A Little Goes a Long Way: Trends of Mini Meals on Private Flights

Inflight Catering Small Bites Desserts

What can be more luxurious in air travel, than traveling to your destination with the comfort and perks of a private jet? At one point, it was a privilege reserved for a lucky few, such as celebrities, chief executives and billionaires who live a lifestyle that only the other 99% of the population dream of while crammed into the seats of commercial flights.

However, today a handful of sites and private jet companies are following the lead of hotels and hotel websites by offering last-minute deals on unused inventory, and others are changing the cost structure of private jet travel to make it vastly more affordable. So, while traveling in style, why not eat as such?

Most people have a hard time finding nutritious, delicious food when flying. Eating the right food while on the road can be a huge challenge for passengers and flight crews. A good strategy is to eat frequent small, nutritious snacks and mini meals throughout the day to help maintain stable blood sugar levels. The normal tendency on the road, and on commercial airlines, is to snack on high amounts of simple carbohydrates like cookies, chips and soda. Instead, with the dynamics of corporate aviation catering companies, such as Air Culinaire Worldwide, there are options for food that contains complex carbohydrates, like whole grain bread, cereals, proteins, low-fat yogurts, cheeses and nuts. Some of the trends that are we currently seeing from passengers are:

  1. Gluten-Free. From celiac disease to the ever-growing trend in Hollywood, gluten-free meals have had a 30% increase over previous years in what passengers are ordering. The combination of improved quality and variety of gluten-free products with better-trained chefs on gluten-free ingredients has taken these meals to new heights and flavors.
  2. Ancient Grains. Ancient grains are not only appearing on menus, but also making their way to supermarket shelves. Everything from khorasan, faro and quinoa to chia, these ancient grains are being consumed daily and are now being incorporated into more products throughout the world. These ancient grains offer great health benefits lacking in durum wheat, as well as keeping on-trend with gluten-free alternatives for our passengers. Therefore, a small snack, such as quinoa salad with grilled filet and caramelized beets, is not a far stretch for a passenger to desire.
  3. Charcuterie. Who doesn’t love gourmet meat and cheese, crostinis, and condiments, such as stone mustard or red pepper jam? This is not new trend, but it is constantly being requested and desired on private jet flights, and it is going way beyond the standard meat-and-cheese plate. Today, we can get more creative by adding things such as duck prosciutto, house-made pastrami, imported cheese, truffles and cured meat.
  4. From the Orient. This mini meal is proving to be a contender in the race to be a dominant meal choice. More and more dishes being ordered have an Asian twist on them. More Asian flavor noodle bowls and rice bowls are becoming more popular in the air. These heart-warming dishes give our passengers more flavors at altitude, while relaxing them on their flight.
  5. Non-Alcoholic Beverages.  Can you believe this trend? Well, yes, no alcohol! Passengers are now looking for more healthier options in enjoying a beverage. We have seen an increase in cold-pressed juices which include items such as kale, apples, wheat grass, spinach and other exotic fruit blends.
  6. Chicken and Fish. Today’s chefs are offering passengers better choices in small meal ideas, such as Mini Chicken Kebabs or Satay. They are offering chicken-based flatbreads with arugula, feta, red onion, tomato and fresh mint or smoked salmon with red onion, capers, onion jam and dill cream garnish.
  7. Tasting desserts. Sometimes a little goes a long way! Passengers are saying “Adios” to that huge piece of cake and “Hola” to small-bite desserts. This experience gives passengers a unique blend of healthier, more robust flavors of desserts, and allows the passengers to sample many different robust flavors in one seating.

Next time you have a passenger or crew member looking for ideas for their flight, call and ask about the new trends and keep in mind that your passengers may enjoy the option of variety. They may prefer sampling a taste of many different selections versus eating one larger option. Giving your passengers and fellow crew members something unique, tasty and on-trend allows you the opportunity to push your reputation and their experience to the next level.


If you have any questions about this article or about in-flight catering in the DC area, contact weborders@airculinaire.com.

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