Partnership expanded: casualfood and Gebr. Heinemann launch joint venture “Smartseller” for small and medium-sized airports

casualfood and Gebr. Heinemann are taking their long-standing partnership to a new level and establishing the 50/50 joint venture “Smartseller”. This involves pooling the two companies’ core competencies to create an attractive offering for small and medium-sized airports. The joint venture offers them an innovative combination of food service and retail – unique food-to-go islands with duty-free and travel value deals. While casualfood brings its travel catering expertise to the table, Gebr. Heinemann is contributing its knowledge of duty-free retail and distribution. This will enable even airports with limited space to become more attractive places for visitors to spend time in the future. The airports will also benefit from holistic, centralised food-service and retail management.

Stefan Weber and Michael Weigel, Managing Partners of casualfood GmbH:“We have been cooperating with Gebr. Heinemann since 2009 and have been partners and friends for a long time. We are delighted to be taking our partnership to a new level with this joint venture,” said Stefan Weber. “Now we are commencing the intensive implementation of our joint venture. In the first phase, we will prepare concepts based on our idea, then we will implement and fine-tune them at two or three small and medium-sized airports,” added Michael Weigel. One of the first sites will be Muenster/Osnabrueck International Airport. The plan is to multiply the concept and roll it out elsewhere in Europe starting in 2021.

Raoul Spanger, COO, Gebr. Heinemann: “The Smartseller concept spaces will enhance our classic duty-free sales areas by combining them directly with first-class food service.”

Partnership-based operation of the joint venture

Management of both the Duty Free & Travel Value element and the food-service offering will be shared in connection with the joint venture. The aim is to capitalise on synergies: both companies bring central services such as procurement, logistics, HR, business development, IT, Finance & Controlling and architecture into the cooperation.

The two partners’ existing corporate models are not affected by the new collaboration.


About casualfood GmbH

casualfood develops and operates innovative food concepts for airports and stations under its slogan, “The taste of travelling”. Its 12 different catering and convenience store concepts serve a wide-ranging portfolio, from high-quality fast food to an Italo-American deli concept. The company’s proprietary concepts – such as QUICKER’s, NATURAL, MONDO, MONDO Bianco, Hermann’s, Mayer’s, Kilkenny, GOODMAN & FILIPPO, Brezel Lovers, Beans & Barley and Superfood – and the Kamps and ServiceStore DB brands which are run as franchises are a common sight at transport hubs. Thanks to its successful combination of an attractive product range and a clear brand profile, the owner-run firm has become a leading travel catering company in the space of just fifteen years.

About Gebr. Heinemann SE & Co. KG

Gebr. Heinemann is one of the top players on the international travel retail market and the leader on the European market. It is the only family-run business among the global players of the travel retail industry. As a distributor, Gebr. Heinemann supplies more than 1,000 customers in over 100 countries. In the retail sector, the company operates more than 340 Heinemann Duty Free & Travel Value shops, fashion label boutiques under license and concept shops at 74 airports in 28 countries, along with shops at border crossings and aboard cruise liners. The company has been designing its Duty Free & Travel Value Shops since 2008 in accordance with an exceptional brand concept. Today, the Heinemann Duty Free brand is present at numerous airports worldwide and operates its biggest Airport Duty Free shop in Sydney.

In total, the retail operation now serves more than 40 million customers across more than 160,000 square metres of retail space every year. Gebr. Heinemann has had its headquarters in what is now the HafenCity district of Hamburg since 1879. The company is managed by cousins Claus and Gunnar Heinemann and Gunnar’s son and CEO Max Heinemann, the fourth and fifth generation of the family to run the business hand in hand. Gebr. Heinemann has more than 8,000 employees around the world.