Singapore Airlines (SIA) will no longer be using paper boxes to serve food onboard its medium- and long-haul flights after garnering feedback from passengers and netizens who criticised the move, according to SIA in a statement to MARKETING-INTERACTIVE.
The paper boxes were part of a trial that was rolled out in March this year for economy meals on some medium-and long-haul flights. The trial was part of SIA’s efforts to enhance the in-flight experience on medium and long-haul flights by offering more main course options such as laksa, mee siam, and congee.
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SIA noted that the new service ware was better at retaining heat and moisture than its classic casserole dish which helped to enhance the taste and variety of food served.
However, the paper boxes received much criticism online with many noting that it looked cheap and that it did not fit in with the company's 'world class' branding, a campaign it rolled out this year.
This was despite SIA clarifying that the new serviceware on trial actually costs more than its disposable plastic casserole dish and that it has not been cutting costs with regards to its in-flight meals.
Our current budget for in-flight meals is approximately 20% higher than that for FY2019/20
SIA noted that customers and members of the public shared their feedback regarding the serviceware and that while they have enjoyed the taste and variety of food served, they have received operational feedback on the trial and noted that they "may need to improve the design of the box".
"Taking all of these into account, we have decided not to proceed with this new serviceware for now," it added.
The paper boxes have been recieving negative comments since it was first launched in March. When it was first announced by SIA, MARKETING-INTERACTIVE reported that while most Facebook users had negative responses to the news, there are also positive comments. One user thought that it is a "great move to sustainability as long as the serviceware serves its intended purpose".
Additionally, another user said that it is good to see the improvement in the new serviceware and SIA's move towards sustainability and who is looking forward to fly with SIA soon. MARKETING-INTERACTIVE has reached out to SIA for a statement.
MARKETING-INTERACTIVE reached out to Meltwater for some statistics, and the majority of users (45.5%) had a neutral response to the serviceware. 34% of users responded negatively and only 19.1% responded positively.
Alongside its announcement, SIA also noted that it will be reintroducing some food items to trays that were removed during the pandemic as well as to reduce food waste.
"Some of these items have since been reintroduced and have been working closely with our suppliers to bring other items back to the economy class meal tray soon," it said in a statement.
From 1 June, passengers can expect that all economy meals served on medium, long-haul and ultra long-haul flights will include an appetiser, together with a bread roll, the main course, cheese and crackers, and a dessert.
All economy class meals served on short-haul flights between 1.5 to 3.5 hours will also include a bread roll and butter, together with the main course, and a dessert.
This was in response to netizens taking to social media to share their disappointment in the meals being served. SIA's food situation was made worse after SIA reported a record annual profit on SG$2.16 billion this month which resulted in its staff being given significant bonuses, news that further highlighted the issue with lackluster food being served onboard.
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