Navigating the Skies: Overcoming Challenges with Procurement Analytics for Airline Food Service

Posted by Mintec Team on Mar 22, 2024 9:49:38 AM

In the world of airline catering, where fast aircraft turnaround times, limited workspace, and stringent regulations reign supreme, the quest for balancing quality and cost efficiency is akin to navigating through turbulence. As airlines strive to meet the soaring expectations of passengers while ensuring profitability, the need for innovative solutions to manage costs becomes ever more pressing.

The Emirates Example: Setting the Standard

Take, for instance, Emirates Airlines, a beacon of excellence in the realm of in-flight dining. Catering for more than 55 million dine-in guests annually, Emirates serves destination-inspired cuisine onboard what is often referred to as the world's largest flying restaurant. With a staggering investment of $1 billion per year in catering, Emirates runs a round-the-clock kitchen manned by 1,200 chefs in Dubai, whipping up 12,450 recipes to cater to 590 flights daily. Such a finely-tuned operation underscores the complexity and scale of airline catering, where every detail matters.

Identifying Cost-saving Opportunities

At the heart of effective cost management lies the ability to dissect every aspect of procurement, from individual ingredients to final products. By tracking ingredient prices rather than just overall product costs, airlines can pinpoint areas ripe for optimization. Imagine the difference between knowing the cost of a pre-packaged salad versus understanding the prices of lettuce, chicken, and sauce individually. This granular approach, facilitated by Mintec's market intelligence, empowers airlines to negotiate better deals with suppliers and streamline procurement processes.

Innovation Through Alternative Products

Price visibility across a wide range of food ingredients opens the door to innovation. Airlines can explore cost-effective alternative products without compromising on quality, thereby creating menus that excite passengers while bolstering the bottom line. Whether it's catering to specific dietary restrictions or embracing regional and seasonal food trends, the ability to source alternative ingredients strategically is key. Mintec's insights provide the clarity needed to make informed decisions, ensuring that innovation drives profitability.

Forecasting Future Costs to Manage Price Risk

The ability to predict future prices is paramount to controlling food service costs effectively. By leveraging price forecasts, airline catering and procurement teams can optimize menus and the timing of their procurement decisions, ensuring that they purchase ingredients at the most opportune moments to maximize cost savings. This proactive approach not only helps in mitigating price fluctuations but also enables airlines to maintain consistency in their offerings while staying within budget constraints. With accurate price forecasts, airlines can navigate market uncertainties with confidence, driving operational efficiency and ultimately enhancing their bottom line.

Benchmarking for Success

Cost performance benchmarking is essential for airlines to stay competitive in the ever-evolving market landscape. By comparing costs against market prices and competitors, airlines can identify inefficiencies and make data-driven decisions. Mintec's comprehensive data enables airlines to negotiate with suppliers from a position of strength, ensuring transparency and consistency in procurement. With millions of data points and decades of experience, Mintec empowers airlines to stay ahead of the curve and maximize profitability.

Empowering Cost Modelling

The complexity of airline procurement necessitates sophisticated cost models that go beyond surface-level analysis. By modeling costs down to individual ingredients, airlines can anticipate expenses, challenge price changes, and mitigate risks effectively. Mintec's cost models provide the necessary insights to navigate the intricacies of cost management in airline catering. From fruits and meats to oils and nuts, Mintec enables airlines to optimize their procurement strategies with confidence.


In the competitive realm of airline catering, managing costs is paramount to success. Mintec's market intelligence solution equips airlines with the tools and insights needed to navigate procurement challenges effectively. By tracking ingredient prices, innovating through alternative products, benchmarking performance, and empowering cost modeling, airlines can achieve cost efficiency without compromising on quality. As passengers continue to expect high-end dining experiences at 30,000 feet, Mintec remains a trusted partner in helping airlines soar to new heights in the skies.

Topics: Procurement, Forecasting