Air New Zealand reveals its newest onboard snacks - and the classics that will remain

Air New Zealand has revealed the 14 new snacks it will feature onboard its flights over the next year, whittled down from a staggering 400 expressions of interest from local suppliers.   

Earlier this year, the national carrier launched 'The Great Kiwi Snack-Off' - a nationwide search for the tastiest snacks - to revamp its selection of snack offerings across both domestic and international flights.  

The airline also launched a campaign last month to find five 'snacksperts' to help them determine which snacks were worthy of being taken to the skies.  

Speaking to AM on Thursday, Air New Zealand customer experience product lead Ramon Lledo said the campaign attracted around 9000 applications from Kiwi foodies within the first few days.   

The final five were selected and acted as taste-testers, with their feedback helping the airline come to its final decision, he said.   

The 14 chosen suppliers and their offerings hail from regions across the country, from Canterbury, Nelson and Hawke's Bay to the Eastern Bay of Plenty and Waikato.  

Chocolate-dipped pretzels and almonds, tangy popcorn coated in lemon meringue and crunchy dried cheese are among the new additions, he and snackspert Ros Quinn revealed to AM.

The new offerings will be rolled out on a variety of different domestic and international routes across various cabins, with the first snack - 'Skinny-Dipped Almonds' and blends of nut and chocolate - due to land on domestic flights in December.   

The new lineup will be mixed in with several of the airline's existing snacks that customers have reported enjoying.  

"Customer feedback has also told us that there are some existing snack options that are really popular and loved, so we've also decided to keep them on-board for the next few years," Air New Zealand chief customer and sales officer Leanne Geraghty said in a statement on Thursday. 

"The beloved cookie isn't going anywhere, though customers can expect to see them mix up their flavours from later next year, whether it's 'Pavlova' or 'Chocolate Fish 'n Chip', there will be plenty of choice for customers onboard." 

Crisps are also staying in the rotation, she added.

"We know just how passionate New Zealanders are about all things snacks, so we've really tried to mix it up with some unusual flavours and textures - from freeze-dried cheese to lemon, white chocolate and popcorn flavour combinations, we wanted to be a bit playful with some of the options."  

The selected snacks had to meet key requirements; for example, all options had to be light and easy to transport and be served without heating.  

The refreshed snack selection will be rotated regularly, Lledo said, allowing frequent flyers to sample different options. This means that while we all want 14 different snacks from time to time, not every option will be available on your flight.

Air New Zealand's new onboard snacks 

  • Dipped almonds and nut and chocolate blends  
  • Pea Puffs Real Cheese  
  • Chocolate wafers and trail mix  
  • Salt and vinegar chips  
  • Lemon Meringue Pie and Feijoa Cider Gourmet Popcorn Treats  
  • Milk chocolate-coated pretzels  
  • Oat-baked squares in chocolate chip, chocolate brownie, raspberry white chocolate and salted caramel flavours  
  • Rich Chocolate Treat
  • White chocolate-coated ginger biscuit
  • Cinnamon-glazed macadamias
  • Original butter cookie or chocolate chip  
  • Crunchy Cheese
  • Primal Bar
  • Corn Puffs Churro or Bang Bang Chicken flavour.

Air New Zealand classics to stay onboard (but possibly with a twist)

  • CookieTime Cookie (in classic Chocolate Chip, but with 'Pavlova', 'Lollie Cake' and 'Chocolate Fish 'n Chip' flavours also in the pipeline)  
  • Fudge
  • Crisps (in Apple Cider Vinegar and Sea Salt and Marlborough Sea Salt)  
  • Bliss bites.  

Watch the video above.