Veganism is taking off around the globe, and major airlines are taking note of the growing demand for sustainable products and services.
Meantime, Virgin Atlantic has continued to reduce the use of in-flight meal ingredients related to deforestation.
The Impossible Burger will be made available to business class passengers flying with Air New Zealand from Auckland to Los Angeles, around late October.
Air New Zealand’s Customer Experience Manager Niki Chave told media that launching The Impossible Burger for in-flight service required significant product testing.
“We’re the first airline to offer the Impossible Burger, so we needed to make sure it flies well and is presented well,” Ms Chave said.
“It’s been stress tested in the air for all sorts of scenarios to ensure it will hold up if meal service is delayed due to turbulence – or if there’s any other reason the burgers stay in the oven two, five or ten minutes later than they should.”
Air New Zealand will serve The Impossible Burger with smoked gouda, tomatillo cream, caramelised onion and pickles.
Air New Zealand’s announcement was heavily criticised by beef farmers, but the progressive airline maintained that plant-based alternatives have a place alongside “tried and true” meat dishes.
Meanwhile, Virgin Atlantic has released a reported in conjunction with the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA), to examine 5.5 million in-flight meals served every year.
According to the report, Virgin Atlantic aims to reduce its use of ingredients related to deforestation – including soy, palm oil and beef.
“Despite political and economic headwinds we remain fully committed to our sustainability program, and will continue to drive new ways to reduce carbon emissions, and promote responsible supply chain and tourism practice”, said Craig Kreeger, CEO of Virgin Atlantic.
Sir Richard Branson has previously echoed this commitment saying, “The more cattle you have in the world, the more the rainforests are going to disappear, acre by acre.”
Partners of the SRA also aim to ensure ingredients are sustainably sourced – and purchased from suppliers that provide fair working conditions.