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Emirates adds to vault of vegan recipes as passenger demand grows (especially in Economy)

As the global appetite for plant-based foods evolves, Emirates Airlines is adapting its in-flight offerings to meet growing demand. The airline announced plans to further expand its collection of over 300 vegan recipes, up from 180 in 2022.

In 2023, Emirates served over 450,000 vegan meals — 40% more than in 2022. Most of that increase was generated by a parallel growth in passenger volume, but some regions saw additional increases, exceeding the jump in tickets sold. On flights to and from Africa, extra requests for vegan meals totaled 4%, in Southeast Asia 5%, and in the Middle East a whopping 34%. The disparity in demand wasn't just geographical but also observed between front and back of the plane: the most substantial increase in consumption of vegan meals was seen in Economy Class.

Current options for in-flight meals include chickpea kale stew with parsley pilaf rice and baby spinach in Economy, and roasted cauliflower with ancient grains, caramelized pear and lovage pesto in First Class. Ingredients range from plant-based proteins sourced from international brands like Beyond Meat to fresh vegetables from Bustanica, the world's largest hydroponic vertical farm, which Emirates Flight Catering jointly owns.

Trend Bite

Consumer preferences are increasingly driven by considerations for health, sustainability and ethics, but Emirates recognizes that most passengers don't want to compromise on quality or comfort for the sake of their values. By curating a varied and sophisticated vegan menu, the airline caters to that multilayered set of needs and wants.

How can your brand acknowledge and celebrate the values-driven choices your patrons make? Could you leverage those choices to foster deeper emotional connections, moving beyond customer satisfaction to impact-driven delight?

Innovation of the day

Spotted by: Pablo Riquelme