Emirates is embracing the heightened demand for plant-based cuisine with a multimillion-dollar investment into new vegan choices onboard as World Vegan Day on November 1 approaches.
A curated menu of gourmet vegan dishes has been introduced into First and Business Class, while Economy Class menus will also get a new selection of plant-based produce.
Increasing Demand for Vegan Cuisine
Emirates has been serving vegan options onboard since the 1990’s. Initially, vegan requirements were focused on specific routes where vegan meals are required for cultural reasons.
However vegan dishes are now rapidly gaining general popularity on US, Australian, some European and UK routes, with Emirates noting a sizeable increase in interest in vegan dishes over the last decade. Currently, Emirates offers more than 180 plant-based recipes catering to vegan customers.
Emirates has invested in developing a new vegan menu with the vegan menu in First and Business Class being a year in development in Emirates Flight Catering.
This expansive facility based at Dubai International airport is home to 11,000 employees and serves up to 225,000 meals daily. It is the largest flight catering facility in the world and home to international chefs of 69 different nationalities.
In Economy Class, the vegan menus are also refreshed every month, and the vegan meals in Economy Class are available to pre-order.
Sustainably Sourced Vegan options onboard Emirates are nutrient-dense and rich in greens, fruits, and vegetables, sourced from several UAE-based suppliers including fresh locally grown kale, heirloom cherry tomatoes, salad leafs and herbs from Bustanica. Bustanica is the world’s largest hydroponic vertical farm, a US$40 million joint venture investment through Emirates Flight Catering.
The Bustanica farm is driven by powerful technology – machine learning, artificial intelligence, and advanced methods – and a specialised in-house team that includes agronomy experts, engineers, horticulturists, and plant scientists. A continuous production cycle ensures the produce is perfectly fresh and clean, and grown without pesticides, herbicides, or chemicals.
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