Kale Focaccia & Nobeoka Bamboo Shoots: ANA’s New Sustainable Dishes


  • A380 All Nippon Airways MSN266 - ferry flight 2

    All Nippon Airways

    IATA/ICAO Code:
    NH/ANA

    Airline Type:
    Full Service Carrier

    Hub(s):
    Tokyo Haneda Airport, Tokyo Narita Airport

    Year Founded:
    1952

    Alliance:
    Star Alliance

    CEO:
    Yuji Hirako

    Country:
    Japan

All Nippon Airways (ANA) will offer environmentally friendly inflight meal options for its First and Business Classes on select international routes featuring sustainable dishes and ingredients with less environmental impact. The Japanese carrier will also start using rice that has been out of circulation in an effort to solve food wastage and loss issues.

For more than a decade, ANA has been setting the benchmark for more environmentally-friendly and healthier in-flight meals. Tomoji Ishii, Executive Vice President of Customer Experience Management & Planning of ANA, highlighted:

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“The sustainability of the society we live in is just as important as the health of our customers. With our sustainable approach to in-flight meals, among other initiatives, we aim to make a difference in the world and inspire others to do the same .”

Kale focaccia offered as an in-flight meal

Since 2008, ANA Catering Service has recycled 100% of the food waste collected from in-flight meal preparations into compost and animal feed. From March 2022, soft kale was grown with compost recycled from in-flight meal preparation waste and served as an in-flight salad in Economy Class on selected international routes, completing the recycling system of cooking residues.

The kale focaccia dish will be on First and Business Class in-flight meals for select international routes departing from Japan. Photo: ANA

Based on this recycling system, the kale focaccia dish has been kneaded with soft kale paste in the dough and will be available from September 1st through November 30th. The kale focaccia is an ANA original dish, individually handmade at the airline’s in-flight catering facility.

“Nobeoka bamboo shoots” offered as an in-flight meal

At the same time, the Star Alliance airline will introduce the “Nobeoka bamboo shoots” in First Class for selected international routes. It will be produced by a Japanese company, Local Bamboo Incorporated.

The new dish is made from bamboo shoots grown in Nobeoka, a city in the Miyazaki prefecture., and was developed to tackle the national issue of abandoned bamboo groves. Though the bamboo shoots typically come in several different flavors, ANA will be offering passengers the soy-sauce seasoned version.

ANA did not specify which international routes would be offered the new in-flight meal options. Photo: ANA

Recycling unwanted rice

Besides healthier and sustainable food options, ANA has also been enacting initiatives to reduce food loss. It is partnering with Food Loss Bank to take in additional rice that has been in surplus on the market.

The rice has been out of circulation due to time since harvest, contributing to the problem of oversupply. With the additional rice taken in, ANA will use it for the employee cafeteria at the ANA Group Training Center.

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Bottom line

Considering food wastage is a massive contributor to climate change, ANA should be applauded for making in-flight meals more healthy and sustainable. However, the problem is that these sustainable meals are mainly offered for Business and First Class, sending an unintentional message that being environmentally friendly is more of a luxury than a necessity.

Others may also view in-flight sustainability as a less significant initiative than initiatives that directly involve flight operations. Given that the biggest non-environmentally friendly thing about aviation involves the flights, passengers would prefer more impactful ecological efforts from airlines such as using Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) and reducing carbon emissions, something ANA is already doing.

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