North America Inflight Catering Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022 - 2027)

The North America Inflight Catering Market is segmented by Aircraft Seating Class (Economy Class, Business Class, First Class), Flight Service Type (Full-Service Carrier, Low-Cost Carrier), and Country.

Market Snapshot

North America Inflight Catering Market_overview
Study Period: 2018-2027
Base Year: 2021
CAGR: >3 %

Need a report that reflects how COVID-19 has impacted this market and its growth?

Market Overview

The North America Inflight Catering Market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of over 3% during the forecast period.

  • The intense competitive scenario in the aviation sector has encouraged the airline operators to create their unique brand identity. Inflight catering has emerged as a prime criterion for differentiating the quality of services provided by different airlines and helps to create an outlook of the passengers towards perceiving an airline. The realization of this fact has encouraged the North American airlines to invest significant resources to develop a profitable inflight catering service, that serves the tastes of the passengers, and safeguards the market share of the airlines.
  • The inflight catering business has witnessed a radical transformation during the past decade. Though North American airlines are not completely encouraging the BYOF (Bring-Your-Own-Food) on international flights, passengers are permitted to carry their eatables on several domestic routes in the region, especially in the US. The penetration of BYOF may pose a threat to the market in focus in the future.
  • The lucrative nature of the inflight catering business has encouraged the entry of several global brands that are well-equipped to conform to the high quality and safety regulations of the aviation industry. The entry of new market players and the advent of e-ordering services is expected to radically transform the prevalent practice of long-term association of airlines with their catering partners and is expected to provide both the airlines and the passengers with a plethora of choices.

Scope of the Report

Inflight food is the food served to passengers onboard a commercial airliner. Specialist airline catering services prepare these meals and usually serve to passengers using an airline service trolley.

  • Premium economy class has been covered under the economy class segment.
  • Additionally, the study covers the different service levels offered by the airlines and draws specific points of differentiation between the inflight options available for all travel classes, such as economy class, business class, and first-class.
  • The study also encompasses the different market variables that affect the business model of low-cost carriers (LCCs) and full-service carriers (FSCs) pertaining to their decision to integrate inflight catering services to their domestic and international offerings.
Aircraft Seating Class
Economy Class
Business Class
Flight Service Type
Full-Service Carrier
Low-Cost Carrier
United States

Report scope can be customized per your requirements. Click here.

Key Market Trends

Increasing Competition Driving Improvements in the Inflight Dining Experience

The enhanced competition amongst the airlines has encouraged them to adopt certain strategies aimed at elevating the customer perception of the inflight dining experience. To comply with hybrid operational scenarios while providing service to the customers, airlines are using different service strategies on different classes on the same flight. For instance, while providing quality services at a premium price to high-value customers (in business and first-class), airlines are also offering lower price alternatives to passengers in economy class, thereby, establishing tier-based complimentary onboard services. The market is expected to witness impressive levels of growth, as North American carriers consider options to improve the quality of food served on their fleet. The diversified cuisine and dietary choices of the passengers have encouraged airlines to serve different meals on special routes. For instance, Delta Airlines has different partners providing authentic regional dishes on select routes, both domestic and international. While Atlanta-based Linton Hopkins dishes up menus inspired by artisan foods of the American South on flights from Atlanta to Amsterdam, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Munich, Paris, Rome or Stuttgart, passengers on the flights to and from China and Japan, enjoy menus created by Chef Jereme Leung (China) and Chef Norio Ueno (Japan).

