UK/INTERNATIONAL. Heinemann-Scorpio International Holdings (HSIH), owner of inflight specialist Scorpio Worldwide, has acquired a majority stake in Gastro Culinary Innovation (GCI).

GCI develops and sources its own branded range of artisan savoury and sweet convenience snacking for the buy on board and complimentary international travel market. It also provides sales, marketing and distribution services for a range of non-competing high street brands


HSIH is co-owned by Gebr Heinemann and Stuart McGuire, who serves as Chairman of HSIH and CEO of Scorpio Worldwide.

“It is clear that there are great opportunities to develop both the complimentary and buy on board offer for the travel food service sector including inflight, cruising, ferries and rail services, an area we have been looking at for a while,” said McGuire.

“GCI are highly respected within the trade, and are already serving the major airlines and caterers in the UK and overseas. We believe that with the GCI product and sales expertise, and our brand management and access to market, we can grow quickly into this rapidly developing sector.

“Operators and consumers are demanding more brand value in their offer, the brands themselves are looking to grow into the complex but ultimately rewarding travel sector. We are in the final stages of securing several high street brands to introduce to the market moving forward.”

GCI will run as a separate entity, with financial and administrative backing from HSIH.

GCI Director Jacqui Davidson said the transaction would take the company to the “next level”. She commented: “Consumers’ attitude to food has developed significantly, whether it be for health, pleasure, entertainment, or for convenience. Many factors have contributed to this: access to worldwide travel, media, health and generally a broader interest in what is new, different and above all good.

“Buy on board food to date can be limited and viewed by many travellers only as a necessity not a ‘cannot resist’ choice. Through experience, out of the box thinking and pure passion, we are proud to share our talent for identifying new trends and creating inventive ways of bringing culinary and boutique excellence to the paying passenger.

“The new partnership means we have the support and expertise of a large group behind us, freeing us up to fulfil our ambition to provide great food on board tailored to client and customer expectation.”