Jet2.com introduces in-flight gluten-free and vegan meal options for customers to pre-order

British airline company Jet2.com has introduced two gluten-free meals and two vegan options to its selection of pre-ordered meals.

Jet2 said that in direct response to demand from customers, the company has added two gluten-free options to give customers increased choice of meals when flying with the airline. The Gluten Free Roast Chicken Dinner includes a traditional roast chicken breast with grilled potatoes and vegetables, served with a gluten-free gravy. The All-Day Gluten Free Breakfast is topped with grilled bacon, scrambled egg, rosti potatoes, and sautéed mushrooms in a tomato sauce.

In addition, following demand from customers who have removed animal products from their diet, Jet2 has introduced two new vegan meals, including an All-Day Vegan Breakfast featuring a grilled vegan sausage, rosti potatoes, and sautéed mushrooms in a tomato sauce, as well as a Vegan Moroccan Vegetable Tagine served with couscous.

Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays, said: ‘Customer feedback shows that there is strong demand for vegan and gluten-free options, so we are delighted to be introducing these four delicious meals, giving customers more choice on our award-winning airline. We are always looking at ways in which we can develop our offering and VIP customer experience, and we are sure that these new pre-ordered meals will be just as popular as the exciting in-flight menu changes that we have already announced this year.’

The airline has introduced several culinary announcements this year, giving customers a wider range of in-flight food choice. In January, Jet2 added its first ever vegan option to its in-flight menu, with the introduction of a Penne Arrabbiata pasta dish, and in May the airline introduced two Nando’s snacks to its new in-flight menu – the first UK airline to introduce Nando’s onboard.

The new in-flight meals will be onboard flights starting today, August 2. They can be purchased when booking with Jet2.com and Jet2holidays or can be ordered post-booking.

easyJet reveals Britains’ food, drink and boutique preferences on board

easyJet, the UK-based European low-fares airline, has published the food, drink and boutique preferences of British travellers onboard its flights.

According to the airline, the sale of paprika flavoured Pringles has increased by 30 per cent this July, as compared with July 2015, after a video of a key public figure devouring the snack went ‘viral’.

Charlotte Bunney, easyJet’s Head of Inflight Retail, said: ‘After hitting the headlines and having its five minutes of fame last summer, sales of paprika Pringles onboard our flights have gone through the sky. Our passengers seem to have jumped on the trend and want to tuck into a tube whilst flying to their destination.’

The airline also revealed the on board trends, following a thorough analysis of all sales onboard its flights from its Bistro and Boutique menu between October 2015 and June 2016.

As opposed to popular belief that bacon remains an Englishman’s favourite, passengers on flights out of the UK were more likely to eat easyJet’s cheese and ham croque monsieur than the classic bacon roll, it said.

As per the findings, Twinings English Breakfast tea is more popular in the UK than anywhere else in Europe, and more popular with passengers in the North of the UK than the South, with sales around nine per cent higher. Earl Grey recorded second place, closely followed by fruit, herbal and green teas, including peppermint tea, green tea and Lemon and Ginger tea. Last month the airline also introduced three new Twinings teas to its menu, viz. Redbush Caramel Velvet infusion, Citrus Ginger Twist infusion and Thoroughly Minted infusion.

The analysis also found a clear increase in sales of fruit, herbal and green teas following the rise of the healthy eating trend prevailing across the UK recently. Sales have increased year on year, with 14 percent more sales in July 2016 alone, compared to July 2015. Sales of illy coffee – a new brand on easyJet’s menu since 2015-end – were also highest amongst Brits than any other country, the airline said.

As for sweet treats, the Brits prefer the biscuit, with 11 percent more sales of confectionary in the UK than the rest of Europe. Snacks on offer include muffins, House of Edinburgh shortbread, KitKat, Twix, Maltesers and M&M’s.

For passengers looking for more continental stuff, easyJet offers its newly added Mediterranean mezze snack box, consisting of rosemary crackers, hummus, roasted red pepper and feta cheese dip, green olives and a piece of sticky baklava. A hot focaccia caprese, chicken with tomato sandwich and cheese salad roll are also available, easyJet said.

