Food and Beverages

Onboard Rail Catering Market

Global Industry Analysis and Forecast 2023-2030

Pages : 120

Base Year : 2022

Released Year : January 2024

Format :Pdf Ppt Xls

Report ID:KR363

Author : Siddhi J.

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Base Year


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Forecast Year


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Historical Years


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Market Value (2022)

USD 16.01 Billion

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Forecasted Value (2030)

USD 21.89 Billion

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CAGR (2023 - 2030)


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Fastest Growing Region (2023 - 2030)

Asia Pacific

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Largest Region

North America

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By Type

Mobile Catering, Static Catering

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By Mode of Booking

Online, Offline

Market Perspective

The global Onboard Rail Catering Market was valued at USD 16.01 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach USD 21.89 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 4.05% from 2023 to 2030.

Onboard rail catering refers to the provision of food and beverages to train passengers. It varies depending on the type of train and journey duration. Catering can include dining cars, café cars, or station options. Passengers can enjoy full meals or snacks and special dietary choices are often available. Pricing varies by class and focuses on quality, variety, health, and sustainability. Health and safety measures have recently gained importance in catering services. The onboard rail catering market has experienced robust growth, along with changing passenger preferences. Passengers demand higher-quality and diverse food options, leading rail companies to upgrade their menus and integrate technology for better service. Sustainability and environmental concerns have been gaining importance, prompting rail operators to adopt eco-friendly practices.

On the other hand, café cars provide a more casual setting, offering quick bites and beverages for those looking for a convenient and relaxed dining option. Additionally, many stations along the route offer diverse food choices, allowing passengers to explore local cuisines and flavors. With increased awareness of allergens and dietary restrictions, rail catering services have expanded their menus to accommodate various dietary needs, ensuring that all passengers can enjoy a satisfying meal. The rising emphasis on quality, variety, and sustainability guarantees a memorable dining experience, supports local suppliers, and reduces the environmental impact.

Analyst’s Review on Onboard Rail Catering Market

The onboard rail catering market is to experience significant growth in the forthcoming years due to an increasing number of travelers choosing rail as their preferred mode of transportation. With the rise in eco-consciousness and the demand for sustainable travel options, more people are opting for trains as a greener alternative to flying or driving. This shift in consumer behavior presents a lucrative opportunity for onboard rail catering companies to expand their services and cater to the growing demand for quality food and beverages during train journeys. Additionally, advancements in technology and the availability of online booking platforms make it easier for passengers to pre-order meals and customize their dining experience, further contributing to the potential growth of the onboard rail catering market.

Market Definition

Onboard rail catering refers to the provision of food and drinks to train passengers during their journey. It includes menus with various options, dining car or trolley service, a focus on food quality and presentation, convenience for passengers, different payment arrangements, accommodation for dietary restrictions, and a strong emphasis on hygiene and safety. This service enhances the overall travel experience, making train travel more comfortable and enjoyable for passengers. The extent and quality of catering can vary depending on the train service and provider.

On the other hand, budget train services may offer simpler meal options, such as pre-packaged sandwiches or snacks available for purchase. Regardless of the level of service, train catering strives to meet the diverse needs and preferences of passengers, ensuring that everyone can find something to satisfy their appetite during the journey. Ultimately, the attention to catering details adds a touch of indulgence and culinary delight to the overall train travel experience.

Market Dynamics

The growth of the onboard rail catering market is driven by the increasing adoption of high-speed railways, metros, and subway systems in countries worldwide. With more people opting for rail transportation, there is a rising demand for onboard catering services. In response to this increasing demand, rail catering services have begun to offer a wide range of options to cater to diverse tastes and preferences. From gourmet meals to quick snacks, passengers can now enjoy a delightful culinary journey during their train travels. Additionally, the convenience and efficiency of rail transportation have made it a preferred choice for commuters and travelers alike, thereby driving the growth of the onboard rail catering market.

Maintaining the quality and consistency of food and beverage offerings across different train routes and journeys can be challenging. This is, especially true when considering the varying preferences and dietary restrictions of passengers. Additionally, the limited space and resources on trains can make it difficult to prepare and store food in a way that ensures freshness and taste. However, with careful planning and effective communication between the train staff and catering providers, it is possible to overcome these challenges and provide a satisfying culinary experience for passengers on all journeys.

Segmentation Analysis

The global onboard rail catering market is segmented based on type, mode of booking, and geography.

