From the Chairman
Greetings and a warm welcome to this relaunch edition of the FAB eZine, a title we have brought back after a protracted, pandemic-driven absence to underline our commitment to travel-related food & beverage.
That commitment has been long-standing. Right from the time I launched what was then The Moodie Report in September 2002, we were the only international B2B media to focus on all airport commercial services and revenue streams.
Whereas our rivals concentrated solely on duty free retail – figuring, perhaps understandably, that’s where the advertising spoils lay – we chose to cover the entire airport commercial ecosystem, from food & beverage to airport advertising and everything in between.
In January 2011 we underlined our belief that the time was right to give the burgeoning airport food & beverage sector its own dedicated global event. The Airport Food & Beverage Conference & Awards, quickly dubbed FAB, was born.
Despite a tricky start – the heating breaking down at the Manchester Airport conference venue in an already desperately cold northern UK winter – FAB has largely flourished since, both reflecting and driving the qualitative revolution that has taken place over the ensuing 13 years.
That is, of course, apart from the pandemic-ravaged 2020-2022 years, which will be forever remembered as a crisis like no other in the aviation, travel and tourism sectors.
In early 2023 we decided the industry’s recovery was sufficiently robust to bring FAB back (as the 2023 Airport FAB + Hospitality Conference & Awards). If we needed further justification, we found it in the intensifying global interest in airport F&B.
Lagardère Travel Retail has led the convergence of channels in recent years, diversifying from its core duty free and specialist retail base when it acquired North American F&B and retail player Paradies in October 2015. It has since extended its F&B presence with further smaller acquisitions such as Dubai-based HWH Hospitality Investments in early 2022 and more recently Tastes on the Fly in the US.
But, of course, the really big play came in 2023 when Dufry, historically a pure-play retailer, and F&B giant Autogrill came together as a new travel retail to dining powerhouse that addresses 2.3 billion passengers in more than 75 countries. That powerhouse – post-FAB – would come to be known as Avolta and its combination of scale, funding and ambition will have a profound impact on airport commerce in the years ahead..
In this issue we present an extensive rundown on FAB 2023 held in Bangkok, Thailand, kindly hosted by Airports of Thailand – all the conference sessions and of course the FAB Awards.
Avolta (formerly Dufry) CEO Xavier Rossinyol outlined his vibrant vision for airport food & beverage during a presentation and subsequent Q&A with me at FAB 2023 in Bangkok
We were delighted to announce in Bangkok that the 2024 Airport FAB Hospitality + Conference & Awards will be hosted by Ontario International Airport in Southern California on 25-26 June 2024. Please put the dates in your diary now for what promises to be an enthralling return to North America for this premier event.
Also in this extensive issue we feature an insight into Lagardère Travel Retail’s ‘pleasure spending’ philosophy and discover how our partner tRetail Labs’ bespoke data can help your brand predict the future. We also meet Areas Iberia CEO Sergio Rodriguez, who outlines why quality is the paramount influence in all his decisions.
In our new regular feature ‘Yes, Chef!’ we meet SSP America’s inspiring Executive Chef & VP Culinary Robert Maluso, who reveals his pride, passion and professionalism – and his favourite airport snack.
Going forward, we want to hear from you. What is your company up to, and what would you like to see us writing about? Who should we interview, and what speakers should we invite to FAB 2024? And, finally, how can we engage you with content that ensures you take time out of your busy working day?
My inbox is always open at ‘The website that never sleeps’ – Martin@MoodieDavittReport.com
Thank you for your readership and support.
Founder & Chairman, The Moodie Davitt Report & FAB
Founder & Chairman
Martin Moodie Martin@MoodieDavittReport.com
Dermot Davitt Dermot@MoodieDavittReport.com
Irene Revilla Irene@MoodieDavittReport.com
Elişa Roche, Mark Lane
FAB & International Account Manager
Maya Feeney Maya@MoodieDavittReport.com
Jo Bettles and Ray Heath
Kristyn Branisel Kristyn@MoodieDavittReport.com