February 1 2019  |  Catering

​‘Veganuary effect’ has 7% increase in vegan meal orders on Norwegian

By Rick Lundstrom

Norwegian reported today that vegan meals are becoming more popular among its 37 million passengers flown each year, highlighting the most popular routes for passengers on plant-based diets as the U.K.’s movement called Veganuary, which encourages consumers to go vegan in January.

Passengers have the flexibility to choose what best suits their travel needs including pre-ordering a meal service for $45 during flights in Economy. In Premium, meals are always included. Norwegian offers meals that cater to all dietary requirements including vegetarian, lactose-free and gluten-free options.

The airline recently analyzed more than 7,330 long-haul flights to and from London Gatwick between January 2018 and January 2019 to identify the routes with the most demand for vegan meals. Data showed that more than 23,000 vegan meals were consumed on board to and from London’s Gatwick airport since January 2018.

The Veganuary campaign – led by a U.K. charity of the same name – encourages people to try a vegan diet, omitting meat, fish, dairy, eggs and honey from their diet for the month of January to promote health benefits.

Findings from January 2018 and January 2019 show that more vegan meals were consumed on Norwegian flights in 2019 as ‘Veganuary’ took effect. More than 1,400 vegan meals were ordered this January, a 7 percent increase compared to January 2018. Moreover, there was a 5% increase of vegan meals ordered in January 2019 from the previous month in December.

Data showed that vegan meals are most popular on Norwegian’s daily flights between Los Angeles and London, 55% higher than the average across all Norwegian long-haul flights.

Oakland/San Francisco to London is the second most popular route for vegan meals ordered on Norwegian, 31% more than the average, highlighting the popularity of vegan meals on California routes.

Vegan meal orders on New York flights are lower in comparison, in line with the average across Norwegian’s long-haul flights, despite the airline operating more flights from the Big Apple than any other route, with up to three London services daily.

Norwegian operates from three gateways in Florida and two in California with more than 15 flights per week from each state. Anecdotally, the findings demonstrate that vegans are more likely to be found on flights from and to California.

On average, 78% more vegan meals are ordered per flight between California and London as opposed to flights between Tampa, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale/Miami in Florida to London.

Of Norwegian’s 14 long-haul routes to/from London the least popular route for vegan meals ordered by passengers on plant-based diets were on flights between Buenos Aires and London. Buenos Aires, in a country renowned for its high-quality steak, has 25% fewer vegan meals ordered compared with the average across all long-haul routes.

“We offer a delicious range of meals that meet all our customers’ dietary requirements and this analysis clearly shows that being vegan is just as easy at 35,000 feet as it is on the ground,” said Matthew Wood, Senior Vice President Commercial at Norwegian.

We’re very pleased to see Norwegian providing vegan options on-board their flights at a time when veganism is growing so much. Not only is this great in terms of inclusivity, but vegan food generally has a lower environmental impact and can help airlines to meet their carbon saving targets. It is not uncommon for us to hear stories from vegans who had poor experiences on flights, being left only with snacks such as peanuts or crisps. We would love to see airlines really embrace the variety and creativity that is possible with vegan food, and to create options that are suitable for vegans but appeal to everyone,” said Elena Orde at The Vegan Society, in today’s announcement.

“It’s fantastic to have an airline, like Norwegian, not just provide great vegan options for travelers, but also put the time into analysing which routes have the highest demand for vegan food. The research provides a fascinating insight into the way veganism is spreading on a global scale and how the modern-day vegan can be catered for whether they’re in the air or on the land,” said Rich Hardy, Head of Campaigns at Veganuary.

A vegan menu on board Norwegian could include gnocchi covered in a Mediterranean vegetable and tomato sauce with black olives or a chickpea stew with roasted baby aubergine and broccoli in a harissa sauce.

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