By type, the static catering segment is expected to register a rapid revenue growth rate over the forecast period. This growth can be attributed to the increasing demand for customized food options and premium dining experiences on trains. Passengers are now seeking more than just basic food and beverage services during their rail journeys, prompting rail operators to invest in upgrading their onboard catering services. Moreover, static catering offers the advantage of providing fresh and locally sourced ingredients, enhancing the overall dining experience, and attracting more customers. Therefore, the static catering segment is anticipated to continue to witness significant growth in the coming years.

By mode of booking, the online segment is projected to account for a significant market share by 2030 as it caters to the growing trend of digitalization and convenience among consumers. With the increasing use of smartphones and internet connectivity, passengers will find it more convenient to browse through various menu options, place their orders, and make payments online. This mode of booking not only saves time for passengers but also allows them to personalize their meals according to their dietary preferences, and thus, it has become a popular choice among tech-savvy travelers. Furthermore, the online platform provides an opportunity for rail catering companies to gather valuable data on consumer preferences and tailor their offerings accordingly, leading to improved customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Geographical Analysis

Based on region, the global onboard rail catering market is classified into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, MEA, and Latin America.

North America is expected to hold a significant market share by 2030. This growth can be attributed to the increasing number of rail passengers in the region, along with the growing preference for convenient and comfortable travel experiences. Additionally, the implementation of advanced technology and improved food service options on trains are expected to drive the demand for onboard rail catering in North America. Furthermore, the presence of well-established rail networks and the rising trend of food delivery services on trains are significantly contributing to the growth of the regional onboard rail catering market.

Whereas, APAC is expected to register the highest CAGR through the projected period. This growth is mainly fueled by the growing popularity of rail travel as a convenient and eco-friendly mode of transportation in the region. Furthermore, government initiatives to improve the quality of onboard catering and provide a diverse range of food options are fueling the growth of the onboard rail catering market in this region. For instance, in September 2023, the Ministry of Railways granted the catering order of all special trains in the country to the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), in addition to more than 450 Mail and Express trains already served by the company.

Competitive Landscape

The global onboard rail catering market report will provide valuable insight with an emphasis on the fragmented nature of the sector. Prominent players are focusing on several key business strategies such as partnerships, mergers and acquisitions, product innovations, and joint ventures to expand their product portfolio and increase their market shares across different regions. The major players in the market are

  • Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC limited)
  • Newrest Group Services SAS
  • Deutsche Bahn AG
  • Amtrak
  • Eurostar
  • Cremonini Group
  • Railrest
  • Rail Gourmet

Key Developments

  • June 2023 (Launch) - The exclusive Bharat Gaurav Tourist Train was introduced by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) Limited.
  • November 2022 (Development) - Eurostar embraced sustainability in its menus by offering onboard catering that had an equally low impact on the environment. Furthermore, the organization has collaborated extensively with the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA), a membership organization dedicated to promoting sustainability in businesses. Through this partnership, the organization has successfully obtained the highest level of accreditation, achieving three stars. 

The global Onboard Rail Catering Market is segmented as:

By Type

  • Mobile Catering
  • Static Catering

By Mode of Booking

  • Online
  • Offline

By Region

  • North America
    • U.S.
    • Canada
    • Mexico
  • Europe
    • France
    • U.K.
    • Spain
    • Germany
    • Italy
    • Russia
    • Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific
    • China
    • Japan
    • India
    • South Korea
    • Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Middle East & Africa
    • GCC
    • North Africa
    • South Africa
    • Rest of Middle East & Africa
  • Latin America
    • Brazil
    • Argentina
    • Rest of Latin America
  • Check Icon Additional Company Profiles
  • Check Icon Additional Countries
  • Check Icon Cross Segment Analysis
  • Check Icon Regional Market Dynamics
  • Check Icon Country-Level Trend Analysis
  • Check Icon Competitive Landscape Customization
  • Check Icon Extended Forecast Years
  • Check Icon Historical Data Up to 5 Years
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)
The global onboard rail catering market is projected to reach USD 21.89 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 4.05% from 2023 to 2030.
The global onboard rail catering market was valued at USD 16.01 billion in 2022.
Shifts in consumer preferences towards healthier, diverse, and high-quality food options, technological advancements contribute to the demand for improved onboard catering services.
Top manufacturers of onboard rail catering market are Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC limited), Newrest Group Services SAS, Deutsche Bahn AG, Amtrak, Eurostar, Cremonini Group, Railrest, Rail Gourmet and others.
APAC is the fastest growing region in the forecasted period (2023-2030).
By mode of booking, the online segment will hold the maximum share in the onboard rail catering market in 2030.
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