Airline Foods of the Future


Snacks and foods offered on flights have begun to change over the last few years. Airlines like Delta have tried to offer healthier options. What types of foods would you like to see offered for snacks and meals on airlines?

Food & Beverage
airline food trays
Healthy Eating
Food choice and consumption
Airline Operations
Airline Industry
Airline Management
Mike Jarmus
50 months ago

13 answers


I think it depends on the length of the flight, but should always be healthy and why not a bit of fun. If less than 2 hours of flight time having some fruit would be good and digestiv crackers. On a cross country flight something more substantial - cheese, crackers, fruit, nutrition bar, a salad with dried apples, quinoa/coucous, mixed greens. For oversees flights have to have a snack and a hot meal (why not include a soup) in a style that reflects the foods of the destination city.

Ann Daw
50 months ago

I personally don't know.
I'm not sure respondents know
I'd construct a systematic design of basic food, preparation type, nature of serving
Populate it with 10 typles of food, 10 types of prepration, 10 types of serving
Do the study with 50 people, who will see cominations of food/prep type/serving ... and respond to the combinations
Within 10 minutes of the end of the study,you'll have your answer

Howard Moskowitz
50 months ago
Howard. Thank you for the response. I believe a study would be a good way for airlines to figure out the preferences of food for passengers. I myself am in the market research industry and am a frequent traveler. My only thought would be fore the airlines to take a larger sample size of 500+ individuals globally to get a better perspective. - Mike 50 months ago
Thank you. I believe, however, that 50 respondents with this method shows you the existence of different mind-sets. It doesn't 'nail it' but shows these mind-sets. Of course, with the web, it's cheap to do 500. But again, with 50 you get a lot of key informtion. That's all. It's not only the total panel, it's the mind-sets which are critical. - Howard 50 months ago

i would recommend small fruit salads, raw mixed nuts (unsalted), carrots/celery sticks.
i agree to do a consumer test with the right core target.

Giulia Iorio-Ndlovu
50 months ago

There are many limitations imposed on airline foods. These foods must be mass-produced to avoid additional preparation on the plane, usually frozen, low risk of food poisoning and cost-effective. I take a lot of flights and the best meals are simply foods that freeze well like curries, stews, casseroles. Sandwiches get slimy, pasta gets overly soft or dried out, meat and fish turn to rubber. In terms of side dishes, I agree with other respondents that fresh fruit would be nice.

Laura Glenn, RD, MSc
50 months ago
1 and are really interesting websites discussing about this topic.
I would like to have helthy and nutritionally menu such as quinoa or salmon soy ginger or rice salads to have some examples, enough vitamin C too.

Paolo Beffagnotti
50 months ago
what makes healthy in one country might not be a food option in another country. as long as it is an international flight, it would be more comfortable to sample the opinion of a cohort of different races that fly with the airline. sometimes people refuse foods offered on airlines because it is not a food option in their country and they are not inquisitive enough to try - Aniebiet 47 months ago

Healthier options on airlines should consist of lower sodium options on all flights. Additionally, alkaline water verses tap should be an option besides the sugary drinks and saccharin infused products that are being served. Foods with vitamin C and potassium would help inflight to help boost immunity. I realize that due to the influx of peanut allergies nuts have been discontinued in fights, which in my opinion is a shame. I don’t believe in soy products. As a health and wellness coach, I veer away from specific food groups. Anytime fruits, vegetables and legumes are added into the mix of foods it always becomes a healthier option.
The real issue in airline flights is the circulated forced air that causes people to get sick. Did you ever notice that when you are in first class you don’t get sick and in coach you do? Well it is because the airlines filter the vents in first class and don’t choose to in coach! For me the healthiest option is to regulate the air we breathe first and foremost and then look into what we consume.

Susanne Kauderer, MBA, CIHC
50 months ago

Healthy food and drinks. More fruits, suggest small chuncs in a cup. Fresh vegetables, like in a mixed salad. Less sweets and food with saturated fat. Drinks with less sugar. No alcohol. Water for free.

Linda Rykkje
50 months ago
Linda I like all your suggestions, but I don't think airlines will be able to get away from providing alcohol. I myself need a occasional drink on a flight on my way home after a hard day working, but great response. - Mike 50 months ago

If airline can always increase flight fare then the nature of flight meal should be at par with the fare. But more importantly, healthy and nutritional stuff should be served, I am yet to see fish (salmon) on any menu of airline passenger plane.

Najimdeen Bakare
50 months ago
Najimdeen. I am in agreement I agree with healthy food options throughout each fare class, but the options and amounts should increase with fair class and of course flight length. - Mike 50 months ago

I agree with most of the other respondents. I'd love to enjoy a fruit and granola filled yogurt cup for breakfast flight, a healthy salad (with fish or chicken topping) for lunch. Not looking for heavy. Just satisfying and healthy.

Michael Fruhling
50 months ago
How do we create a culinary (idea) innovation for airlines to use... rather than having them rigidly do what they always have do, getting of course what they have always gotten...The tyranny of best practices, and the sister tyranny of standardization :( - Howard 50 months ago

For long haul, you could easily operate a menu based option. Premium choices can be selected and paid for prior to boarding. Everyone has a designated seat, so you can pack the trolly for optimal distribution on the ground. If you tie in the ordering system to online check in, you should be fine. (you have to do this to know seating & do your logistics prep)

Would be interesting to see an airliner try this on their Business Class and/or Premium Economy.

Bart Groenewoud
47 months ago
THis sounds like one of the best idea's so far. I had suggested this about 30 years ago but it fell on deaf ears with the airlines. Maybe it will be implemented in the near future. - David 47 months ago
Airlines are beginning to think of passengers (particularly of a certain status) more as individuals rather than marketing segments. I'm quite positive this could be adopted in the near future. - Bart 47 months ago
This would be a wonderful addition that could go a long way to making the airline passengers more happy on flights with their "more personalized" amenities. - David 47 months ago

Water upon having settled, even before take off. Why do airlines serve drinks to business class passengers upon boarding, before take off, but to those in regular cabin, not until after take off? Offering water upon boarding would prevent dehydration. Fresh fruits, even a piece of banana would also be fine instead of the high sodium content pretzels and nuts.

Edna Cuaresma, MD, LlB
48 months ago

This is really interesting for most of the passengers. However people from different geographical regions and different religion prefer to have food and snacks according to their choice and it sometimes might really be very difficult for airlines to meet the expectations of each and every passengers. For example, some passengers may prefer to have only halal and kosher certified food while some may prefer to eat only pure vegetarian. Some of the passengers eat only food without any onion, garlic, peanuts, etc. Some of them eat non vegetarian food but they eat only chicken and no fish or beef. These days, most of the people are preferring only healthy diet being more conscious about their health.
Hence in general the airlines should have a choice of all of these to fit in their short menu.

Abhishek Raj
48 months ago
See my answer above: I think by pre-ordering on the ground you could work around the logistics. - Bart 47 months ago

It would be better if airlines offered more food, snacks, drink selections on their flights. This would best accomplished via their website when booking the flight, then you can select your food, snack, drink choices to enjoy during the flight.

This could be included with your ticket/seat purchase or a separate fee. For example, you buy a coach ticket - you get to choose from a limited menu, you upgrade to first class or business class and you get more food, drink, snack items to choose from the menu.

David Barckhoff-Sag-Aftra/Producer, Director
47 months ago

Have some input?