Air New Zealand is set to revolutionize its in-flight snack menu, launching 'The Great Kiwi Snack Off.' The initiative invites the public to participate in the selection process, a move that underscores the airline's commitment to engage customers in creating their inflight experience. The decision comes after the airline's numerous snack offerings over the years have stirred mixed reactions among passengers.
Inviting the Public into the Decision-Making Process
In an innovative approach, Air New Zealand solicited suggestions from Kiwi snack producers, narrowing down the choices for public selection. Out of a staggering 9,000 applicants, five 'snacksperts'—representing different cities and age groups—were chosen to taste test the shortlisted snacks at the airline's headquarters in Auckland. This approach ensures that the final menu is a true reflection of the diverse tastes and preferences of the Kiwi population.
Snack Criteria: Diversity, Sustainability, and National Identity
The selection of snacks was not solely based on taste, but encompassed broader criteria. The airline sought snacks that met diverse dietary needs and promoted sustainability, crucial in today's health-conscious and eco-friendly world. Moreover, the snacks were expected to evoke a sense of Kiwi identity, reflecting the airline's national carrier status, and fostering a sense of home among passengers.
Snack Saga: A Contentious History
The topic of in-flight snacks on the national carrier has been a contentious one. The airline has offered a variety of snacks over the years, some of which have sparked national debates. Notably, the long-standing corn chips and the beloved Cookie Time cookie, which faced potential removal in 2021, causing an uproar among Kiwis until it was reinstated. Other past offerings, like the criticized crackers served in 2022 and the trial ice cream—praised for its flavor but unsuitable for the lactose intolerant—have received mixed reviews. Despite the changes, the popular cheese and cracker combination served during Koru Hour flights is set to remain unchanged, much to the delight of regular passengers.
Air New Zealand is expected to unveil the updated in-flight snack menu on Thursday, a reveal that is eagerly anticipated by both the airline's regular customers and the wider public. The new menu promises to be a culmination of the airline's efforts to engage passengers in the creation of their in-flight experience and to cater to their diverse dietary needs and preferences.