Press Release


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.”



Previously, Scorpio Worldwide’s distributorship included the inflight channel to Europe and Africa only, along with Scorpio acting as Revlon’s agent for travel retail ground shops and inflight in the Middle East. Under the new agreement, Scorpio Worldwide will continue to act as Revlon’s regional agent for Middle East travel retail ground shops.

The new 3-year deal – with an optional extension for a further 2 years – is an exciting time for both companies as they look to strengthen what has already proved to be a successful relationship.

Ian Cowie, Managing Director, Scorpio Worldwide, commented, “We have been working with Revlon for 3 years now and the brand has gone from strength to strength in the inflight channel under our guidance. We are delighted that our relationship with Revlon has been extended for, potentially, another 5 years. The combination of this, and the fact that we have expanded the relationship regionally to include the full Asian and Middle Eastern inflight channel is a testament to the success of the previous 3 years.”

“We have enjoyed helping to grow Revlon’s inflight business and look forward to continuing to do so with the innovative new products and compelling new packaging that Revlon is introducing to the traveling beauty user.”

Jerusa Moura, Travel Retail Director, Revlon, commented, “This is an exciting time for Revlon. Revlon’s inflight business has really taken off over the past 3 years. Our relationship with Scorpio Worldwide has played an important role in this success. The end of last year saw Revlon release some innovative new products and compelling new packaging, so Revlon looks forward to seeing how our brand develops in the inflight channel with these new opportunities.”



Dateline:  Crawley, UK, 5 February 2014.

Kiehl’s Since 1851, the New York City-based apothecary and creator of fine quality skin and hair care, will be launching its products on board British Airways starting May 2014 through Scorpio Worldwide.

Kiehl’s old-world, customer-centric heritage has been at the heart of every product and service debut over the company’s 162-year history – from ingredient research and formula safety testing to localised store decors – all of which are tailored to the particular needs of patrons in their local communities.

Kiehl's goal is always front of mind: to serve patrons in an attentive, educational environment that offers the company’s tried-and-true skin care products enjoyed by customers the world over.

Kiehl's was founded as an old-world apothecary in New York's East Village neighbourhood. Its unique, extensive background represents a blend of cosmetic, pharmaceutical, herbal, and medicinal knowledge developed and advanced through the generations. Using this knowledge, Kiehl’s has developed a range of skincare, body care, and grooming products, using formulas based on proven and effective botanical extracts sourced from around the world and chosen to be truly beneficial to the skin rather than for aesthetic merit, with minimal preservatives:

Squalane: contained in the Ultra Facial Cream is a highly refined moisturizing oil steam-distilled from the olive. It is silky to the touch and mimics the natural oils found in skin, allowing for easy absorption. This signature Kiehl’s ingredient helps to restore skin’s natural moisture balance and keep it ultra-soft and supple.

Lavender Oil: used in the Midnight Recovery Concentrate, possesses a calming & anti-depressive effect. It helps soothe inflamed or irritated skin while helping reduce skin blotchiness for a more even look. It creates a brighter and more radiant look to the skin.

Butcher's Broom: which improves microcirculation and reduces inflammation to soothe skin and reduce puffiness is contained in Midnight recovery eye.

Kiehl’s will be featured on board British Airways with these 3-star products starting May 2014.  It is the first UK airline to carry the brand.

Commenting on the launch, Richard Kennedy, Scorpio Worldwide’s Sales, and Marketing Director, said “We are delighted to be able to announce the listing of this popular and prestigious brand on board British Airways.  It is the first UK airline to list these award winning products on board and we’re looking forward to what we are sure will be a very successful launch.  We are hopeful other UK airline listings will follow in the coming weeks.”

For further information contact:
Richard KennedyTel: +44 (0)1293 848513



Victoria’s Secret, a leading specialist retailer of beauty & lingerie products, has partnered with Scorpio Worldwide to bring some of its best selling items to the In-flight market across a variety of airlines in Europe, Middle East, and Africa, starting in Spring 2014.

