While the last few months for Qantas have been plagued by staff shortages, flight delays, and negative press, the national airline is hoping the addition of some plant-based meat alternatives to its menus can at least help satisfy its customers’ hunger cravings.
Speaking with Executive Traveller, Qantas chef Neil Perry explained that the airline is hoping to launch some artificial meat meals by the end of the year, starting with trials in the Qantas lounges before expanding to flights.
“We’ll have a complete plant-based dish on each of the menus,” Perry confirmed.
The plant-based meat movement has well and truly taken off — both in Australia and overseas — and while Perry said Qantas is looking at US-based companies Beyond Meats and Impossible Foods as potential plant-based alternative meat suppliers for its new menu, it is also heavily considering the Aussie-founded v2food.
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In June last year, Perry partnered with v2food to put the startup’s products on the menu of his own restaurant, Margaret, in Double Bay in Sydney, so it is unsurprising that Perry is considering using the brand for Qantas’ menu, too.
“Everything Neil touches when it comes to food turns to gold,” v2food chief executive Nick Hazell told SmartCompany amid the news of last year’s partnership.
From inroads to sky high
Founded in 2019 in partnership with Main Sequence, CSIRO and Hungry Jack’s boss Jack Cowin, v2foods has been going from strength to strength.
The plant-based meat alternative brand has a range of products, is stocked in thousands of Aussie supermarkets, is used in meal delivery kits, and has raised a total of $185 million in funding (as of August last year).
v2food has recently been focusing its energy on growing its international offerings, having already launched in New Zealand, Thailand, the Phillipines, Japan, Korea and China.
Adding ‘the sky’ to that list doesn’t seem like something the rapid-growth startup would want to shy away from.
Qantas will decide “which company we’re going to go with [and] how that’s going to affect the menus going forward from next year”, Perry said.
The artificial meat menus will build on the airline’s introduction of plant-based meals last year, a move that was made to reflect the growing trend towards healthier lifestyles for Australians.