Air New Zealand could be about to ditch the in-flight cookie as it searches for new snacks

An Air New Zealand stewardess serving a snack
Air New Zealand is launching a search for brand new snacks to serve in the skies. Photo credit: Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand could be about to ditch the famous in-flight Cookie Time cookie as it launches a major search to find new snacks to serve in cabins in the skies.

The company's launched the Great Kiwi Snack Off, which it says is "a nationwide hunt to find new onboard snacks" and will run from today until May 1.

It says the search is "to expand our already impressive snack offerings, delivering more choice and change to passengers than ever before."

The company says it will happen across the range, and will see snacks changed across both domestic and international flights, with only the iconic Air New Zealand lolly safe from any potential chop.

"We revamped our domestic snack programme in 2021 to huge success, but we're ready to take things up a notch with even more variety, flavours, and surprises across all flights and mealtimes," said Air New Zealand Chief Customer and Sales Officer Leanne Geraghty.

"We're seeking a diverse range of snacks that cater to different dietary needs and time-of-day appetites. Think sweet, savoury, healthy, indulgent, and everything in between, and catering for a greater range of dietary requirements and preferences."

It also said it wanted to look at championing "New Zealand made products and snacks that celebrate the provenance of our regions, Māori and Pasifika or social enterprises". 

The company's website said the search would be focused primarily on getting a true Kiwi taste in the skies.

"We're on the lookout for suppliers who can help us deliver on this mission, while also catering to dietary restrictions, championing Kiwi brands, and doing the right thing for social impact and sustainability. 

"We're inviting expressions of interest (EOI) from a wide range of food providers, using an open tender approach that will give even the smallest boutique suppliers a chance to get their products onboard," its website said.

It also said it will give serious consideration to those that are "doing the right thing by prioritising social impact and sustainability, so snacks that meet those criteria will be given extra brownie points."

Air New Zealand also strongly encouraged people to contact suppliers to provide details of their snacks through the EOI form, rather than just nominate them to the company, saying they wanted to hear directly from businesses, not fans.

" If you have a favourite snack in mind that you think would be great onboard, we encourage you to reach out to whoever makes them and encourage them to take part in the process," it said.

In June 2021, the company overhauled its snack offerings to get away from just its chips and cookie offerings.

It now offers cookies, cereal bars, crisps, chips, popcorn, bliss bites and cracker bites on its domestic planes - but only on a rotating basis.