Heinemann-Scorpio International Holdings purchases majority stake in Gastro Culinary Innovation

Heinemann-Scorpio International Holdings Ltd (HSIH) recently announced the purchase of a majority stake in Gastro Culinary Innovation Ltd (GCI), completed on July 28.

From left: Stuart McGuire of Scorpio, Jacqui Davidson and Caroline Thompson of GCI and Lance Hayward of Scorpio

HSIH is the owner of inflight specialist Scorpio Worldwide Ltd, and co-owned by Gebr Heinemann and Stuart McGuire. GCI provides sales, marketing and distribution services for a range of non-competing high street brands, as well as developing and sourcing their own branded range of artisan savory and sweet convenience snacking for the Buy-on-Board and Complimentary international travel market. The company is managed by Directors Jacqui Davidson and Caroline Thompson, guided by Lance Hayward, ex Alpha LSG, as a non-Executive Director.

‘We are absolutely delighted to have purchased a majority shareholding in GCI and to be working with Caroline and Jacqui,” said Stuart McGuire, Chairman of HSIH and CEO of Scorpio Worldwide Ltd. “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. 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.”

McGuire added that operators and consumers are demanding more brand value in their offer, and that the brands themselves are looking to grow into what he called, “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,” he continued. “GCI will run as a separate entity, with the backing of HSIH to provide the financial and administrative support during the strong growth we have forecast. Together we will maintain a real family feel, share the same values of hard work and partnership building, so it’s going to be great fit in every way!’

Jacqui Davidson, Director of GCI stated: “We are very excited to be able to take our business to the next level through the partnership with Stuart and HSIH. 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.”

Davidson added that Buy-on-Board food to date can be limited and viewed by many travelers only as a necessity, not what she called 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.”

McGuire will be providing further insight into the partnership, as well as his plans for Scorpio Worldwide Ltd, and the inflight market as whole, in a series of interviews over the coming months.