we bring together a host of experts to help attendees understand the macro trends that will affect their business in the coming year, and how they can flex their business to meet changing passenger demands.

If you missed this year's Taste of Travel programme, you can watch sessions on demand below.

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Where to Next? Sustainability Trends

As we recover from the pandemic, sustainability is moving up the agenda fast. Now is the time for airlines, suppliers and industry leaders to work together to create a cleaner, leaner more consistently planet-friendly way forward.  In this session three visionary sustainability champions debate how the global industry is coming together to support the challenges of environmentally-conscious onboard hospitality provision and how global consistency and collaboration can change behaviours, reduce waste and improve the customer experience.


Sarah Klatt-Walsh
Founder and Owner,
Sarah Klatt Consulting


Matt Crane
The Aviation Sustainability Forum


Ariane van Mancius
Founder & Company Owner,


Anne De Hauw
IN Air Travel Experience


Melanie Berry
Director of Customer Experience,

Food Allergies and Managing Wellness Onboard

Up to 20% of passengers now order some kind of dietary special meal. Giving passengers with allergies incorrect meals is dangerous and potentially fatal.  Airlines need to know every ingredient and allergen of the meals they serve. This session will inform airlines how they can manage the dietary requirements in preparation for Natasha’s Law, soon to come into force in the UK, as well as discuss new wellness initiatives through healthier nutrition.  Virgin Atlantic joins the discussion to tell us how the airline is responding to the increasing demand of allergy and dietary requirements.


Marc Warde
Owner and Director, Niche Free From Kitchen trading as Libero Special Meals Bare Food, and Noot


Audrey Hart
Manager of Inflight Services Food, Beverage & Ancillaries,
Virgin Atlantic


Caroline Benjamin
Food Allergy Aware


Julianne Ponan
Owner and CEO,
Creative Nature

Why Hospitality Is Key to Rebuilding Passenger Confidence

A panel debate moderated by Julie Baxter, Editor of Onboard Hospitality discussing how we can get hospitality back on board and bring back the joy of travel.  Focussing on ways to raise the profile of on-board hospitality which in turn will increase passenger confidence. Examples of airline and supplier projects that are really making a difference. 

The aim of the session will be to show that on board hospitality is not just a ‘nice to have’ addition that can be reintroduced once flight schedules are back to former levels - rather that is integral to the recovery because putting good hospitality - F&B plus amenity kits and textiles etc - is what will normalise the travel experience again.  

Many passenger surveys show passengers are put off flying by all the images of PPE crew and the non-stop focus on hygiene. While this is clearly important, this session will show that it is beautiful products and delicious inspiring catering that really make a journey special and that has to return as part of the recovery to bring confidence back.  

We will look at research /pax data analytics which show the importance of food, and a range of initiatives that exemplify the joy of travel returning. Throughout the pandemic many airlines have stripped back the product offering - this session will show why it is a mistake to think it is an easy money saving and they don't have to bring it back. This is particularly important session given the huge amount of staff turnover in airlines - some buyers do themselves not fully understand the value of the product they are being asked to procure and this will help restate the value of all the suppliers that attend and feature in WTCE. 


Julie Baxter
Onboard Hospitality


Simon Soni
Director Guest Experience Activation,


Alison Wells
Plane Talking Products


Tom Szwed
Client Partner Director,
Black Swan Data


Genevieve Reis Rosario
Head of Product Development & Service Design Product Development and Design, Qatar Airways

A Career in Onboard Hospitality - Engaging and Inspiring Our Next Generation Of Leaders

How do we bring the onboard hospitality industry to the forefront as an exciting and enticing choice for those new to the industry or those about to embark on their careers? Throughout the global pandemic, we have lost so much talent and as we accelerate on the road to recovery, many companies are having to re-boot with less people. There is a real need to build back the strength of the knowledge pool and encourage companies to rethink how they recruit, promote, train and incentivise for the next generation of leaders.

The full scope of the onboard services industry including airlines, caterers, and numerous supplier partners can be a bit of a mystery looking from the outside in, especially when it comes to identifying the best career options and training opportunities. Understanding what potential new employees are looking for in a company and providing a platform to encourage active participation, positive engagement, and creativity is a win-win scenario. Let’s talk about how we promote our industry and what it takes to understand and meet the expectations of those starting, restarting, or continuing on their professional journey.


Sandra Pineau-Boddison
IFSA Foundation Board and The Hayward Partnership


Sinje Wojahn
Head of Global HR and People Management, LSG Group


Michael Pooley
Purpose Made Solutions Limited


April Waterston
Assistant Editor and Travel Journalist,
Onboard Hospitality Magazine


Helen Jones
Product Development Manager,
Niche Free-from Kitchen


Holly Leadbitter
Sustainability Insights Lead,
Monty's Bakehouse

New Catering Concepts

The world of onboard catering and services has changed forever due to Covid19 and airlines and rail companies have been quick to adapt.   

The pandemic has given the industry a unique opportunity to pause, rethink and re-set itself. There is an urgent need to understand the nuances of the post-pandemic passenger. During the lockdowns and the restrictions, we’ve all got used to the idea of touch-less communication, choice, ease of transaction and instant fulfilment, driven by hand-held technology. All norms are being challenged. It is an opportunity for radical change.   

This session looks at two major changes currently taking place in the industry:

Pre-Order Is The Future

We look at ways in which the industry has accelerated the trend towards pre-order to ensure hygiene and sustainability and how technology and personalisation is driving this shift. 

We ask:

Could caterers work with logistics companies more/share logistics? Could ground handlers deliver the food? What is the airport’s role in facilitating catering delivery? How can we have passengers deciding what to consume on board? How can we bring this decision as close to the flight event as possible  


The days of just loading and hoping you sell product are gone – onboard retail needs to be more scientific and models of ordering and delivery need to completely change.   

Airport retailers have the shops and the product but very little passenger data whereas airlines have the data and the captive audience, but very restricted ‘shops’ in terms of onboard space and marketing opportunity. How can they collaborate? And how technology is making a difference.


Lance Hayward
MD and Founder,
The Hayward Partnership


Robin Padgett
Chairman of the Airline Catering Association and SVP Catering and Retail, DNATA


Antony McNeil
Director, Food & Beverage -
Inflight Service Delivery,
Singapore Airlines


José Lirio Silva
Head of Onboard Retail Europe,
Retail in Motion


Michelle Green
Director Business Development, Strategy & Innovation,
Tourvest Retail Services

Chef Sessions

The Future of Plant-Based

Plant based is flying high and changing the food map globally. This is not just a trend, it is a conscious change being made to make a difference for the future. Small changes to menus and offerings can make a big impact. This could also be a way to streamline menus and dietary needs to cut down on complexity while also pushing innovation and flavour trends.

Our highly regarded chef with wide expertise in the airline catering world, Steve Walpole, navigates us through the incredible number of meat-free diets as he creates two dishes using plant-based alternatives with both modern and classical techniques. 

Making inflight food appealing again: A sensory approach

A good meal can create confidence. Airline caterers need to rethink their onboard offering as passengers return to the skies. This chef session presented by Michelin star chef, Chef Nicholas Poulmentis (White House guest chef, Chopped-USA champion) looks at food preferences and F&B trends in a post-Covid era backed by scientific research undertaken by Dr Stathis Kefallonitis, a world-expert on passenger engagement strategies and consumer behavioural attitudes. Plenty of good material here for airline caterers to take away and consider for their future menus.