Single-serving e-Procurement

In-flight food service industry gets an e-marketplace of its own

Amsterdam, Netherlands  May 22, 2001  The next time a flight attendant plops a collection of single-serving tidbits onto your tray table, think not of the culinary delights locked safely and hygienically in the neat plastic bags before you.

Instead, think of the vast supply chain that labored to bring you that nutritionally  if not gastronomically  fulfilling repast. Miraculous, isn't it? The way they manage to bring the tiny slice of cheese, the carefully arranged leaf of lettuce, the slab of meat-du-jour and the frozen patty of butter together for your enjoyment.

Now the miracle of the airplane food supply chain has collided with the marvels of the Internet and e-procurement at, an online trading exchange offering support services to the in-flight food service industry.

Using e-marketplace software from EC-Gate, promises its participants global access to order status, easier ordering, improved visibility and communication throughout the supply chain and various other benefits that add up to lower costs and better service.

The e-marketplace, which launched in December 2000, currently connects more than 40 caterers and their clients at 30 different European airports. Current participants include major airlines and caterers, as well as suppliers such as Heineken, Nestle FoodServices, Coca-Cola and Heinz., which is based in Amsterdam, is currently planning to roll out services for the U.S., U.K. and Asian markets.