December 5 2023  |  Catering

Air New Zealand brings in "snacksperts" to select onboard treats

By Jane Hobson

Chocolate-dipped pretzels and almonds, tangy lemon meringue-coated popcorn and crunchy dried cheese made the list

Air New Zealand has revealed its newest onboard snacks, following the launch of the Great Kiwi Snack Off earlier this year, which saw a nationwide search for the tastiest onboard snacks. In its press release, Air New Zealand said 400 snack suppliers expressed interest in having their snacks onboard while five expert foodies (deemed “snacksperts”) evaluated their top picks. The five snacksperts were selected from 9,000 applicants to act as taste testers and narrow down the menu of onboard snacks.

Air New Zealand has revealed the 14 tasty snacks passengers can enjoy onboard next year. Spoiler Alert: Chocolate-dipped pretzels and almonds, tangy lemon meringue-coated popcorn and crunchy dried cheese made the list.

"We're really excited by the snacks we've selected, and we hope our customers love them as much as we do,” said Air New Zealand Chief Customer and Sales Officer Leanne Geraghty.

The 14 chosen suppliers and their snacks are from various parts of the country including Canterbury, Nelson, Hawke's Bay, the Bay of Plenty and Waikato.

“Throughout this whole process, we've been amazed by the quality and caliber of suppliers, whether they're a social enterprise wanting to help a worthy cause, or a family run business trying to highlight the best local produce – we've been extremely impressed and making a decision hasn't been easy,” said Geraghty.

“We want to give our customers a fantastic experience from the moment they are welcomed aboard our aircraft, and that includes having a variety of snacks to satisfy sweet tooths and savory lovers alike,” she added.

The snacks will be rolled out on various domestic and international routes next year, in various cabins. The first snack, Skinny Dipped Almonds, is due to launch on domestic flights in December. The new additions to the inflight snack menu will be mixed with some old passenger favourites.

"Customer feedback has also told us that there are some existing snack options that are really popular and loved, so we've also decided to keep them onboard for the next few years,” said Geraghty. “The beloved cookie isn't going anywhere, though customers can expect to see them mix up their flavors from later next year, whether it's pavlova or 'chocolate fish n' chip,' there will be plenty of choice for customers onboard."

Continued Geraghty, "We know just how passionate New Zealanders are about all things snacks, so we've really tried to mix it up with some unusual flavors and textures – from freeze dried cheese to lemon, white chocolate and popcorn flavor combinations, we wanted to be a bit playful with some of the snack options."

In addition to the flavours, the snacks that made the onboard selection were chosen for their convenience and suitability–for example, snacks that do not require heating before serving.

The new onboard snack selection for Air New Zealand includes:

  • Dipped almonds and nut and chocolate blends.
  • Pea puffs real cheese
  • Choc wafers and trail Mix
  • Salt & vinegar chips
  • Lemon meringue pie and feijoa cider gourmet popcorn treats
  • Milk chocolate coated pretzels
  • Oat-baked squares in choc chip, chocolate brownie, raspberry white chocolate and salted caramel flavours
  • Rich chocolate treat
  • White choc coated ginger biscuit
  • Cinnamon glazed macadamias
  • Original butter cookie or choc chip
  • Crunchy cheese
  • Primal bar
  • Corn puffs churro or bang bang chicken flavour

Air New Zealand's classics that passengers can expect to continue enjoying onboard are:

  • CookieTime Cookie (in classic chocolate chip, but with pavlova, lollie cake, "chocolate fish n' chip" flavours also in the pipeline)
  • Fudge
  • Crisps (Apple Cider Vinegar and Sea Salt, Marlborough Sea Salt flavours)
  • Bliss bites

"There's been a huge amount of work behind the scenes, and we want to thank all the suppliers from around the country who were part of our EOI process,” Geraghty said.

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