Airplane food has never been much to write home about but a few trends predicted for 2014 may change the future of mile-high cuisine for the better.
Allison Michaels from U.S. News Travel asked industry insiders Bob Rosar and Sue Ling Gin what they believe are the top airline food trends. Rosar is the corporate executive chef of Gare Gourmet (an airline catering company) while Gin is the founder and CEO of in-flight dining Flying Food Group. Here are the top airline food trends they've predicted will continue to rise:
Eating organic foods is on the rise worldwide so it's no surprise customers want to stick to their food preferences while flying. Gin said customers are also seeking healthier food options like fish, white meat chicken, grains and greens.
Personal In-flight chefs
Who wouldn't want to enjoy the luxury of an in-flight chef? It seems this could soon be a mainstay for customers willing to pay extra for this indulgence. The United Arab Emirates' Eithad Airways and Turkish Airlines already offer these services.
For the past couple of years airlines have reached out to Michelin-starred chefs to revamp their menu. British Airlines tapped Heston Blumenthal while Qatar Airways hired the likes of Nobu Matsuhisa, Tom Aikens and Vineet Bhatia to create a multi-cultural menu.
In 2012, US Airways began offering a pre-order meal service so passengers in economy could upgrade their meals by paying a small fee. Delta Airlines and America Airlines now have similar models but you can expect more companies to jump on the bandwagon.
Airlines have long offered food inspired by destinations but they are expected to step up the game with more offerings of indigenous cuisine. Think coq au vin on a flight to Paris and biryani rice en route to India.
Tapas-style dining seems to be popular on the ground and in the clouds. Passengers tired of pretzels and chips are more inclined to reach for a fruit and cheese plate or mini-snacks that resemble a meal, according to Chef Rosar.
Meals by Design
This is an exciting trend for frequent flyers bored of the same airplane food. Passengers would choose from a list of foods and compose their own menu. At the moment, this service is available on airBaltic for a premium price.
Related: 12 Food & Beverage Trends for 2014