Fresh mini pretzels await packaging
AR Rewind: This story originally published in March 2015 and is being re-shared.
King Nut and Summer Harvest: If you’ve ever enjoyedÂ an airline snack at 35,000 feet and inspectedÂ the wrapper, chances are you are familiar with one, or both, of these name brands. They, alongsideÂ Peterson Nut Co., make up theÂ King Nut Companies family. As a fan of the airline industry, and the companies that support it, I’ve long been familiar with King Nut, and have spotted their productsÂ on numerous airlines. Plus, here at AirlineReporter, we love telling the behind-the-scenes stories of the airline world.
A few years back, I was excited to learn that they sometimesÂ sell direct to the public the sameÂ airline-branded snacks I’ve come to know, love, and expect up in the air. I’ve made it a habit to occasionally place orders with them onlineÂ in order to bring AvGeek-themed snacks to various gatherings; we even had their product at my son’sÂ airline-themed birthday party.
A sack of honey roasted peanuts passes through an X-ray machine
I guess you could say I’m nuts for King Nut (you knew at some point I had to make that joke – figured I should get it out of the way). And while I’m a fan of their products, I never tookÂ the time to really learn about what it takes to get these snacks into the hands (and bellies) of passengers.
That opportunity presented itself recently, when I was in the Cleveland area on business. It just so happens that the King Nut facilities are less than a mile from one of my company’s offices in Solon, Ohio. I reached out to Mr. Martin Kanan, President and Chief Executive Officer, to see about a tour and for a chance to learn about their company – he was happy to do so. Sit back, relax, grab some snacks, and prepare to drool over some seriously tasty snackage photos and factsâ€¦
The first thing you see when boarding a Turkish 777
Turkish Airlines is, or should be, well known amongst AvGeeks for their hospitality and commitment to passenger experience. The airline has positioned itself as a “European carrier” which might raise eyebrows to thoseÂ in the West. Most would reasonably assume Turkey to be a resident of an ambiguous neighborhood we Westerners label as the “Middle East.”Â For what it’s worth, about halfÂ of Istanbul, including the airport, the airline’s headquarters, and various operations are indeedÂ on the European continent. Turkey, as it turns out, is a country divided between two continents, giving real meaning to the phrase “East meets West.” The European side is separated from the majority of the country (the Asian side) by a naturally occurring strait referred to as the Bosporus.
My 777-300ER for the ride from Chicago to Istanbul
Why does all of this matter? Because it gives Turkish Airlines a competitive advantage. It’s easier to go after the European carriers than try to compete in terms of obscenely lavish passenger experience offered by the big three Middle EastÂ airlines (ME3). And, let’s be honest. When we think of European carriers, is an overwhelming commitment to passenger experience something that comes to mind? Likely not. It is no wonder then that Turkish Airlines maintains the title of Best Airline in Europe, according to Skytrax.
So how does Turkish differentiate itself from the pack? By offering reasonably priced fares bundled with excellent service and gourmet food. Gourmet food on a plane? Some might think those concepts are mutually exclusive. I beg to differ…
Literally anything and everything that could go on your tray table was available at WTCE 2016.
In conjunction with the Airline Interiors Expo lastÂ month, the World Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) was also co-located in Hamburg, Germanyâ€¦ talk about a week of #PaxEx (passenger experience)! WTCE brought together vendors who showcased the best of their food and drink, wares, and concepts, all in the name of passenger comfort and meeting customersâ€™ demands (of course, by that we mean the airlines as customers). Everything from futuristic catering systems, to plastic spoons and condiments, we take a look at some highlights and personal favorites.
Afternoon offerings include hot soup, artisinal bread along with Hummus, crackers and other more refined snack options – Photo: Mal Muir | AirlineReporter
DomesticÂ airline lounges in the USA do not have the best reputation. A place to get a drink and sit out your flight delay in a dark, cigar lounge atmosphere? United does not like that thought, and they have decided to do something about it.
At first they startedÂ renovating their clubs, bringing them up to a new standard. Now they have come into the second phase, and are going to be updating the food and snacks on offer. For many frequent fliers, this should be a welcomed change.
The entry way to United Club in Terminal 2 at O’Hare – Photo: United
I have been through my fair share of United Clubs. I have been a Star Alliance Gold member for years, and like many of you, I am inherently familiar with Goldfish crackers, Tillamook cheese, and yogurt (or chocolate) covered pretzels/raisins. I have had my binge sessions while waiting out a delayed flight snacking on those things while powering my devices.
Considering that an annual club membership could run you as much as $500 a year, the meager snack offeringsÂ don’t seem all that great. Â Those days are now going to be history. Â United has decided to follow the feedback of their guests, and also a similar trend among their competitors, to offer something a little bit more substantial, even palatable.