In a stunning act that celebrates the approaching World Vegan Day on November 1, Emirates has made a significant investment into new vegan options onboard in response to the growing demand for plant-based food. In First and Business Class, a specially curated menu of gourmet vegan dishes has been created, while the menus for Economy Class have been updated with new plant-based product options.
It is setting new standards in customer experience with delicious and healthy options for cosmopolitan customers following a vegan lifestyle or for those who want a lighter meal option while travelling. Known for its responsive alertness to customers' concerns, Emirates' latest move will help cater to the rapidly expanding global vegan community and general interest in herbivorous diets.
Increasing Demand for Vegan Cuisine
The vegan requirements were initially concentrated on specific routes, such as Addis Ababa where vegan meals are required during certain times of the year by those practising the Ethiopian Orthodox faith, or across the Indian subcontinent where multiple faiths encouraged a plant-based diet.
Emirates has been offering vegan options onboard since the 1990s. Emirates has noticed a significant rise in interest in vegan cuisine over the past ten years, and vegan dishes are now rapidly gaining widespread popularity on US, Australian, several European, and UK routes. Beirut, Cairo, and Taiwan are among the regions where interest in vegan food has recently increased. Emirates currently caters to vegan consumers with more than 180 plant-based dishes.
Emirates has made investments to create a new vegan menu to compete with renowned restaurants. Emirates is already frequently recognised as the top airline for vegan travellers by various specialised website polls, including VegNews. The Emirates Flight Catering, a sizable establishment with 11,000 personnel and a capacity to serve up to 225,000 meals per day, spent a year developing the vegan menu for First and Business Class.
The world's largest aircraft catering facility is where 69 different international chefs call home. In order to generate a comprehensive range of flavours and textures, the menu was the subject of numerous presentations and tastings. Contributions came from speciality chefs that specialise in Chinese, Indian, and Arabic cuisine. The tasting panels included both vegan and non-vegan chefs and team-members to ensure an inclusive approach.
Every month, the vegan menus in Economy Class are also updated, offering frequent travellers a wide selection of dishes. The vegan meals in Economy Class are available for pre-order and have received overwhelmingly positive reviews from travellers all over the world. There is a creamy spinach and avocado mousseline with marinated tofu, blanched snow peas, radish, asparagus, pomegranate seeds, courgette ribbon, and sriracha oil that is a current passenger favourite, as well as multicoloured quinoa with delectable caramelised pear and celeriac purée, roasted cauliflower, glazed carrots, sautéed kale, and lovage pesto
The vegan desserts are also extremely good, and they include appealing options like a rich chocolate tofu cheesecake that is paired with a sweet strawberry compote and a dark chocolate custard cake that is countered by fresh, juicy strawberries.
High Quality Healthy Ingredients
The advantages of plant-powered products are gaining popularity with health-conscious consumers who may not identify as vegans but occasionally select lighter options to fit into their lifestyle. Since chickpea flour is gluten-free and naturally aerates foods like crepes and omelettes to an enticing fluffy texture, it is used aboard Emirates flights as an alternative to traditional products like white flour.
Coconut or vegetable-based cream is substituted for full-fat dairy cream, coconut butter or margarine for dairy butter, and coconut and flaxseed oils are used in place of vegetable oil since they are healthier and have a higher smoke point while still adding flavour to food. The recipes also contain a variety of superfoods, such as black and white quinoa seeds, which lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease. They are also high in antioxidants and help with cholesterol levels.
The innovative koftas on the new vegan menu in First and Business Class are produced with plant-based ingredients from the renowned Beyond meat brand. Organic dark chocolate with 60% raw cocoa components, imported from the Dominican Republic, has been used to make vegan treats. Refreshing Vitality juices, a custom line of juice blends made by renowned UAE brand Barakat, go well with vegan cuisine. Without the use of added sugar, additives, or preservatives, each gluten-free and vegan juice is brimming with the necessary vitamins, minerals, fibre, and antioxidants.
Taste Profile & Presentation
Through the ingenious use of textures and infusions to create the vital umami effect, the Emirates team of award-winning chefs has created a fresh new menu where veggies take centre stage and the absence of meat isn't felt. As it cooks out with a meaty texture, jackfruit, a fibrous tree fruit from southwest India, serves as the centrepiece of several vegan cuisines. An excellent complement to vegan food, kohlrabi is a Northern European mix between cabbage and turnip. It has a mild flavour that readily takes on the flavours of whatever it is cooked with or marinated in. The irresistible tofu, cauliflower steak, and other nuts and legumes round out the list of essential elements that make a dish moreish.
Emirates' new vegan dishes feature a tempting assortment of colourful and healthy options with an emphasis on freshness, vibrancy of taste, and satiety, such as heirloom cherry tomato tofu with edamame and roasted sesame, mushroom ragout with thyme, fresh Hass avocado and mango salad timbale, or kale and cranberry salad served on a bed of grilled sweet potato. Vegan dinners are gently garnished with farm-fresh herbs, berries, and colourful sauces to ensure that the excellent and healthful dishes are also edible to the eye. A number of the new vegan sweets are also coated with thin sheets of real gold leaf.
Sustainably Sourced: Emirates Bustanica
In addition to fresh, locally grown kale, heirloom cherry tomatoes, salad leaves, and herbs from Bustanica, vegan alternatives served on Emirates flights are also nutrient-dense and abundant in greens, fruits, and vegetables. The largest hydroponic vertical farm in the world is called Bustanica, and Emirates Flight Catering invested US$40 million in the joint venture. The Bustanica farm is run by a specialised internal team of agronomy experts, engineers, horticulturists, and plant scientists, as well as powerful technologies including machine learning, artificial intelligence, and innovative methods.
The produce is grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides, or other chemicals and is always absolutely fresh and clean. With plans to grow even more fruit and vegetables in the future, Emirates will serve all passengers wonderful leafy greens, like as lettuce, arugula, mixed salad greens, and spinach, straight from Bustanica.