“We know the snack cart is often the highlight of a flight,” a United representative told TheStreet.
Many of the snacks served onboard flights have also become firmly rooted in memories and travel culture — after a partnership with Delta (DAL) – Get Free Report in the 1980s, the Biscoff cookie has become known as the “plane cookie” for generations of Americans.
The cookie has a bit of a cult following and even its own emoji as part of a “sticker add-on” for iPhone and Android.
For years, United Airlines (UAL) – Get Free Report has also been serving Biscoffs in economy class along with a choice of pretzels — a 2020 outrage over trying to retire the cookie caused the airline to renege on its plans.
Three New Snack Options Are Coming Aboard United
As part of its efforts to revamp, United is adding three new snack options to travelers in economy — Dark Chocolate + Sea Salt Chocolate Crisps by Undercover Snacks, Apple and Mango Fruit Bars by That’s It and Savory Snack Mix by Summer Harvest. The latter is a “medley of rye bagel chips, garlic bread bites and pretzel twists.”
A United representative told TheStreet that the new snacks will “begin to replace pretzels and Biscoff, with the roll-out complete late April.” But the Stroopwafel, another European-style cookie that many customers look forward to on United flights, will “continue to be an important part of [the airline’s] complimentary snack lineup even as the airline rotates in new options.”
The expanded snack cart options come as a result of partnerships with the above-mentioned snack producers — United serves over 12,000 snacks a month aboard its flights and secured deals for Undercover Snacks, That’s It and Summer Harvest to provide them.
“Just in time for spring break travel, we’re thrilled to introduce United’s new lineup of complimentary Economy snacks, hand-selected to give flyers more variety and healthier options when the snack cart rolls-up to their seat,” Aaron McMillan, United Airlines managing director of hospitality and planning, said in a quote for TheStreet.
The dark chocolate crisps will be available starting from March 1 while the fruit bars and snack mix will be served starting from April 1.
Is An Airplane Food Overhaul Underway?
United has been on a wider mission to overhaul its onboard flights. Last November, it brought back children’s meals on flights over 2,000 miles where adults also receive complimentary food. Designed for children aged two or older, the meals feature things like French toast with sausage, fruit and a croissant for breakfast and chicken tenders or grilled cheese entree for daytime meals.
In the fall of 2022, United also started offering two Milk Bar truffles aboard select economy and Premium Plus international flights leaving from the U.S. as a small taste of luxury in economy.
The latest snack additions will definitely give passengers in economy more choices but may not go over well with the section of travelers who feel very strongly about Biscoff — when the airline first tried phasing out the Biscoff cookie in 2020, Delta clapped back with a tweet saying they “still got ’em.”
“We know the snack cart is often the highlight of a flight, so getting it right is very important to use,” McMillan said. “With the addition of Undercover Snacks, That’s it. Fruit Bars and a classic Savory Snack Mix, we’re confident there’s something for everyone.”