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Vegan meal requests increased by 154% according to Emirates Airlines

If you’re eager to try these Emirates vegan meals, park your cheap train tickets and book a flight with Emirates instead.

“Veganuary” originated in the UK in 2014. This month-long event aims to promote the infamous vegan diet. Since its inception, the concept has grown and garnered the general population’s interest. The recent 154% spike is evidence of this diet’s popularity in Emirates’ vegan meal orders. More than 280,000 passengers consumed these meals last year.

To answer their flyers’ call, Emirates now offers over 180 recipes specially made for its vegan passengers and people looking for healthy in-flight meals. If you’re eager to try these Emirates vegan meals, park your cheap train tickets and book a flight with Emirates instead.

Brief history of Emirates’ food service
Emirates Flight Catering, a department 90% owned by the airline, takes care of the vegan meal on the aircraft. In 2007, the company launched its state-of-the-art food servicing facility with over 56,000m2 built-up area. This is, by far, the largest, most efficient food servicing facility, offering 225,000 meals daily.

The said airline’s catering department broadened its services to meet the needs of its customers. It now has a separate department for airline catering, airport food and beverage services, and Emirates Flight Catering – Food Point. All of these are responsible for every vegan meal on Emirates flights. Passengers can simply book their meals and pay through mobile banking 24 hours before their flight.

The humble beginnings
The airline company has been serving plant-based meals since 1990. It started as a meal option on specific routes like Addis Ababa. Later, it also catered to passengers practising the Ethiopian Orthodox faith. Emirates airline food, especially its vegan selection, grew more popular in the Indian subcontinent routes.

The movement urging people to adopt a plant-based lifestyle for health, environmental, and ethical reasons also grew stronger. This further spurred an increase in passengers requesting vegan meals on board. Emirates meals are now mostly requested by passengers travelling to Taiwan, Cairo, Beirut, the UK, the US, and Australia.

Exciting plant-based offerings
The carrier recently announced the launch of a carefully selected menu of high-quality vegan dishes for its first and business-class cabins. It also updated the economy class menus to include various fresh plant-based options.

The first and business class menu underwent a year-long development process at Emirates Flight Catering facilities in Dubai. It considered inputs from culinary experts specializing in diverse cuisines such as Chinese, Indian, and Arabic specialities. Tasting panels included vegan and non-vegan chefs and trusted company staff.

Reasons for σpike in Vegan Meal Demands
There are different reasons behind the decision to go vegan. However, whether it’s to improve one’s health, end animal suffering, or support sustainability efforts, a plant-based diet can significantly improve one’s life. Here are some compelling reasons why people are making this lifestyle change.

Improves sleep and digestion
A recent study by Magdalena Prochazkova’s group reveals why vegans are experiencing better digestion. The research indicates that vegans exhibited better lipid and glucose homeostasis profiles. The study also noted significant differences in the metabolomes of vegans and omnivores.

The reason for this is apparent. High fibre intake from vegetables, fruits, legumes, and grains can trigger positive metabolic processes. These include increased carbohydrate fermentation and reduced protein fermentation. Consequently, this leads to the growth of Prevotella and other microbial species in the gut, which improves overall health.

Increases energy levels
Having adequate energy is crucial to tackling the demands of the day. Consuming a large meal during lunchtime can make you sluggish and reduce brain activity. Fortunately, a vegan diet can provide the necessary energy to help you enjoy your day fully.

Lisa Gawthorne, a vegan duathlon athlete who competed for Team Great Britain in the Olympics, shared her perspective on the plant-based diet. Adopting a vegan lifestyle helped her cycle, run longer distances, and recover faster. She also said going vegan is best for her mind, body, and soul.

Reduce carbon footprint
Plant-based foods improve your health and encourage you to reassess your connection with the natural world. According to the United Nations, a worldwide transition to plant-based food is crucial in combating the severe consequences of the climate crisis. Animal agriculture accounts for more greenhouse gasses than the global transportation sector combined.

According to Carbon Brief, an organization covering climate change issues, animal-based food has the largest carbon footprint among all other types of food. This means meat-eaters are accountable for high dietary greenhouse gas emissions. Also, it suggests that manufacturing animal-derived foods leads to considerably higher greenhouse gas emissions than producing vegan foods.

Is veganism just a fad
It was in 2017 that Nestle first predicted the continuous growth of plant-based diets. While there were many doubts about the accuracy of this prediction, the demand continued to grow.

In 2020, plant-based meat and dairy sales were over $29 billion. This means that plant-based dairy and meat alternatives comprise almost 8% of the worldwide “protein food” market. Bloomberg expects sales of this plant-based food to even grow five times by 2030.

Almost half of the leading food companies, like Unilever, Nestle, and Kroger, have already dedicated a plant-based department within their organizations. These departments will help them manufacture new products that their customers would demand.

All these facts and statistics about vegan diets suggest that veganism is here to stay. It’s not just a fad.

Should other airlines follow suit?

Over 620,000 individuals abstained from meat and other animal-based products for a month during the 2022 Veganuary campaign. However, are the benefits, massive following, and noble aim enough to encourage other airlines to follow suit?

Thankfully, there’s no need to push other companies to emulate vegan Emirates airline food. China Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and Air Canada have already included plant-based meals on their menu.

Aside from them, other airlines are also slowly transitioning to meatless in-flight menus. For example, Swiss International Airlines offers Beyond Meat burgers on longer flights. All Nippon Airways partnered with chef Hideki Takayama to serve two signature vegan dishes in-flight. Eurowings. Lufthansa’s subsidiary also started offering vegan gummy bears for its passengers. Other airlines can also go down this path.

Veganism: An ethical life and food choice
The companies and services you patronize often reflect your values. If you want to go vegan, you can start by supporting worthwhile causes like saving animals and the environment. Since this lifestyle change may require you to give up many things you’re comfortable with, do it when you’re ready.

You can also start small by saying no to meat-based meals. As you progress, you’ll realize that you’re not just trying things out but already making ethical food and life choices.