The airline onboard retail industry has been growing annually at an average rate of 12.9% since 2012, and totaled more than $5 billion in sales in 2014; much of that growth was led by purchases of food, beverages, inflight entertainment and inflight duty free & travel retail products by passengers onboard European and Asia Pacific carriers, according to a new report from GuestLogix Inc., the leading global provider of ancillary-focused merchandising, payment and business intelligence technology to airlines and the passenger travel industry.
Airline Onboard Retail Market Assessment 2015: What Global Airline Passengers Buy as They Fly, a comprehensive report released today in collaboration with retail analyst firm Kantar Retail, also finds that domestic flights sell nearly twice as much alcohol as international flights, passengers are showing a preference for fresh foods over snacks, and tobacco, wine/spirits, and fragrances/cosmetics account for 70% of inflight duty free & travel retail sales.
The onboard retail market remains strong and will continue to serve as a major area of growth and focus for airlines worldwide, according to the report. Findings are drawn from analysis of data gathered across a spectrum of sources, including airlines, annual reports, travel associations and agencies, as well as GuestLogix’ proprietary database of onboard retail sales from 2012-2014.
“An evolving retailing sophistication, combined with passengers’ willingness to pay for a better travel experience, has contributed to significant inflight retail market growth,” said Dan Thompson, SVP, Marketing & Communications, GuestLogix. “Global airlines have achieved substantial revenue growth from onboard retail activities, primarily through the sale of food and beverage and duty free. That said, in 2016, we’re going to see onboard technology, product and service offerings, access points and payment methods continue to evolve and expand.”
Of the 12.9% average annual growth rate since 2012, Europe accounts for nearly two-thirds, while Asia Pacific accounts for approximately one-fourth. Interestingly, full-service carriers account for roughly 60% of sales growth, but low-cost carriers are growing at nearly double the rate of full service carriers. Other key findings:
Travel Retail Opportunities on the Rise
• U.S. spending on services (including air travel and tourism) is up, representing 67% of total spending in 2015
• The global middle class population nearly doubled from 2001 to 2011 - a positive consumer trend for the airline industry, as more people are able to afford and consider air travel
Low-Cost Carriers Lead Buy on Board (BoB) Growth
• BoB sales, including food, beverages and passenger comfort items, totaled $1.8B in 2014, with strong growth led by the beverage category (13.5%)
• Based on percentage of sales, domestic flights sell nearly twice as much alcohol (55%) as international flights (33%)
• Fresh foods are fueling food sales growth at an average rate of 12.7% annually, while snack sales are dropping at an average annual rate of 3.7%
• Inflight entertainment sales are growing rapidly (28.5%) and dominate the passenger comfort category
Inflight Duty Free & Travel Retail (DFTR) Growth Led by Full-Service Carriers
• Tobacco, wine/spirits and fragrances/cosmetics account for 70% of DFTR sales
• Region-specific DFTR trends exist i.e. tobacco and wine/spirits are a larger percentage of overall sales in EMEA (44%) compared to Asia Pacific (12%)
• With sales growth of 25%, short/medium haul and long haul flights could outpace X-long haul flights in the future, despite relatively even DFTR sales at present
The report outlines the past, present and projected state of inflight retailing, and it profiles key growth drivers in the airline onboard retail sector and changes in passengers’ buying preferences. Data tracks the size and growth of the industry in total as well as by segment, product category, airline geographic region, and flight type and length.
About GuestLogix, Inc.
GuestLogix, Inc. (guestlogix.com | openjawtech.com), is a global leader in comprehensive merchandising, payment and business intelligence technology delivered to the passenger travel industry, both onboard and off-board. Bringing over a decade of expertise as the industry’s most trusted onboard transaction processing partner to airlines, rail operators and elsewhere in the passenger travel industry, GuestLogix powers the industry’s growing reliance on ancillary revenue generation. Both direct to operators as well as through partnerships with global leaders in catering, duty-free, inflight entertainment and self-service retail experts, the Company provides the payment services touching over 1 billion travelling consumers each year. On December 23, 2014, GuestLogix announced the acquisition of OpenJaw Technologies, a Dublin-based technology company focused on travel retailing innovation in the e-commerce segment. GuestLogix' global headquarters and centre for product innovation is located in Toronto, with regional offices located in Dallas, London, Dublin, Galway, Madrid and Hong Kong, and product innovation labs located in Moncton and Kraków.
© 2015 GuestLogix. All Rights Reserved.
This news release includes certain forward-looking statements that are based upon current expectations, which involve risks and uncertainties associated with GuestLogix' business and the environment in which the business operates. Any statements contained herein that are not statements of historical facts may be deemed to be forward-looking, including those identified by the expressions "anticipate","believe","plan","estimate","expect","intend", and similar expressions to the extent they relate to the Company or its management. The forward-looking statements are not historical facts, but reflect GuestLogix' current expectations regarding future results or events. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations, including the matters discussed under "Risks and Uncertainties" in the Filing Statement filed on November 12, 2015 with the regulatory authorities. GuestLogix assumes no obligation to update the forward-looking statements, or to update the reasons why actual results could differ from those reflected in the forward-looking statements.