Editor, Joe Bates, reflects on the ever-evolving airport dining and shopping experience in this ‘retail/F&B innovation’ themed issue of Airport World.
Food for thought
Food is a subject that’s close to all of our hearts, so I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised by some of the online comments we received a few years ago to a story about the comparatively new trend of airports offering healthier food options for passengers.
It may have been 10 years ago now, but I remember that it seemed to really upset some readers who blasted the article as ‘rubbish’, ‘ridiculous’ and ‘fake news’ – OK, I made the last one up – because they insisted that ‘airports’ and ‘healthy food’ were words that could never be used in the same sentence!
Ironically, the whole point of the article was to challenge people’s perceptions of airport food as the opening of a host of new outlets with healthier options on the menu meant that airport fare was no longer typically just about burgers, fries and other fast foods.
And before anyone has a go at me for knocking fast food, let me just say that I am also a fan of it, particularly when on the go or keen to get somewhere and waiter service at a more traditional restaurant is just too time consuming. In essence, making them perfect for airports. However, like with anything, it is always nice to have a choice, and this is never more true than at an airport where visitors might be in and out in less than 60 minutes or hanging around for hours to catch connecting flights.
Luckily, as commercial outlets at airports have become ever more innovative and sophisticated over the years, the choice of eateries and retail offerings at airports has continued to grow and evolve, and you will be able to read about some of them in this ‘Retail/F&B’ themed October/November issue of Airport World.
The retail/F&B scene is set by Aircommerce’s managing director, Melvin Broekaart, who outlines some of the key challenges and opportunities facing the industry going forward.
The themed section of this issue also contains articles about ‘sense of place’ retail; the need for F&B outlets that excite and delight travellers; and a round-up of some of the latest headline making airport retail and F&B news from across the globe.
I have no doubt that some of our examples of retail/F&B innovation at airports will be mentioned at The Trinity Forum – arguably the world’s most influential airport commercial revenues conference – which takes place in Shanghai, China, from October 31 to November 1. You will be able to read a comprehensive review of the event in our next edition.
Another upcoming event is the ACI Latin America & Caribbean (ACI-LAC) Regional Conference, Assembly & Exhibition, which takes place in Miami on November 12-14, so it’s fitting that Miami International Airport (MIA) is the airport in the spotlight in this issue.
Indeed, we get to talk to Miami-Dade Aviation Department’s new director and CEO, Lester Sola, who tells us more about his plans to improve, develop and grow MIA as a passenger and cargo gateway.
Elsewhere in the magazine you can read about airport art and how an ever-increasing number of airports are becoming home to unique and innovative artworks as well as temporary galleries for some of the most famous paintings on the planet.
We also hear from ACI World director general, Angela Gittens; look back at ATAG’s recent Global Sustainable Aviation Summit in Geneva; ponder the long-term potential of digital technologies for airports; and discover how audio visual creativity can help enhance the passenger experience.
Another action-packed issue of your favourite airport magazine, I hope you agree!