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Air NZ deploys ‘Impossible’ burger on new route

November 9, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Air New Zealand has renewed and expanded its backing of a plant-based burger patty that cooks, smells and tastes like beef but contains no animal products – but the burger has yet to appear on the Tasman, where the “battle of the meat” is underway.

Virgin Australia – competing head-to-head with Air New Zealand on the Tasman, now their long-time cooperation agreement on that route has ended – is making a big deal of serving real meat burgers on its trans-Tasman flights.

Earlier this year, Virgin Australia released a video called "Got Beef" in which an Aussie actor walks across a beef farm and calls on Kiwi beef and lamb suppliers to contact the airline.

Now Air New Zealand has moved its meatless burger to the San Francisco route as well as the Los Angeles route. It has launched a bite-sized version of the Impossible Burger – serving Impossible Burger sliders on its San Francisco to Auckland services from now on.

The airline first collaborated with Silicon Valley food tech start-up Impossible Foods in July, becoming the first airline in the world to serve the plant-based Impossible Burger as part of its Business Premier menu on flights from Los Angeles to Auckland.

The burger’s key ingredient is the iron-containing molecule heme, which Air New Zealand says Impossible Foods has exclusively sourced from the roots of soy plants. It’s the same heme found in animal meat, resulting in a beef-like non-meat experience.

The meatless Impossible Burger slider

Air New Zealand's Inflight Customer Experience Manager Niki Chave says the burger has proved extremely popular with customers.

“The Impossible Burger has been a real favourite. Given we're heading into a seasonal menu change in Business Premier we couldn't resist sharing the experience with customers travelling on another of our North American routes while also giving it a bit of a twist.

“Our Impossible Burger is a really generously sized serving, so this time around we’ taking the opportunity to make it a bit lighter by serving it as bite sized sliders. The dish will include three Impossible Burger sliders accompanied by tomato jalapeno chutney, sundried tomato mayo with buttermilk slaw and vegetable crisps on the side” Chave says.

The Impossible Burger sliders will be offered as part of the new Business Premier menu on flight NZ7 from San Francisco to Auckland through to the end of June 2019.

So will the sliders ever slide onto the Tasman? We shall see.


Written by Peter Needham

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