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Air New Zealand Seeks Snackperts for Latest Menu Upgrades

Ready, set, snack! Air New Zealand recruits taste testers in the Great Kiwi Snack Off.

Air New Zealand has called on foodie Kiwis to help narrow their list of candidates in the airline’s latest update to in-flight snack offerings. Taste testers will sample treats the airline would serve its customers onboard. The airline has called the snackspert initiative the Great Kiwi Snack Off.

Air New Zealand recruits taste testers in the Great Kiwi Snack Off.
Air New Zealand, Boeing, 777, Landing at Auckland International Airport, New Zealand, 25 December 2019. Credit: Rusell Hendry
  • More than 400 suppliers put their best snacks forward.
  • The airline has shortlisted the delectable creations of 30 suppliers.
  • More than 70 snacks were tried and taste-tested.
  • Air New Zealand is calling for taste testers to help make the final decision.

Air New Zealand recently invited suppliers from all over the country to compete to have their snacks served onboard. The airline is now looking for five food enthusiasts to assist in the selection. With over 400 suppliers expressing interest and offering a variety of snacks, including nuts and nachos, Air New Zealand aims to make the best choices for its passengers.

“We’ve had some incredible suppliers reach out with snacks of all shapes and flavors and they’ve got some great stories to tell. Whether they’re on a mission to highlight the best of locally sourced produce or want to help a deserving charity, the caliber of suppliers has been exceptional. We’ve managed to whittle the list down to 30 suppliers still in the running, but we need a hand to make the final call,” Air New Zealand Chief Customer and Sales Officer Leanne Geraghty explains. “What’s become really clear through this process is Kiwis are passionate about snacks, so why not give a few of the country’s most enthusiastic foodies a chance to be snacksperts and have their say on what we serve onboard.”

Air New Zealand’s in-house panel of snackers has already narrowed down the list to ensure suppliers meet key requirements. For example, they’ve selected options that can be served without heating and are easy and light to transport.

“We’ve got dozens of snacks that highlight a variety of classic Kiwi flavors, including tangy feijoas and kiwifruit for our snacksperts to try. From cookies and bliss balls to crunchy bacon chips to churros, it won’t be an easy task for them to narrow the snacks down,” Geraghty adds.

The airline has encouraged children and adults to take a nibble at snack sampling. During the taste testing in Auckland, participants will sample snacks and offer feedback. The airline will announce the final selection of its crowdsourced snacksperts in the near future.

Quick Facts On Air New Zealand’s Onboard Snacks:

Air New Zealand Seeks Snackperts for Latest Menu Upgrades
  • Every snack needs to be as easy to clean as it is to eat. Some aircraft only have 15-20 minutes to turn around for their next flight. Snacks that won’t make a huge mess and create lots of work for the airline’s team of cleaners are essential.
  • Snacks on the airline’s domestic flights must be easy to transport and fit into a selection of containers. Every morning and afternoon 1,200 snacks are loaded onto an aircraft. The snacks need to be small enough to fit in these containers.
  • Every aircraft has a specific amount of weight allocated for food and catering. The snacks must meet those weight restrictions.
  • The airline also tries to ensure there are gluten-free options available and, where possible, to source other options, including vegan and dairy-free.

Snacksperts Decide

Updated: 30 November 2023

The snacksperts have spoken – Air New Zealand reveals its newest onboard snacks.

  • Earlier this year Air New Zealand launched the Great Kiwi Snack Off – a nationwide search for the tastiest onboard snacks.
  • 400 snack suppliers expressed their interest in having their snacks onboard.
  • Five foodies or “snacksperts” weighed in on their favorites.
  • Now, Air New Zealand reveals exactly what 14 new and tasty snacks will feature onboard over the next year.

Air New Zealand unveils its latest in-flight snack selection, featuring chocolate-dipped pretzels and almonds, tangy lemon meringue-coated popcorn, and crunchy dried cheese. The airline carefully curated these mouth-watering treats with the help of 400 suppliers nationwide. After sifting through a remarkable 9000 applications, five taste testers were chosen to provide feedback, resulting in a selection of 14 delectable snacks from various regions of New Zealand, including Canterbury, Nelson, Hawke’s Bay, Eastern Bay of Plenty, and Waikato.

“Throughout this whole process, we’ve been amazed by the quality and calibre of suppliers, whether they’re a social enterprise wanting to help a worthy cause, or a family run business trying to highlight the best local produce – we’ve been extremely impressed and making a decision hasn’t been easy,” says Air New Zealand Chief Customer and Sales Officer Leanne Geraghty.

“We want to give our customers a fantastic experience from the moment they are welcomed aboard our aircraft, and that includes having a variety of snacks to satisfy sweet tooths and savory lovers alike.”

New Snacks Roll-Out on Domestic and International Routes

The new snacks will be rolled out on various domestic and international routes across various cabins, with the first snack, Skinny Dipped Almonds and nut and chocolate blends, due to land on domestic flights in December. These will be mixed with some of the airline’s customers’ favorite snacks.

“Customer feedback has also told us that there are some existing snack options that are really popular and loved, so we’ve also decided to keep them onboard for the next few years,” Geraghty said. “The beloved cookie isn’t going anywhere, though customers can expect to see them mix up their flavors from later next year, whether it’s pavlova or ‘chocolate fish n chip,’ there will be plenty of choice for customers onboard.”

Crisps will also remain available, offering customers various delicious treats for the foreseeable future.

“We know just how passionate New Zealanders are about all things snacks, so we’ve really tried to mix it up with some unusual flavors and textures – from freeze dried cheese to lemon, white chocolate and popcorn flavor combinations, we wanted to be a bit playful with some of the snack options,” Geraghty said. “There’s been a huge amount of work behind the scenes, and we want to thank all the suppliers from around the country who were part of our EOI process.”

“We’re really excited by the snacks we’ve selected, and we hope our customers love them as much as we do!” Geraghty concluded.

Apart from being flavorful, the chosen snacks had to meet specific requirements, such as being served without heating and easy to transport.

Air New Zealand’s new onboard snacks:

  1. Dipped almonds and nut and chocolate blends.
  2. Pea puffs real cheese
  3. Choc wafers and Trail Mix
  4. Salt & vinegar chips
  5. Lemon meringue pie and feijoa cider gourmet popcorn treats
  6. Milk chocolate-coated pretzels
  7. Oat-baked squares in choc chip, chocolate brownie, raspberry white chocolate and salted caramel flavors
  8. Rich chocolate treat
  9. White choc coated ginger biscuit
  10. Cinnamon glazed macadamias
  11. Original butter cookie or choc chip
  12. Crunchy cheese
  13. Primal bar
  14. Corn puffs churro or bang bang chicken flavor 

Air New Zealand’s classics to stay onboard (but possibly with a twist!)

  1. CookieTime Cookie (in classic chocolate chip, but with pavlova, lollie cake, and “chocolate fish n chip” flavors also in the pipeline)
  2. Fudge
  3. Crisps (Apple Cider Vinegar and Sea Salt, Marlborough Sea Salt flavors)
  4. Bliss bites

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