Travelers will find prestige fragrances such as the Award-winning Victoria’s Secret Bombshell (50ml EDP) and Sexy Little Things Noir Tease (50ml EDP). Also offered is the most loved VS Fantasies body care collection including Love Spell and Pure Seduction Fragrance Mist (250ml) and Body Lotion (250m). Travel-ready items such as the Very Voluptuous Lip Plump, Jetsetter Portable Makeup Palette, and Rockin’ Body Shimmer are also available to charm girls on the go.

Says Scorpio Worldwide Sales and Marketing Director Richard Kennedy: ‘We’re delighted to be working with Victoria’s Secret for in-flight sales. The brand has established a significant footprint in travel retail with its airport stores worldwide and the formula clearly works."

Notes to Editors

About Victoria’s Secret:
As a business of L Brands (NYSE:LB), Victoria's Secret is the leading specialty retailer of lingerie and beauty products. The brand is known for its modern, fashion-inspired lingerie collections, prestige fragrances and cosmetics, celebrated supermodels and world-famous runway shows. With more than 1,000 lingerie and beauty stores, an iconic catalogue and the online store, customers can shop the brand anywhere, anytime.

About Scorpio Worldwide:
Founded in 1997, Scorpio Worldwide is a leading and award winning specialist in the global travel retail industry. The company provides a 360 degree sales, marketing and distribution service for airlines, airports, duty free shopping groups, ferries and cruise liners. Its products include major brands in fragrance, cosmetics, watches, jewellery, accessories, well-being, gadgets and other travel goods. Scorpio is a family based business and an independently managed company within the Gebr Heinemann Group, one of the largest operators and distributors within the global travel retail market.



At a major presentation to its customers in Brighton this month, Scorpio Distributors announced a new identity for the company: Scorpio Worldwide, with a new logo, upgraded website and improvements throughout the company. Senior management changes were also announced with Stuart McGuire taking over as Chairman with immediate effect and current Chief Operating Officer Ian Cowie becoming Managing Director. The company also announced the opening of a new regional office in Dubai at Jumeirah Lake Towers.

Taking over the Seattle Hotel in Brighton, Scorpio gathered customers from all over the world to explain the reasons behind the change; in usual company style combining business presentations with fabulous entertainment and a fun product trade show which enabled one lucky person to win a weekend in Moscow with visits to the Ballet and Moscow Air Show, courtesy of Scorpio and Aviator brand-owner Volmax.

Introducing the proceedings, Stuart McGuire thanked his customers, partners and own employees for their incredible support and hard work over the years. Founded in 1995 with just three employees, Scorpio now has a staff of over 50 and a turnover of close to $100m (including third-party contracts) 'I never dreamt of building a company of the size and with the success as we have today,' said McGuire. 'To say I am proud is an understatement.' In 2007 – with a turnover of $16m annually - Scorpio went into partnership with Heinemann, which took a 51% stake in the company, enabling it to acquire the distribution rights for a number of leading perfume and cosmetics companies in the UK and – in some cases – regionally and globally. 'This has really fuelled our growth and P&C now accounts for around 30% of our turnover,' said McGuire.

Scorpio's remit has been to 'be seen as a seamless link between brands and clients', continued McGuire highlighted the massive changes in the airline industry over the past five years through acquisitions, mergers, bankruptcies– plus the growth of LCC's, the effect of LAGS, the financial crisis, growing dominance of internet sales, terrorism etc – had all put huge pressure on the ability to retail in the air. McGuire believes the company's sound financial footing has led to an increase in sales as clients have moved away from some suppliers who have not been able to honour advertising commitments or sale or return agreements, an essential part of the in-flight business. ‘As a result, we have seen sales growth of 300% in the last six years, not including third-party contracts,' he continued, pointing to Aviator Watches as the most listed product on airlines globally. In 2006 Aviator sold 15,000 units worth £1.35m at retail. In 2011, the brand sold 170,000 units worth £19m.

