Emirates unveils its 300-recipe ‘vegan vault’ as demand for plant-based cuisine rises by 40%

As global interest in Veganuary peaks, an initiative that has highlighted the benefits of a vegan diet for the past decade, Emirates has noted a 40% increase in customer demand for plant-based meals .

To meet this demand in 2024, Emirates will introduce a range of new vegan dishes on board and in lounges later this year, adding even more dishes to its ‘vegan vault’ of over 300 curated plant-based recipes.

Emirates Vegan Meals: Bite Size Breakdown

  • In 2023, Emirates has more than 300 vegan recipes in rotation in 140 destinations, up from 180 recipes in 2022.
  • In 2023, Emirates Served more than 450,000 plant-based meals on board, an increase from 280,000 plant-based meals served in 2022.
  • Consumption of vegan meals has grown 40% year-on-year in line with passenger volume, but in some regions, consumption has outpaced passenger volume growth, such as Africa with a further 4% increase, Southeast Asia with a further increase of 5% and the Middle East. This shows a significant further increase of 34%.
  • The largest increase in the consumption of vegan meals occurred in Economy class.
  • Significant increases were observed specifically in Emirates routes to China, Japan and the Philippines.
  • Many Emirates cabin crew are also adopting a plant-based diet, such as Emirates introduced vegan meals for cabin crew in 2018.

Vegan Emirati cuisine in every class.

In economy class, Emirates Customers can enjoy delicious dishes such as chickpea crepe stuffed with carrot, peppers, mushrooms and tomato concasse, experience a textured pumpkin frittata, taste a tofu tikka masala or enjoy a hearty chickpea kale stew with rice pilaf with parsley and baby spinach. Delicious vegan desserts at Economy include a coconut mousse with mango compote, a moist banana cake with chocolate crumble or a delicious chocolate pudding with cocoa grounds.

In Premium Economy class, customers who choose vegan cuisine will be served nutritious and delicious dishes such as jackfruit curry with basmati rice, or a rich pumpkin and chestnut stew followed by a light cheesecake with chocolate and tofu or a Smooth and satisfying raspberry parfait with a touch of orange compote.

In Business Class, a variety of elegant and creatively selected dishes are offered, including roasted cauliflower with ancient grains, caramelized pear and celery pesto or a hot stew of Asian tofu and shitake mushrooms with glass noodles. Customers who have room for dessert can indulge in a tropical pineapple and coconut cake or enjoy a chocolate cheesecake accented with a dark chocolate cigar and strawberry compote.

In First Class, guests will enjoy exceptionally elevated vegan cuisine, such as a creamy polenta pie with mushroom and thyme ragout and sautéed spinach drizzled with rich root vegetable juice. Dishes offering a burst of sophisticated flavors include brinjal curry with charred rice and turmeric potato, with a hint of coconut and mint chutney. Exquisite desserts feature select contrasts including the tartness of rhubarb tempered with strawberry charlotte, chantilly cream and raspberry tuille, or a tantalizing warm chocolate fondant, drizzled with salted caramel sauce and cashew whipped cream.

Later in the year, Emirates will launch a selection of new vegan main dishes, new vegan snacks such as fruit muffins and vegan pizza, and a range of delicious desserts including chocolate walnut cake, pistachio raspberry and raspberry tonka cake.

Vegan options are available to book on board and order directly in First Class as well as Emirates Lounges. Customers can request vegan meals at all Emirates flights and in all classes of travel up to 24 hours before departure.

The best vegan ingredients from around the world.

Emirates continues to elevate cuisine to heaven, with high quality products from all corners of the world. Some of the products used are plant-based protein from Beyond Meat from California, soy protein from Arlene from Singapore and the United Arab Emirates, Qian Ye pressed tofu from Japan, organic vegan dark chocolate from Linnolat in France, vegan margarine from MeisterMarken in Germany, vegan curry. Pantai paste in Thailand, Koita almond milk from Italy, among many others. Emirates also incorporates fresh, locally grown kale and lettuce from Bustanica, the world’s largest hydroponic vertical farm, a joint venture investment through Emirates Flight Catering. Bustanica produce is grown without pesticides, herbicides or chemicals, and First and Business Class passengers can enjoy fresh leafy greens in some dishes, including lettuce, arugula, mixed salads and spinach.

History of vegan cuisine and the Emirates.

Emirates has been serving vegan meals since the 1990s. Initially, vegan requirements were focused on specific routes, such as Addis Ababa, where those practicing the Ethiopian Orthodox faith require vegan meals during certain times of the year, or in regions where multiple religions encourage a plant-based diet. However, in recent years, vegan dishes have been rapidly gaining popularity on routes in the United States, Australia, some Europe and Asia, with Emirates observing a considerable increase in interest in vegan dishes over the last decade. A new gourmet vegan menu was introduced in First and Business Class in 2022 to offer even more options to Emirates customers who follow a vegan lifestyle or are simply looking for a light and healthy food option while traveling.

News source: Emirates

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