F&B@Sea makes its debut

F&B@Sea – a new event that caters to the food and beverage community within the cruise sector – has launched in the US.

Taking place at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, the two-day immersive event ran alongside Seatrade Cruise Global, with a bespoke programme designed to meet the needs of F&B professionals worldwide.

A curated line-up of sponsors and exhibitors – including Campari Group, Pernod Ricard and Remy Cointreau – joined live cooking demonstrations and cocktail masterclasses, while special features included the Bacardi Speakeasy and Sundown Soirée networking reception.

Throughout the event, a series of on-stage talks addressed challenges such as sustainability, responsible sourcing and authentic dining options, and there was plenty of food for thought in discussions around new concepts and creating a memorable experience through cuisine.

Speakers included Richard Morse, Senior Vice President of Food & Beverage at Carnival Cruise Line; Adam Sachs, Director of S.A.L.T. at Silversea; John Mulvaney, Director of Culinary Operations at Holland America Line; Charles Steadman, Director of Food & Beverage at Virgin Voyages; mixologist Rob Floyd and chef Rudi Sodamin. A full report will feature in Issue 9 of Starboard (sister publication to Supper).

F&B@Sea was developed by Seatrade Cruise in close consultation with cruise lines, food and beverage stakeholders and culinary leaders with support from Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) and industry consulting leader MarkeTeam. It comes as new research indicates that the global food and beverage market is expected to be worth US$8.9 trillion by 2026, with six leading cruise lines accounting for more than US$2 billion in food and beverage annually.

“There’s so much opportunity across the sector for both cruise lines and suppliers to creatively push the envelope,” commented Rick Welch, President of RMW Global Consulting, who also served as the event’s F&B Ambassador. Speaking prior to the debut, he said: “I’m thrilled to be involved with the inaugural F&B@Sea. The team is up to the task of bringing together cruise executives and suppliers to discuss key trends and industry challenges and opportunities while enjoying experiential offerings in a setting focused on the critical onboard food and beverage delivery.”

Organisers have since confirmed that F&B@Sea will return for its second edition in 2024, taking place alongside Seatrade Cruise Global when it returns to Miami Beach Convention Center.