JFK Winner of Overall Griesbach Award of Excellence at 2015 ACI-NA Concessions Awards

April 22, 2015


PHOENIX — Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) today announced JFKIAT, LLC, operator of Terminal 4 at John F. Kennedy International Airport, as the winner of the Richard A. Griesbach Award of Excellence winner in the 2015 ACI-NA Airport Concessions Awards. Eric Johnson, Director of Commercial Management and Airline Affairs, Metropolitan Airports Commission, was named the 2015 ACI-NA Concessions Person of the Year.

“ACI-NA is pleased to recognize Terminal 4’s concessions program at JFK with this year’s overall Richard A. Griesbach Award of Excellence,” said ACI-NA President and CEO Kevin M. Burke.  “ACI-NA’s Airport Concessions Awards highlights the innovation and leadership demonstrated across the airport concessions industry, and we’re delighted to showcase the best products and services available to air travelers throughout North America.”

In association with long-term concessions partners, JFKIAT, LLC needed to re-invent its concessions program as the Terminal 4 expansion would bring about significant change. The terminal’s projected enplanements were to increase to almost eight million passengers in 2014, from 4.2 million in 2012. The expansion necessitated change to the security checkpoint, moving the concessions program from pre to post security, as well as expanding the terminals baggage capacity and building nine new gates. The concessions program redevelopment needed to reflect the diversity of New York City, 31 different international airlines, and an increasing domestic passenger base.

“ACI-NA is proud to honor Eric Johnson as our 2015 Concessions Person of the Year,” said Burke. “Eric’s creative thinking in advancing Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport’s concessions program is a truly remarkable example of the ongoing work across North America to improve and enhance the traveler’s experience.”

Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport’s concessions program has performed extremely well under Johnson’s leadership.  The program is frequently hailed as one of the finest in North America. Recent honors including Airport Revenue News’ 2014 Best Overall Concessions Program award and the 2013 Best Concession Program Design award, as well as ACI-NA’s Best Food and Beverage Program (Large Airports) accolade in 2013. Based on preliminary results, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport had a total of concession sales of $183 million in 2014, an 8.9 percent increase over 2013, despite an increase in passenger traffic of only about four percent.

The awards were announced during an awards gala dinner at the first-ever ACI-NA Business of Airports Conference in Phoenix, which was attended by more than 500 commercial management, human resource, and finance representatives from the North American airport industry.  The purpose of the ACI-NA Excellence in Airport Concessions Awards is to inspire creativity in the industry and to recognize innovative and outstanding airport concessions.

This year’s contest received more than 300 nominations from airports of all sizes throughout the U.S. and Canada. In addition to the Griesbach award, 31 other awards were presented in the following categories:

Richard A. Griesbach Award of Excellence

  • JFKIAT, LLC, operator of Terminal 4 at John F. Kennedy International Airport

Concessions Person of the Year

  • Eric Johnson, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport

Best New Food and Beverage (Full-Service Concept)

  • First Place: Root Down, Denver International Airport (Operated by Mission Yogurt, Inc.)
  • Second Place: Matt’s Big Breakfast, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (Operated by SSP America)
  • Third Place: Cool River Café, Dallas Love Field (Operated by HMSHost)
  • Honorable Mention: Vinifera, Toronto Pearson International Airport (Operated by OTG)
  • Honorable Mention: Loft, John F Kennedy International Airport (Operated by OTG)

Best New Food and Beverage (Quick-Service Concept)

  • First Place: Farmers Market, Los Angeles International Airport (Operated by Delaware North)
  • Second Place: Real Food Daily, Los Angeles International Airport (Operated by HMS Host)
  • Third Place: Wow Bao, Chicago O’Hare International Airport (Operated by Westfield)
  • Honorable Mention: Urban Olive, Chicago O’Hare International Airport (Operated by Westfield)

Best “Green” Concessions Practice or Concept

  • First Place: Aveda, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (Operated by World Duty Free Group)
  • Second Place: Solar Power Outlets, Port Columbus International Airport (Operated by Port Columbus International Airport)
  • Third Place: MAC One Midway, Chicago Midway International Airport (Operated by Premier Restaurant Group)

Best New Retail Concept

  • First Place: Hammer Made, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport
  • Second Place: Beauty Boutique, Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (Operated World Duty Free Group)
  • Third Place: Pop-Up Retail Program, San Francisco International Airport (Operated by San Francisco International Airport)
  • Honorable Mention: Spanx, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (Operated by The Paradies Shops)
  • Honorable Mention: Bulgari, Los Angeles International Airport (Operated by Hudson Group)

Best New Consumer Service Concept

  • First Place: Terminal Getaway Spa, Chicago O’Hare International Airport

Best Innovative Consumer Experience Concept or Practice

  • First Place: Tasting Bar, Los Angeles International Airport (Operated by DFS Group)
  • Second Place: DFW Innovative, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (Operated by Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport)
  • Honorable Mention: Beauty Boutique, Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (Operated World Duty Free Group)

New News and Gift Concept

  • First Place: Wall Street Journal Newsstand / Travel Store with Starbucks Coffee, Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (Operated by HMSHost)

Best New Duty Free Concept

  • First Place:  Dufry, Chicago O’Hare International Airport
  • Second Place: Hermes, San Francisco International Airport

Best Food & Beverage Program – Large Airport

  • First Place:  Los Angeles International Airport, Tom Bradley International Terminal
  • Second Place: Toronto Pearson International Airport
  • Third Place: Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Terminal D

Best Food & Beverage Program – Medium/Small Airport

  • First Place: Fort McMurray International Airport
  • Second Place: Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport

Best Retail Program

  • First Place: JFKIAT, LLC, operator of Terminal 4 at John F. Kennedy International Airport


About ACI-NA

Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) represents local, regional, and state governing bodies that own and operate commercial airports in the United States and Canada. ACI-NA member airports enplane more than 95 percent of the domestic and virtually all the international airline passenger and cargo traffic in North America. Approximately 380 aviation-related businesses are also members of ACI-NA, providing goods and services to airports. Collectively, U.S. airports support more than 11.5 million jobs and account for $1.4 trillion in economic activity – or more than seven percent of the total U.S. GDP. Canadian airports support 405,000 jobs and contribute C$35 billion to Canada’s GDP. Learn more at www.airportscouncil.org.