August 22 2023  |  Food & Beverage

Passengers now see F&B as integral to their journeys, says SSP study

By Reedah Hayder

One in five travellers wishes for digital ordering options to simplify their journey

SSP Group has released a new comprehensive study on the evolving preferences of modern F&B customers within the travel sector.

While well-being and sustainability are gaining significance, the core drivers for actual purchases remain price, convenience, and quality. The study also identifies seven distinct customer segments, spanning from cost-conscious “aspirational foodies” to value-seeking “mainstream fans.”

“The tangible nature of the insights we’ve collected and the work we’re doing, as a result, means the business decisions we make and the propositions we create are firmly rooted in the needs of our customers,” said Angela Moores, chief customer officer of SSP Group in an August 22 press release. “Although bigger isn’t always better, the scale of this research means our results are more robust and gives us greater confidence in how we respond to them.”

Some key trends include:

Over half of leisure travellers (52 percent) consider airport dining an integral part of their vacation, with 83 percent more likely to buy F&B at airports.

One in five travellers wishes for digital ordering options to simplify their journey.

One in five customers opt for ethical and sustainable choices, while healthy F&B options are essential for over two-thirds of travellers globally.

A third prioritize value for money, yet 40 percent are willing to pay more for top-quality F&B, necessitating diverse pricing options.

The study underscores the challenges of catering to diverse customer attitudes, with heightened stress levels for some travellers.

The research, based on 18,000 guest interviews across 25 markets, delves into digital adoption, sustainability, health, post-COVID sentiments, and more. A detailed whitepaper with further findings is available for download.

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