North America Inflight Catering Market_keytrend1

US to Dominate the Market During the Upcoming Period

The North American diet varies considerably with each state. Eating habits of the two major North American countries, the US and Canada, differ considerably from each other. In Canada, food intake in the Quebec region differs from the rest of the provinces. Smaller countries in the continent vary even more. So carriers have to arrange and stock up food accordingly, sufficing to their routes and the region they are operating in. The trend is, however, more toward eating healthy food, which is observed throughout the continent, particularly in the United States. More than 1/4th of the US citizens, still consume fast food every day, but the percentage is dropping gradually. The high obesity rate is a critical concern behind the changing food pattern. Healthy food has achieved significant traction. Food, like yogurt, poultry, sandwiches, and fresh fruits, has witnessed a spike in demand, in the field of inflight catering. Besides, the country is also a large market for chocolates, bakeries, and other confectionaries. The demand for low-calorie meals has resulted in a significant change in the food offerings during flights.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically affected the North American inflight catering market. Additional quality measures have been implemented in the kitchens to ensure zero transmission of infection via onboard food. However, some airlines, such as Southwest and American Airlines, have eliminated or reduced the food and drink services offered on most flights. To help prevent the spread of the virus, airlines have also closed airport lounges, stepped up cleaning procedures in the cabins, and suspended hot towel service for first-class passengers, among other changes. Since March 2020, Southwest Airlines has suspended snack and beverage service on all flights, while American Airlines has stopped serving food on short-duration flights (less than 4.5 hrs) and an onboard meal is served only for long-haul international flights. Delta Air Lines has reduced onboard services by eliminating alcoholic drinks and offering only bottled beverages, while Alaska Airlines will not offer food or drinks on flights shorter than 250 miles, including in first-class. However, on longer flights, Alaska Airlines would serve only bottled beverages and packaged snacks.

North America Inflight Catering Market_keytrend2

Competitive Landscape

The North America inflight catering market is undergoing a slow but steady consolidation, with major players procuring other significant regional players. Gate Gourmet, which started as a small inflight caterer has, over the years, procured most of its competitors, and it now stands at the top of the global inflight catering market share, by revenue. Its geographical presence has also expanded significantly during the past decade, solidifying its presence and customers across international regions. Market consolidation has allowed smaller regional players to target just one competitor to survive in the market, while it also allowed new entrants to enter the market, with lesser resistance due to cheaper services. LSG Sky Chef, gategroup, Journey Group PLC, and Flying Food Group are some of the prominent players in the North America inflight catering market.

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Assumptions

    2. 1.2 Scope of the Study




    1. 4.1 Market Overview

    2. 4.2 Market Drivers

    3. 4.3 Market Restraints

    4. 4.4 Porter's Five Forces Analysis

      1. 4.4.1 Threat of New Entrants

      2. 4.4.2 Bargaining Power of Buyers/Consumers

      3. 4.4.3 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      4. 4.4.4 Threat of Substitute Products

      5. 4.4.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry


    1. 5.1 Aircraft Seating Class

      1. 5.1.1 Economy Class

      2. 5.1.2 Business Class

      3. 5.1.3 First-Class

    2. 5.2 Flight Service Type

      1. 5.2.1 Full-Service Carrier

      2. 5.2.2 Low-Cost Carrier

    3. 5.3 Country

      1. 5.3.1 United States

      2. 5.3.2 Canada


    1. 6.1 Company Profiles

      1. 6.1.1 Flying Food Group LLC

      2. 6.1.2 gategroup

      3. 6.1.3 Lufthansa Service Holding AG

      4. 6.1.4 Journey Group PLC

      5. 6.1.5 Fleury Michon America

      6. 6.1.6 Cathay Pacific Catering Services (CLS Catering)

      7. 6.1.7 JetFinity

      8. 6.1.8 Newrest International Group SaS

      9. 6.1.9 DNATA

      10. 6.1.10 SATS Ltd


You can also purchase parts of this report. Do you want to check out a section wise price list?

Frequently Asked Questions

The North America Inflight Catering Market market is studied from 2018 - 2027.

The North America Inflight Catering Market is growing at a CAGR of >3% over the next 5 years.

Flying Food Group LLC, gategroup, Lufthansa Service Holding AG, Journey Group PLC, Fleury Michon America are the major companies operating in North America Inflight Catering Market.

80% of our clients seek made-to-order reports. How do you want us to tailor yours?

Please enter a valid email id!

Please enter a valid message!