On the boutique brands, sales of perfume and eau de toilette were highest for passengers departing Manchester airport, closely followed by Southend, Newcastle and then Liverpool. Customers can buy brand fragrances, including Marc Jacobs, YSL, Hugo Boss, Giorgio Armani and Paco Rabanne.

Ms. Bunney added: ‘We’re proud to be serving some of the best food, drink and boutique brands onboard our flights and, whilst we were surprised by some of the trends we found, we weren’t surprised by how popular our products are proving to be.

‘We listen closely to what our passengers tell us they want, which is why we’ve introduced a number of great new additions to our menu. With a range of award-winning artisan food products, high-quality drinks and world-class shopping brands, there really is something for everyone.’

[Editorial queries for this story should be sent to tbr@enpublishing.co.uk]

Heathrow tasks Masterchef judges with airport food improvement

Heathrow, the UK’s busiest airport, has employed the culinary expertise of judges from TV’s popular food programme, Masterchef, to comment on and produce a consumers’ guide for the facility’s eating establishments, with a view to improving overall quality.

John Torode and Greg Wallace, who judge the BBC’s cookery programme, were tasked by Heathrow executives with sampling food at all of the 73 restaurants bars and cafes that comprise the airport’s catering facility. The result is a guide that the pair have co-written, titled ‘Food on the Fly.’ In addition to 10,000 hardcopies of the guide that will be handed out to passengers, it will also be available on the Internet from July this year.

Among the more general recommendations that the food experts were able to offer up to Heathrow’s management were a need for more healthy food options, and a reminder that as a frontier into and out of Britain the airport could do more to promote the best of British food.

John Torode commented, ‘We were really amazed by the choice of food and the service at the airport. These people do an incredible job, especially given that they are open from 5am to almost midnight, every day. I think Heathrow has come on incredibly well. The days when you’d get there, it stank and all you could get was a truly dire full English breakfast have gone.’

High on the recommendation list are the Rhubarb restaurant’s burger and chips, Carluccio’s pasta and offerings from Giraffe restaurant, and the Caviar House & Prunier Seafood Bar.

 

Snails and frogs’ legs top the menu for adventurous holidaying Brits

While the British are renowned for their reserve in most things, especially what they eat, a new survey has revealed that once they travel abroad that reserve is abandoned and nothing, it seems, is too exotic for their palates.

The new research, which has been carried out by river cruise company, Viking River Cruises, revealed that 97 percent of British respondents said they were more likely to be adventurous with food when they were abroad on holiday. The survey also revealed the top five exotic foods that the British traveller is likely to sample, with the French delicacy, snails, leading the list, according to six percent of those polled. Frog’s legs, another dish associated with the French, but even more popular in parts of Asia, came second on the list having been consumed by five percent of respondents.

Completing the list were crocodile, kangaroo and snake, although smaller numbers of those polled admitted to being even more adventurous, having sampled sheep’s brain, cherry soup and even bees. There was also some evidence that returning travellers were keen to impress their friends with more adventurous cuisine, as part of the UK’s growing dinner party culture.

The MD of Viking River Cruises UK, Wendy Atkin-Smith, commented, ‘When we arrive on holiday we automatically feel a sense of adventure and this seems to be transferred onto our palette. The traditional dinner party is back in fashion and we are now looking to impress with international dishes rather than the traditional meat and two veg. Our chefs source their food from food markets when we dock each day to ensure Viking customers have a true taste of local cuisine.’

Eating exotic foods can also be a matter of conscience though. Shark fin soup has been the subject of protests by conservationists, due to the fish being dumped back in the sea to die once the fins have been removed, and with the harvesting of edible frogs now outlawed in most parts of France, the majority of the world’s frogs’ leg market (including France) is served by parts of Asia, where the depletion of frogs in the wild and the cruelty associated with the trade has also attracted criticism.

‘Perfect Places’ to arrange guided vacations for food fans

Connoisseurs that are on a constant mission to satisfy their taste buds are being offered new opportunities by Perfect Places Vacation Rentals.

On offer are irresistible trips to two of the best food destinations in the world, Italy and Northern California. Perfect Places Vacation Rentals said that it was offering what it calls, Food Network trips, to the two destinations. The personalised guided tours will be ready to tease the palate in October, 2012, but according to the company, places will be limited.

