Abu Dhabi – MENA Herald: Leaders in on-board catering from around the world have been honoured at the 34th annual Mercury by SIAL Group, during a ceremony attended by the crème de la crème of the global travel catering industry.   

The awards recognise the very best in on-board catering from a diverse range of categories including airline meals, general on-board food, beverages, packaging and equipment.

Speaking at the glittering awards ceremony held at the Shangri-La Abu Dhabi last night (Monday 7th December), head judge, chef, airline catering consultant and writer, Jeremy Clark said:

“The on-board catering industry has evolved massively in recent years and is now more than ever an integral part of the customer journey. With some 450 million passengers expected to arrive at GCC airports in 2020 and 750 million in-flight meals served by regional airlines each year, this further underscores the importance of the industry.

“The Mercurys have been updated and modernised to represent the changes and demands within this highly competitive business, recognising the innovation and advancements companies are making in this sector.”

Winners last night included:

Category: Airline Meal

Company: Perth Inflight Catering
Title of Entry: Australian Salmon and Smoked Trout Brick with Grilled Shark Bay Prawn and Green Pea Puree

Category: Food – Ready-to-Eat

Company: Balkis Gourmet
Title of Entry: Gourmet Halal delicatessen

Category: Food – Desserts and Confectionery

Company: Lily O’Brien’s
Title of Entry: Lily O’Brien’s Halal Certified Desserts Range
Category: Beverage

Company: Air Berlin
Title of Entry: Air Berlin Flieger Cocktail – A Heritage Story

Category: Equipment – Production

Company: DHL
Title of Entry: Delivering Innovation and advancing the Green Agenda in Airline Catering

Category: Equipment – Passenger

Company: Icebridge
Title of Entry: Chilled Minibar

Category: New Launch

Company: Hainan Airlines
Title of Entry: Art of Tea

The Mercury Awards capped off the opening day of 2015 edition of SIAL Middle East which opened on Monday with a record number of visitors for the first day of the event. Inaugurated by H.H. Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE, Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, the opening ceremony was attended by agriculture ministers from five countries and number of ambassadors and other dignitaries.

During day two of the exhibition, 41 food establishments were awarded the highest food safety and hygiene accolade by Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, in the presence of Her Excellency Mozah Al Muhairi, Executive Director ADFCA.

Ali Yousef Al Saad, Chairman of the organising committee for SIAL 2015 and Acting Director of Communications and Community service Division at Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA).

“Good food hygiene and safety is essential in ensuring the emirates high standards for consumers. Today we recognise those establishments who are not only meeting the required standards and regulations but exceeding them. They are an example to others and act as a role model for other businesses to follow.

“High food standards are imperative to maintaining our position as a renowned food destination.”

Occupying six halls at the ADNEC venue, the food and beverage showcase continue today with the SIAL World Summit and a focus on innovative waste reduction strategies for retailers and reviewing innovations in Halal food. 

The judging for La Cuisine by SIAL, organised by the Emirates Culinary Guild of Abu Dhabi, in collaboration with the World Association of Chefs’ Societies, moves to the final day of evaluation.

The competition for Best Regional Barista is also heating up with judges continuing their rigorous assessments of finalists to determine the winner announced today.