Get set for fresh ideas, captivating new features and a chance to build meaningful connections as WTCE prepares to land in Hamburg from 6-8 June 2023.
World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) returns to the Hamburg Messe from 6-8 June 2023, providing a unique opportunity for brands from across the inflight catering, onboard services and passenger comfort industries to meet with buyers from the world’s leading airlines and rail companies.
Onboard, travel catering and passenger comfort
A year on from the first post-pandemic WTCE event and the conversation has shifted from recovery to growth. Passenger demand has largely risen in the leisure travel sector with international markets reporting an increase in air travel in January 2023, compared with the same period in 2022, according to IATA.
Building on the success of last year’s event and continued regrowth of the travel industry, the 2023 edition of WTCE is expected to welcome more visitors and exhibitors in June. Organisers are expecting over 5,000 attendees – including 750-plus onboard buyers from global, regional and low-cost airlines, rail companies and travel caterers – who will be looking for inspiration from the 300 plus exhibitors demonstrating their innovative products on the show floor.
Visitors will be treated to a first look at the most exciting new food and beverage, passenger comfort and onboard service products to hit the onboard market, as well as those developed specifically to help airlines achieve their sustainability targets. And with a growing number of passengers looking for ways to improve their health and wellness onboard, there will be plenty of new ranges for airlines and rail operators to explore at this year’s event.
Key themes for the 2023 event include ‘wellness onboard’, ‘creating memorable experiences’ and, of course, ‘sustainability’, with all topics set to be addressed at the Taste of Travel Theatre sessions on the show floor.
New exhibitors bring the wow factor
The show floor will feature more than 300 suppliers of onboard products and services, including 50-plus companies that will make their WTCE debut this year. These include smoothie pioneers, innocent Drinks, Crunch Cereals Private Limited, Roddas, Doves Farm, Skinny Genie, Air Chef Inc, &Stirred Cocktail Mix, Lockdown Liquor & Co. and many more.
WTCE will also welcome back a number of suppliers that have exhibited at every event to date, including Monty’s Bakehouse, Sola Switzerland, Linstol, Formia and more.
“WTCE is an invaluable platform for FORMIA as a global company to connect with our airline customers and industry colleagues from across the regions, and to expand our network and develop new relationships.
In our eyes, the event provides the perfect opportunity to bring a company’s purpose to life, and inspire and delight passengers with meaningful, valuable and conscious creations.”
Food and drink inspiration
For those looking to explore the freshest food and drink trends, visitors can expect to find more than 100 exhibitors dedicated to showcasing their latest food and drink products in line with passenger trends. These include products from Lily O’Brien’s, PLAYin CHOC, 5th Season Fruit BV and Novepan, among others.
Visitors will not be short of food and drink companies to explore on the show floor, from snack brands to complete meal solutions including Foodcase International BV, Cuisine Solutions, SATS Catering, dnata,, LSG and others.
Special dietary requirements
Furthermore, a host of companies that specialise in catering for special diets will be on-hand to show visitors how they can meet and exceed passengers’ expectations for great tasting ‘free-from’ food. Europe and the US are currently leading the free-from market, with Europe alone forecast to grow its overall free-from market 8.7% by during the period 2020-2025.
Visitors will be able to discuss the latest free-from and special meals trends with Tops Foods NV, Foodpartners France, Frankenberg GmbH, Kragtwijk Finest Food, the Islamic Chamber Halal Certification (ICHCS) and more.
Beyond food and beverages
Visitors can also view a large selection of products from a broader range of categories, including packaging, passenger comfort and wellbeing, food service equipment, hygiene, onboard technology and logistics.
Showcasing their products will be Hello Straw, Kaelis, Paradies, Buzz Products, Korita Aviation and Egret Aviation to name a few.
Commenting on WTCE from an airline buyer perspective, Abdulrahim Aljneibi, Procurement Manager, Etihad Airways said:
“I come to WTCE to meet up with suppliers face-to-face and expand our portfolio and build up relationships. We want to discuss and see how the new market is growing. I really enjoy the environment, and everything is really organised.”
New for 2023, WTCE will introduce its ‘Wellbeing Walk-Through’, a feature not to be missed for buyers interested in food, drink, beauty and amenity kit products that can improve a passenger’s wellbeing while travelling.
Speaking about the new Wellbeing Walk Through, WTCE Event Director, Polly Magraw, commented:
“Mental and physical wellbeing have become extremely important to passengers, and airlines are increasingly looking for innovations that can really enhance the onboard experience.
We have some exciting exhibitors that cater to this growing trend, from companies offering jet lag solutions, to functional food and drink; there really will be so much on offer for our visitors to discover in the wellness space at this year’s event.”
Education to inspire memorable experiences
Alongside a show floor full of innovation, the Taste of Travel programme – in association with Onboard Hospitality magazine – will be back with a packed timetable of panel discussions, expert speakers, live demonstrations and product tastings.
Taking place across all three days of WTCE, the sessions will look at topics including Allergic Reactions, with Special Meals expert Marc Warde and Lauren Costello, Executive Director of IFSA.
Panel discussions will also include easyJet discussing portable streaming technology and an instructional wine tasting by Intervine comparing wines from around the world.
Sustainability will naturally form a large part of the event programme, with sessions including What it takes to create a Healthy and Sustainable Workplace Environment, Driving Towards Net Zero, and further discussion aimed at the rail sector regarding Sustainability Challenges and Innovations.
The Passenger Experience Conference
For those looking for a broad perspective on the future cabin experience in the aviation industry, the return of the Passenger Experience Conference (PEC) presents the opportunity to join speaker sessions on the hottest topics of the moment. Taking place on Monday 5th June at the state-of-the-art Congress Centre Hamburg (CCH), there will be several sessions that are aimed specifically at WTCE attendees.
The one-day event will give visitors the chance to immerse themselves in the latest insights, ideas and analyses from the people and companies that are driving the evolution of the onboard sector. Visitors can look forward to sessions such as ‘A Vision of The Multi-Modal Future’, ‘Succeeding In The Green Revolution’ and ‘Delivering For The New Generation Passenger’.
As well as the PEC programme offering so much for WTCE visitors to look forward to, they can also benefit from early bird ticket prices up until 19th May.
Personalise your visit
Last year saw the launch of WTCE Connect, an online show planning platform that enables visitors and exhibitors to make the most of their time at the event and easily discover new highly relevant contacts and arrange their meetings schedule prior to arriving in Hamburg.
Following its success, WTCE Connect will once again be available to attendees, enabling them to develop new relationships, meet the right people and find the products most suited to their needs.
All visitors and exhibitors will also be invited to the free-to-attend WTCE Drinks Reception – sponsored by Heineken – which will take place on Wednesday 7 June and will once again present the perfect opportunity for individuals to network with other attendees and discuss opportunities to increase passenger satisfaction and revenue onboard in a more relaxed atmosphere.
WTCE Event Director, Polly Magraw, concluded:
“We’re looking forward to building on the success of last year’s show, with an even better event, packed with exciting product launches and inspiring educational sessions. We’re already expecting more exhibitors and visitors than last year, and we’re looking forward to welcoming new and familiar faces to Hamburg in June.
It has been encouraging to see how far the industry has come since the pandemic hit and I’m positive that the event will yet again provide a source of inspiration for everyone involved.”
Co-located with the industry-renowned Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX), WTCE will be found in Halls A1, and A4 of Hamburg Messe. Together, the events will provide passenger experience professionals with a unique opportunity to identify new products and solutions throughout the cabin.