Perfect Places Vacation Rentals is a member of the Signature Travel Network.

Rick Haggart, president of the company, said, ‘Perfect Places’ foodie clients will be able to enjoy customised culinary land vacations, the kind seen regularly on the Food Network. Trafalgar will operate the guided vacations, in association with the Signature Travel Network.’

The tour package claims to be as delicious and diverse as it sounds. On offer is a Food Network tour director, first-class hotel accommodation, and exclusive ‘By-Invitation-Only’ experiences. Travellers on the programme will have an opportunity to sample dishes and visit the favourite locations of the Food Network stars that present shows on TV, such as Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, and Best Thing I Ever Ate.

Those who are not content with merely savouring the dishes on the table, and are keen to discover how various foods are prepared, can visit markets and wineries, meet chefs and even try cooking in hands-on cooking classes.

Two programmes being offered are Flavours of Northern California, and Flavours of Italy. Departures from the USA for both of the programmes are in October.

For information on booking this or other Food Network Travel experiences with Perfect Places, call 1-866-981-4162 or visit PerfectPlaces.com.

Japanese Cuisine Gains Popularity with Global Tourists

Although tourists still state a preference for traditional Italian and French cuisine when on holiday, the third most favourite food worldwide is Japanese, according to a recent survey conducted by Hotels.com, an online travel company.

Around 27,000 travellers from across the world have voted Japanese cuisine their third favourite when on vacation.

The survey questioned travellers regarding their favourite international cuisines, and 32 percent of them voted for Italian food, 24 percent voted for French food, but a very creditable 18 percent voted for Japanese food, making it the next most popular cuisine to stake a place on the world travel map.

Favourite Japanese foods include Sushi, Tempura, Ramen and Japanese Soba. Other Japanese delicacies that were popular included Okonomiyaki, Shabu Shabu, Japanese Curry¸ Yakiniku, Natto, and Fugu.

Alison Couper, the spokesperson for Hotels.com, said, ‘Japanese food is seen as great example of healthy eating and there are a variety of Japanese restaurants in every multicultural capital. I’m a big fan of Japanese and not surprised at its elevated ranking. The fact that it beat more traditional holiday dishes such as Tapas and Burritos is testament to the world class reputation of Japanese chefs.’

The other favourite cuisines for international travellers include Chinese, which was favoured by 13 percent of survey respondents, followed by Spain, which polled 11 percent, American (10 percent), Thai (8 percent), and Taiwan and India (5 percent each).

The survey suggests that Asian cuisine is proving ever more popular with travellers in the global tourism market.

Vacation ‘Soul Food’ is on the Way Out for Many Dieters

Say goodbye to the soul food holiday. While most of us enjoy holiday food – foreign meals, new dishes, and comforting fat-filled hotel staples, a growing number of British travellers are opting to take their own food abroad in an effort to decrease their caloric consumption. With a rising rate of obesity and some of the most nutritionally nasty food in the world, we don’t think it’s a great idea.

For most, holidays are about sampling the local culture – something that certainly includes a local take on cuisine and culinary arts. From Malaysia’s famed hawker stands to Rome’s backstreet pizza and pasta houses, food is as much a part of travel as is sightseeing. To put it simply, it’s a part of the culture that isn’t to be avoided, even if it means loosening your belt after an evening meal.

It’s not just small-time dieters that are exporting their dietary staples, either. Leading television and media personality Oprah has advised her audience – one that’s particularly diet-friendly – to pack a selection of ultra-healthy foods before they holiday internationally. It’s a tactic that, for weight loss, is likely to prove worthwhile. But isn’t it slightly xenophobic in its nature?

Part of the joy of travel is experiencing foods that other cultures have created, even if it may result in a hundred extra calories. For dieters, however, there remains an alternative – after arriving in a foreign country, make an activity out of tracking down a high-value dietary meal. Piecing together your lunch from local foods isn’t just culturally interesting – it’s fun!

With dieting very much a part of daily life, it’s no wonder so many are opting to design their own international lunch. But please don’t let it become the standard meal when holidaying overseas. A trip is equal parts culture and cuisine – two aspects of travelling that just shouldn’t be isolated.