April 3 2020  |  Food & Beverage

Bottega bubbles onboard

By Rick Lundstrom

This is a special feature from PAX International's April World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Hamburg 2020 edition.

Bottega SpA will have its brand front and center with more travelers this year, at its airport Prosecco Bars and through more onboard sales and service

Traditionally, when a new outlet opens at an airport, the principle players will stand before the cameras and cut a ribbon to mark the event. Such was the case with a recent opening in Concourse A at Dubai International Airport (DXB). This opening of this new restaurant and bar, however, was also marked with a giant pizza cutting.

On February 12 at DXB, Bottega SpA opened the Bottega Prosecco & Craft Beer Bar, a new concept the company carried out in partnership with well-known airport concessionaire HMSHost. The opening marks Bottega’s second unit in the United Arab Emirates as it continues its international expansion. The bar offers a broad selection of drinks and traditional fresh Italian fare in a relaxed environment. The celebratory pizza was an 11-meter-long effort and prepared with traditional Italian flair topped with tomatoes and mozzarella cheese.

The pizza may be original and authentically Italian, but it’s clear Bottega is looking at the future and following trends with its latest line of products. The Bottega SpA press release from the time of the bar and restaurant announcement in early-November states that preliminary data confirms that Dubai is the top airport in the world for international traffic, with approximately 89 international travelers passing through in 2018.

An 11-meter pizza was served up to patrons at the February opening of the Bottega Prosecco Bar and Restaurant at DXB

“As the duty free onboard is generally suffering, in 2020 we are focusing more on the pre-order offer,” Valentina Dalle Mule, Export Area Manager Airlines at Bottega, tells PAX International. “Riding the wave of growth in online shopping.”

Not only can Bottega’s product line be found at DXB, the range will also find a place in international airline trolleys in 2020. American Airlines has expanded its onboard offer to include the company’s Merlot wine in 75 centiliters and it’s Millesimato Spumante Brut in 187 milliliters.

In 2019, Bottega consolidated its travel catering and retail business and secured listings on El Al Israel Airlines and Aer Lingus. Its Prosecco products are also listed for buy-on-board LCC’s Transavia, Swoop and Neos.

This year, Bottega aims to score some key sales, zeroing in on what Dalle Mule says is currently the biggest beverage trend in the hospitality industry: requests by passengers and airlines for “ready-to-drink” beverages.

“The products respond to the consumption trends of passengers in general and specifically to target groups [who are] more and more willing to spend onboard,” says Dalle Mule. “We are speaking about Millennials, Gen Xers and Boomers attracted by the Italian lifestyle.”

Bottega's new Prosecco & Craft Beer Bar at Dubai International Airport

To fulfill the needs of that broad demographic of travelers, Bottega has developed a product called Gin Bacur. Made with Italian ingredients, such as water from the Alps, the beverage features three botanicals: Tuscan juniper berries, sage leaves from Triveneto and lemon zest from Sicily.

The company’s ready-to-drink offering, Spritz Pronol, in a 20-centiliter serving size, will be available on several airlines this summer, while Gin Bacur is flying on Virgin Atlantic Airways, Singapore Airlines, Transavia, Air Canada and Alitalia. Another pre-mixed cocktail, the Negroni mixes Gin Bacur and Vermouth Rosso teamed with pomegranate in a 10-centiliter format, “for cheery moments onboard,” says Dalle Mule.

Two other important Bottega openings occurred last year. In April 2019 the company opened one of its Prosecco bars at Rum Fiumicino Airport and opened in September at Bologna. The bars are built on a winning concept that Bottega launched in 2014 aboard the M/S Viking Cinderella cruise ship by Viking Line. Since then the bars can be found at airports in Italy, Bulgaria and the UK along with variations on the concept used in lounges, beach bars, terraces and wine bars around the world.

“The success of the concept confirms that the brand Bottega is globally recognized as a producer of wines and spirits,” says Dalle Mule. “And as a symbol of the Italian lifestyle.”

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