Santa’s Cookies – Lemon Myrtle & Caramel Shortbreads drizzled with chocolate


Nicknamed “Project Santa”, a collaboration with Qantas to deliver an experience for passengers flying on the 12 days leading into Christmas 2022. The goal was to surprise and delight all guests at a time the country was recovering from COVID and experiencing devastating floods.

In eight weeks from start to finish, Rifkin Research branded a trending festive snack “Santa’s Cookies” that was tailored to the aviation sector and delivered 1 million cookies to inspire the country during the peak holiday period.

  • Passengers could scan a QR code on the back of the packet and choose where to donate $25,000 between three local charities supporting Aussies in need through COVID. 
  • A wellbeing message was written on the back of the packet to help create positive mindsets as COVID has increased anxiety and depression within the population globally (WHO 2020-2022 Research).  
  • Thousands of passengers had a voice on which charity to donate and connected with the project through social media.
  • Over the festive period we were able to directly feed 12,000 people in need, support 240 suicide prevention sessions with a counsellor and funded 240 hours of specialised school tutoring sessions for seriously ill children. 

Supermarket scan sales and consumer insights showed the increasing trend of shortbreads and indulgent chocolates purchases during the holiday festive period. This data led to the snack development and innovation behind “Project Santa”.

Key features of the production innovation:

  • Employing the expertise of four generations of shortbread artisan makers, we were able to develop a crunchy yet light buttery base infused with certified Lemon Myrtle (a native Australian flavour) that was complemented with salted caramel. 
  • On one side of the cookie was dipped in indulgent chocolate, and on the other side drizzled in chocolate to provide a premium look, feel and taste. This was an innovative process and the first time this type of cookie was produced in Australia, specifically designed to be able to scale for large aviation manufacturing runs.
  • Bespoke machine moulds were made for the project to allow two cookies to fit (45g total) into one value snack pack for passengers.  
  • The added social benefit of developing a shortbread was the removal of thousands of eggs that normally used when making other types of Cookies. 

Outside of Christmas, the Do Good cookie is on the Qantas domestic morning menu and is given out complementary with a drink service (coffee, tea, juice etc) to inspire passengers as they fly. 

At Rifkin Research, we are truly grateful for this unique opportunity and thank the forward thinking team at Qantas for enabling us to reach our mission and deliver impact.

Company Details

Rifkin Research