Ordering a scrumptious meal on a journey more than 30,000 feet above the ground cruising altitudes in lavish flights sounds breathtaking. Passengers find it really amusing to have inflight meals especially if they are flying for the first time. The airline catering industry consumed a valuation of 9 billion USD in the year 2020 and it is projected to reach a CAGR of 6.1% between 2021 and 2027. The industry however saw a decline due to the pandemic but is on the road to recovery with passengers rushing over vacation plans. The domestic flights have been nearly stable soon after things settled when compared to international flights. To counter the effects of pandemics and to encourage or attract passengers the airlines have reworked their inflight meals for the passengers. People flying overseas for instance by Cathay Pacific can enjoy a lavish dinner with amazing menu options.
What are the trends in inflight meals in 2021?
The airlines have leveled up their game in 2021 to ramp up the industry by including surprising offers and services to the passengers. The aviation sector took the charge of appealing to the passengers with delightful menu options that the customers can relish and remember their journey. This will boost their sales as the hospitality that passengers receive will keep them coming back. The world, in general, is geared up to a healthy lifestyle this probably is due to the pandemic. People all over the world are exploring healthy lifestyle options primarily focussing on healthy food. Several trends are picking up in time from vegan food, low carb, low fat, liquid diet, Flexi diet, gluten-free, Dairy-free, etc. The dynamics of onboarding in airlines have changed in the recent past.
Most of the passengers will agree that the traditional meal option in the past has been pasta and chicken and this has been widely accepted as well. The long-haul trips used to only have three movies maximum for entertainment purposes. But today the entire scenario has changed the evolution of the internet and the robust social media platforms that keep churning new content in less than a second raise the bar for companies to set higher standards to meet the expectations of the customers.
The airlines have tweaked their idea of inflight meals by allowing the passengers to decide on menu options. Globally the airlines have chalked out attractive ways to welcome passengers and flight meals are one of the key aspects in doing so.
- The trendsetter is organic food. Without much of a surprise, today organic products grown locally are gaining ground. As per analysis, passengers’ choices will mirror the trends in society. For example food choices based on sustainable options which claim authenticity is preferable.
- The passengers are keen to know how the food is prepared, thus transparency is one vital trend that builds a strong foundation of customer loyalty. Customers today don’t prefer fancy items on the plate, they rather wish to know what the ingredients are, the time of preparation, method of preparation, and the place where it is prepared. Basically, hygiene and sanitization are the core of the food business. The coronavirus spread has made people worried about eating out. Therefore to avoid the fear and offer the customers a worry-free trip the airline caterers stepped forward to be more transparent and provide information to the passengers about the safety of food on the carrier.
- Customer delight and customer safety make the crux of the industry as the carriers improvise their meal options they offer the customers option to choose the specific dish for example since the vegan diet is popular some of the airlines have included full vegan dishes in à la carte menu. More airlines are focusing on plant-based menu options to give healthier options to the customers.
- Additionally, a newer trend is picking up the pace which gives a higher satisfaction to the customers that is food deliveries before one hour of departure. This particular trend is definitely a hit as passengers can mention their preferences and order. This will boost the sales instantly further it provides the customers immense satisfaction of freshness, favorite items and will help them stick to their diet without any discomfort.
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The future in the airline catering industry will be more convenient promoting locally sourced food rich in flavors, a wider variety of dishes that showcase the heritage and culinary art of the destination driving new collaborations to optimize marketing strategies.