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Virgin Trains introduces new “Cravings Collection” for pregnant women

Press Release   •   Jan 28, 2016 00:01 GMT

Research shows more than half of pregnant women

experience cravings whilst on the move

Charcoal and curry among top cravings

New package also includes seat guarantee for mums-to-be and essentials box for new parents

Virgin Trains has launched a package of services for expectant mothers and parents, including the ‘Cravings Collection’, a selection of foods to keep its pregnant customers’ cravings at bay while on-the-go, a ‘mums-to-be pass’ which commits the train operator to finding the pass-holder a seat, and a package of essentials for new parents.

The Cravings Collection has been inspired by research* revealing that over half (52 per cent) of expectant mothers experience cravings whilst on the move, with nearly a third (31 per cent) feeling irritable if their cravings aren’t satisfied. For one in 25 (4 per cent) women, the cravings have been so strong that they’ve had to get off a train to satisfy their taste buds.

Chocolate (34 per cent), crisps (21 per cent) and sweets (16 per cent) topped the list of most craved foods, while chillies, chorizo, marmite and anchovies also appeared in the top 20. More unusual cravings include charcoal for four in every 100 expectant mums, and toothpaste, newspaper and even stones for one in 50.

With these findings in mind, the Cravings Collection has been curated to accommodate the more unusual foods women crave, such as curry, marmite and even charcoal.

Cravings Collection

Charcoal biscuits

Chilli sauce

Chocolate sauce

Curry sauce

Ginger biscuits

Ginger tisane

Ice

Marmite

Strawberry jam

In addition, Virgin Trains has committed to finding expectant mothers carrying a ‘mums-to-be’ pass a seat onboard its West Coast Mainline services. As well as this, two seats on every Pendolino on its network have been reserved for vulnerable customers, including mums-to-be, and each train is now equipped with a box of essential items to help parents cope with life’s little emergencies. The box includes nappies, baby foods and disposable sterile bottles. These new services are available now, with the Cravings Collection launching on January 28 as a trial on selected services between Manchester and Euston.

Anita Brown, Customer Experience Strategy Manager at Virgin Trains, said: “At Virgin Trains, we’re always striving to make sure our customers have the most enjoyable journey possible. With our new mums-to-be pass, our pregnant customers can feel confident that we will get them a seat when they travel with us, and now that we know from research that travelling increases cravings for over a third of expectant mothers (37 per cent), we are looking forward to seeing how customers respond to the Cravings Collection.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

*The Cravings Collection is being trialled in First Class on selected trains between Euston and Manchester and Manchester and Euston.

* The survey was carried out by One Poll, on behalf of Virgin Trains. The number of respondents: 2,000 women who have been pregnant previously or who are currently pregnant. The research also revealed that of the three quarters (73 per cent) of pregnant women who experience cravings, 15 per cent said they have to give into them every time, while two in five (43 per cent) women have sent their partner to the shops to buy food and nearly a third (31 per cent) have got out of bed in the middle of the night to raid the fridge. Over a third (35 per cent) of women’s cravings become worse throughout the day, peaking in the evening.

Top food pregnancy cravings

  • 1.Chocolate
  • 2.Crisps
  • 3.Sweets
  • 4.Cheese
  • 5.Curry
  • 6.Ice
  • 7.Gherkins
  • 8.Strawberries
  • 9.Biscuits
  • 10.Peanut Butter
  • 11.Crackers
  • 12.Marmite
  • 13.Chilli
  • 14.Lemon
  • 15.Ginger
  • 16.Strawberry Jam
  • 17.Jam
  • 18.Chill Sauce
  • 19.Anchovies
  • 20.Chorizo
  • 21.Chorizo Jam

Top non-food pregnancy cravings

  • 1.Charcoal
  • 2.Toothpaste
  • 3.Bath sponge
  • 4.Newspaper
  • 5.Stones
  • 6.Toilet Paper
  • 7.Dirt
  • 8.Soap

About the mums-to-be pass

Virgin Trains have introduced a mums-to-be pass, to give clarity and guidance for pregnant women on board.

