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Travel retail, a growing sector. And the big names in Italian wine are still investing in it

New “Sparkling Bar” signed Contadi Castaldi and Chef Express (Cremonini Group) opens at Milan Bergamo airport (Oro al Serio)

Great Italian wine (as well as catering, of all levels) is increasingly focusing on the travel channel, covering stations and airports in Italy and beyond. The latest project, in chronological order, is the one that brings together one of the giants of travel catering, Chef Express of the Cremonini Group, and one of the griffes of Franciacorta, Contadi Castaldi, owned by the Terra Moretti Group (which, in the area, also owns Bellavista, one of the landmarks of the high-end), who celebrated the first toast of the new sparkling bar at Milan Bergamo Airport (Oro al Serio), after the successful experience at Catania Airport. A place where passengers waiting for flights departing from the Shengen area, will be able to taste Contadi Castaldi wines, as well as labels from different Regions, along with other high quality products, for a place that is a small “boutique” of taste, with 34 seats.
“A further goal achieved, thanks to the collaboration with Sacbo and Contadi Castaldi. Milan Bergamo airport - comments Cristian Biasoni, CEO of Chef Express - is among the first in Europe for accessibility and retail&food offer. It is an important airport that gets more and more approval from travelers, thanks also to its ability to offer connections with major intercontinental hubs. With Contadi Castaldi, a winery that is the symbol of Franciacorta, we have been able to expand the offer for passengers at Milan Bergamo by focusing firmly on quality and Italian excellence. Our goal is to constantly optimize the travel experience, and in this case we do so by offering a product that fits into the territory in an airport that welcomes a very high number of passengers every year. This new project is a concrete example of our ability to select the best formats for specific locations in order to effectively meet all travelers’ needs by working synergistically with partners and granting bodies”.
“We are extremely proud to collaborate again with Chef Express for the opening of this new location”, adds Massimo Tuzzi, CEO Holding Terra Moretti, “after the success achieved in Catania. Bergamo Airport, recently awarded for the second year in a row with the prestigious Airport Service Quality Award as the best European airport in the 5 to 15 million passengers category, is located less than 30 km from Franciacorta and our winery; it is therefore the ideal place both for proximity and for sharing Contadi Castaldi’s philosophy and offer. Our brand is particularly loved by young people, passionate about travel and discovery, eager to explore the world and open to new cultures. We are convinced that in this context, with an established and successful layout, we will be able to offer a top-level experience, accompanied by excellent service”.
Yet another investment, then, by a major Italian wine signature, in airport catering, of which there is certainly no shortage of virtuous examples: such as the Villa Sandi & deCanto wine bar at Venice’s “Marco Polo” Airport, Bottega’s Prosecco Bars in numerous international airports, such as London and Dubai, passing through Ferrari at Milan Malpensa, Linate and Rome, not forgetting Frescobaldi’s wine bar at Fiumicino, where there are also two Zonin-branded bars, while in Naples Capodichino there is the lounge bar signed Feudi di San Gregorio, in Palermo the wine bar of Planeta, and in Cagliari that of Argiolas, again with Chef Express, just to name a few. Then again, that of travel retail, is an industry that has picked up speed, so much so that according to a “Research Drive” report, total channel turnover will reach $225 billion in 2031, with an aggregate growth of 16% per year, of which $56 billion is related to wine and spirits. Not to mention, then, the effects on branding work, with brands exposed to the eyes of millions and millions of travelers around the world.

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