While airlines have always been Scorpio's core business, the company is now actively developing its travel retail ground sales. 'Airlines will always remain our core and the most important sector of our business, but we do recognise that the most growth potential is on the ground,' said McGuire. In just six years the Travel Retail Sales division has grown from nothing to over 600 retail listings.

Today Scorpio does not want to be known just as a distributor, hence the name change. 'We are a sales and marketing company that distributes products and works worldwide with almost every airline in the world and most travel retail groups.' But when you are bigger, your customers expect more and it was, therefore, time for Scorpio to look at itself, look at how far we have come, where we're at and where we need to go in order to develop ever closer relationships with our clients.'

Following a series of in-depth customer surveys and one to one interviews, both internally and with clients externally, Scorpio has emerged with a new identity, new branding and refreshed a set of values: friendly, authentic, thorough and pioneering. The new logo is pivotal to the new identity: – the 'o' of Scorpio communicating the philosophy, nature and heart of this family-led business: inclusivity, a circle of friends, a 360-degree service.

Managing director Ian Cowie explained that the surveys had been carried out over the past two years to ascertain 'What does the Scorpio brand stand for'. 'It's really about sales, marketing, service and fulfilment,' he said. 'We are a house of brands offering a 360-degree service. We didn't want to change the nature of who we are or lose sight of the past. We are the same company with the same core values, and the same people – we've just become a lot bigger and in some areas, we needed to improve. So in effect, it's business as usual – but with enhancements.'

All areas of the business were examined including product delivery and availability, account handling, and product presentation and marketing support. Based on feedback received, the company has made a number of changes and improvements including improving availability of products within the P&C category, restructuring its regional teams, upgrading its communication/marketing support materials, introducing a wider range of innovative, unusual and on-trend brands such as Skin Doctors, Lip Smackers, Di Palomo and Hot Diamonds, 'We have to balance the heritage of the company with the needs of our customers today to ensure we are fit for purpose, not just now but in the future,' he said.

One key area has been the need for additional investment in IT and resources. 'We've implemented a 20% increase in resource over the past 18 months and are still recruiting – including a new buyer specifically focussed on innovation,' he said. 'Within IT, we have totally replaced our equipment and have upgraded our presentation facilities.'

Part of this investment is a totally new website, due to launch very soon, which sets new standards in terms of product information and marketing support. 'Our aim is that it will be the best website of its kind in the business,' said Cowie. 'Dynamic and groundbreaking it will revolutionise the marketing and promotional support we can offer our customers.'
Sales and Marketing Director Richard Kennedy finished the morning presentations with a product update, highlighting products for the coming year, such as Aviator and the new brands such as Sturmanskie watches, and new lines across the watch, jewellery and gift sets, children's and essential travel products categories. A final tribute was paid to the company and, in particular, Stuart McGuire by Martin Moodie founder and chairman of The Moodie Report.

After lunch, customers were then put into groups and spent a fun afternoon learning about the various products available for 2013. At each presentation 'Satellite Space Cards' were stamped, the completed cards being entered for the Moscow trip prize draw. This was drawn at the evening event and won by Carolyn Mariani of DFASS America.
Customers attending the event included DFASS Group Singapore and America, Saint-Honore Panama, St Doras Taiwan, Saudi Airlines, Traveller Dubai, Lojas Francis Portugal, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic Airway’s, Tourvest, Jet2, Flybe and many others from the UK and Europe.

During his speech, Stuart McGuire also played tribute to his pioneering father – Bruce McGuire – without whose entrepreneurial spirit 'none of this would ever have happened' and to his late colleague and close friend Alan Edwards.

Enquiries: Richard Kennedy, Scorpio Worldwide
Tel: (44) (0) 1293 411733
Fax: (44) (0) 1293 414544

Rowena Holland, Essential Communications
Tel: (44) (0) 208 405 8109
Fax: (44) (0) 208 405 0330

November 2012