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Celiac.com 10/25/2018 - The surging demand for gluten-free, allergen-free, vegetarian and other food options is changing the way many companies do business. However, food and beverage manufacturers are not the only businesses working to keep up with plant-based and gluten-free demands from consumers. The latest effects of that demand are shaking up food offerings in the airline industry. Major airlines are among the numerous businesses that are shifting gears to cater to the growing demand for gluten-free, allergen-free, vegan, and other options from customers. Gone are the bagged peanuts of days past. The new kid on the block avoids gluten, and wants ample vegetarian and other options. To meet those changing demands, airlines are hiring celebrity chefs to devise new menus. According to Alaska airlines, their data show that about 50 percent of people want to eat gluten-free or vegetarian. Customers also want better, tastier, and more appealing choices. That means that the days of “chicken,” “beef,” or “pasta” are fast disappearing, as airlines jazz up or change those once ubiquitous pasta options. United Airlines has been developing dishes using quinoa, and chia seeds. Delta Airlines is now offering on-board gluten-free snack selections, and American Airlines has been trying out zucchini balls and stuffed mushrooms. Air New Zealand is kicking it up a notch for its business class passengers flying from Los Angeles to Auckland, who can now enjoy the increasingly popular "Impossible Burger." Travelers will likely see more gluten-free and plant-based options on airlines as they work to make flying less stressful, and more appetizing. Traveled by air lately? Tell us about your food experience in the comments section below.
Celiac.com 05/04/2017 - Japan's ANA airline is catching some public relations heat this week after reports that a man flying from Tokyo to Australia received a banana instead of the gluten-free meal that he booked in advance. London resident, and celiac disease sufferer, Martin Pavelka flew All Nippon Airways flight from Tokyo this week, a nine-hour flight. Numerous media have reported Mr. Pavelka's plights in glaring terms, such as the Independent's alarming headline: Man Given Banana as Gluten-free "Meal"Â on Nine hour Flight, with the equally sensational sidebar: Londoner flying from Tokyo to Sydney was handed a banana as the gluten-free inflight "meal." However, a closer reading shows those claims to be pretty misleading. The fact is that Mr. Pavelka did receive his specially-ordered gluten-free meal at dinner, shortly after departure. The banana was part of the breakfast meal, the second meal service for the flight, which is where the trouble began for Mr Pavelka, who said he was "expecting something more substantial."Â "All other passengers were served full breakfast meal consisting of eggs, sausage, mushrooms, bread, and yogurt,"Â Pavelka told the Standard, while all he received was a single banana,"Â which though "definitely gluten free…did not keep me full for very long."Â So, let's add this all up. On a nine-hour flight, Mr. Pavelka received his special gluten-free meal for dinner, and then about 5 hours later, about 2 hours or so before landing, he received a banana in lieu of a full breakfast? But he wanted more? And this is a new story? In the account given by the Standard, Mr. Pavelka's first words to the flight attendant were "is this some kind of joke?"Â Not exactly diplomatic language. Nor, by the Standard's account did Mr. Pavelka ask for anything more, such as a yogurt, or additional fruit? Clearly Mr. Pavelka received less food at breakfast than the other passengers, but the food was gluten-free, as was his earlier dinner. It's entirely reasonable for Mr. Pavelka to expect to be treated like the other passengers, and to receive more for breakfast. However, without more detail, it's hard to know exactly what ANA offered at the time of booking, or whether there was some kind of mix-up with the caterers who provide meals, including specialty meals, to ANA. Do we know for sure that ANA actually offered a full gluten-free breakfast on that flight? Or that Mr. Pavelka was promised one? That said, both Mr. Pavelka and the newspapers covering the story owe it to the public to be more clear and less sensational about the actual facts. Expecting two gluten-free meals, and receiving one gluten-free meal and a banana is a very different story than just receiving a banana. Reports that the banana was the only gluten-free food ANA provided Mr. Pavelka for the entire nine-hour flight are simply wrong. ANA in fact provided Mr. Pavelka with a gluten-free dinner. The Standard managed to bury that important detail in paragraph ten of an eighteen paragraph article, while the Independent slipped it into paragraph seven of a thirteen paragraph article. Both papers carefully avoid mentioning the fact that the dinner was gluten-free. The paragraph in the Standard reads: "Although he had been given a larger meal the previous evening when his flight left, Mr Pavelka said he was expecting something more substantial for breakfast."Â Yet, somehow, the Standard published the story under the fact-mashed title, "Londoner who ordered gluten free meal on nine-hour flight is given a single banana to eat with knife and fork." Both the newspapers and Mr. Pavelka seem focused on spinning a story that the banana was the only food ANA provided Mr. Pavelka during the flight, which was simply not the case. Such obfuscation, presumably in search of readership, does little to provide clarity on the actual details, and much to cause doubt and confusion about what are actually fairly simple, if inconvenient, facts to a fairly mundane, and not-altogether newsworthy, story. If Mr. Pavelka received only a banana for his nine-hour flight, that would truly be an outrage. If he received a gluten-free meal, plus a banana, that would be an inconvenience. The story was presented as an outrage, when the facts indicated it was clearly more of an inconvenience. This article was revised for clarity by the author on 5/10/2017. Read more: The Standard.co.uk Metro.co.uk The Independent.co.uk