At Stations Ticket Offices

1. Fill out a mums to be form at one of our ticket offices, bring along your Mat B1 form and a passport photo to get the pass

2. You will be issued with a Mum to be pass and a National Rail ID card

4. The pass terms and conditions are below:

i. This pass entitles you to seek a seat, in standard class on our trains and if one is not available then First class

ii. If there is no seat available in standard class then you should speak to a member of the on-board team and show them your pass, they will either make a seat available for you or move you to first class.

iii. Please note on every Pendolino seats C01 and 02 in coach C will be blocked out (Special Assist) and kept available for any vulnerable customers that wish to sit there, including those with a mums-to-be pass

iv. Your pass must be shown in conjunction with a valid travel ticket and Photo card.

v. It is not transferrable to anyone else.

vi. Pass is only valid on West Coast, not East Coast services.

vii. Note this is not a travel ticket.

About Virgin Trains

Virgin Trains is the brand name of Virgin Rail Group (VRG), which is owned by Virgin Group (51%) and Stagecoach (49%). Virgin Trains has operated the West Coast passenger train franchise since 1997, serving key UK cities including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow. In June 2014 the Department for Transport (DfT) awarded VRG a new franchise until at least April 2017.

Virgin Trains is committed to delivering a high speed, high frequency service, offering shorter journey times, more comfortable travel and excellent customer service. We provide the most frequent long-distance rail service in Europe (London - Manchester and London – Birmingham, both every 20 minutes).

Since 1997, Virgin Trains has introduced over 70 new trains at a cost of £1.5 billion. The service carries more than 32 million passengers a year and Virgin Trains employs approximately 3,290 staff.

Virgin Trains customers consistently rate the company as one of the top long-distance rail franchise operators in the National Passenger Survey (NPS) commissioned by industry watchdog “Passenger Focus”.

Visit the Virgin Trains Media Room - www.virgintrains.co.uk/mediaroom - for the latest news, images and videos. To receive new content, as it is published, go to Follow Virgin Trains and click on ‘Create account’.

Press Office: 0845 000 3333. Company website: www.virgintrains.co.uk.

About Virgin Trains

Virgin Trains is the brand name of Virgin Rail Group (VRG), which is owned by Virgin Group (51%) and Stagecoach (49%). Virgin Trains has operated the West Coast passenger train franchise since 1997, serving key UK cities including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow. In June 2014 the Department for Transport (DfT) awarded VRG a new franchise until at least April 2017.

Virgin Trains is committed to delivering a high speed, high frequency service, offering shorter journey times, more comfortable travel and excellent customer service. We provide the most frequent long-distance rail service in Europe (London - Manchester and London – Birmingham, both every 20 minutes).

Since 1997, Virgin Trains has introduced over 70 new trains at a cost of £1.5 billion. The service carries more than 34.5 million passengers a year and Virgin Trains employs approximately 3,290 staff.

Virgin Trains customers consistently rate the company as one of the top long-distance rail franchise operators in the National Passenger Survey (NPS) commissioned by industry watchdog “Passenger Focus”.

Visit the Virgin Trains Media Room - www.virgintrains.co.uk/mediaroom - for the latest news, images and videos. Subscribe here for regular news from Virgin Trains.

Press Office: 0845 000 3333. Company website: http://www.virgintrains.co.uk/.

About Virgin Trains East Coast

Virgin Trains East Coast is the brand name of InterCity Railways Ltd (ICR), which is owned by Stagecoach Group (90%) and Virgin Group (10%). Virgin Trains East Coast began operating services on the East Coast Main Line in March 2015, serving key UK cities including London, Peterborough, Doncaster, Leeds, York, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Inverness. The franchise will last until at least 31 March 2023.

Visit the Virgin Trains East Coast Media Centre at: www.virgintrainseastcoast.com/media-centre for the latest news and images.

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