Adequately catering for passengers who request special meals has often been a challenge for many airlines in terms of being able to offer a consistently high-quality item that delivers on both taste and specific dietary requirements. The importance of delivering such a product has increased in recent years, as more consumers are requesting alternative options for their journey.
Historically, alternative options have been lacking in variation and quality, and those requiring such a meal would often be faced with limited choice.
In an effort to enhance the passenger experience for consumers with special meal requirements, En Route launched Street Eats – a SPML frozen calzone range – in October 2022 bringing to the skies a more diverse and inclusive suite of products.
Comprising three varieties – chicken tikka masala, cabbage tawa fry and vegetable pasties (all 2 x 60g per serve) – the Street Eats range presents itself as a special dietary-focused innovation that draws on a blend of new and flavourful ingredients.
The meal range covers the following special dietary requirements:
• MOML (Moslem Meal)
• HNML (Hindu Meal)
• VJML (Vegetarian Jain Meal)
• AVML (Asian Vegetarian Meal)
• VOML (Vegetarian Oriental Meal)
• VGML (Vegetarian Vegan Meal)
• VLML (Vegetarian Lacto-Ovo Meal)
The tawa fry calzone has been inspired by Jain Indian recipes, with fresh cabbage, corn and peas mixed with a warming blend of cumin, coriander and garam masala. The chicken tikka masala calzone contains tomatoes and fresh coriander that have been sautéed with curry leaves and spices, as well as ghee to achieve that familiar tikka masala flavour profile.
Meanwhile, the vegetable pasties pay homage to those once eaten by workers in the Cornish tin mines, with black pepper, fresh thyme and rosemary adding an aromatic depth to root vegetables including potato, onion, carrot and mushroom.
The calzones are made with fresh, authentic ingredients, between 80%-97% of which are sourced within Australia.
The products are packaged in an ovenable box with PET lining, but from June 2023, this will be a fully compostable ovenable box. The calzones are also made with canola oil, a more eco-friendly and healthier alternative to palm oil.
The brand treatment and box format has been designed with the airline environment in mind – a bright and differentiated colour palette for each product makes the meal type easily identifiable for crew, even in low light.
The rectangular packaging has been optimised to maximise loading onboard, fitting easily in airplane storage with no wasted space. The suitable diets are also referenced on the side of the boxes for speedy recognition.
The colourful design and presentation are also meant to evoke how street food is served around the world, pairing textured kraft with a playful, irregular typeface.
The items were an immediate success: in Q4 2022, approximately 200,000 were flown (90,000 chicken tikka masala; 50,000 cabbage tawa fry; and 60,000 vegetable pasties).
The products have been designed to ensure passengers with special diets receive a meal that is fit-for-purpose and packed with flavour.