April 1 2020  |  Food & Beverage

Delta's soaring seltzer

By Rick Lundstrom

This is a special feature from PAX International's April World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Hamburg 2020 edition.

Spiked Seltzer from BON & VIV was scheduled for introduction on Delta aircraft in March

To prepare for the crowd of young travelers leaving college for spring break and to follow the trend for packaged and pre-mixed cocktails, Delta Air Lines added a new, specially developed Spiked Seltzer from Norwalk, Connecticut-based BON & VIV to its domestic flight service in March.

Beginning in March, passengers in Delta One, Delta Premium Select, First Class and Delta Comfort+ could enjoy a free 12 ounce can of premium BON & VIV Spiked Seltzer, and Main Cabin passengers could purchase the product for US$8. The clean and crisp, zero-sugar, 90-calorie, gluten-free seltzer is available in two natural flavors – grapefruit and lemon-lime.

“We have a keen focus on listening to customer feedback and innovating our food and beverage programs to provide more choice,” said Mike Crowley, Vice President, Onboard Service Operations, in the announcement of the new product. “Spiked seltzer has been a fast-growing trend in the beverage industry, so we knew it was something our customers wanted.”

The product went through tests and evaluations for the past year at domestic Delta Sky Clubs where the airline introduced BON & VIV.

“These new beverage options are just one way we are honing our focus on the onboard beverage experience,” said Crowley. “Customers can expect to see other new products and innovations including more proprietary mixers and elevated craft cocktail presentations throughout the year.”

Delta has also been serving its Cocktail of the Moment on domestic flights over the past several months. Featuring fresh, seasonal flavors, Delta’s most recent Cocktail of the Moment will be the Lavender Sour served to domestic Delta One and Delta Premium Select passengers this summer.

The BON & VIV products were developed by Nick Shields. Shields is the former production manager for Nantucket Nectars, a juice company in Boston. He then moved on to winemaker Wolffer Estate on Long Island. After studying food science at Cornell University, fermentation science at University of California Davis, Shields went on to develop products for Pepsi and Cadbury Schweppes. Shields’ great-great-grandfather, Rudolph Haffenreffer, founded Boston's Haffenreffer Brewery in 1870. With BON & VIV, Shields is seeking to create a new kind of beverage by combining the disciplines of brewing, winemaking, and natural flavors. After refining nearly 100 batches, Spiked Seltzer was born.

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