The overhaul of the flight menu is part of an ongoing process in reviewing the entire inflight product service out of Samoa.
It is one of many changes that Samoa Airways General Manager Commercial, Robert Rounds, has initiated to meet evolving and changing customer expectations in a tough aviation market.
“This airline is about people and we want to ensure that our valued passengers receive a positive and authentic Samoan experience on board Samoa Airways, ”Rounds said.
“We’ve asked for a menu that reflects the vibrancy of Samoa’s culinary heritage and abundance of clean fresh food available locally. We also want to support our local economy of food growers and encourage healthy eating.”
Rounds added, “while the menu has been upgraded, changing the menu to include more local produce has actually reduced catering costs by 21% which makes good business sense.”
Inflight meals are serviced by Aggie Greys In-flight Catering. Managing Director, Tanya Grey, welcomed the challenge of creating a menu that called for innovation and emphasis on local ingredients whilst catering to international palates - which is why they brought in Thai kitchen consultant, PimUdomdee to help with the Asian-inspired dishes.
Customers will notice new flavours and more variety in the new menu which is 80% gluten free and offers 70% more locally grown meats and produce.
Before finalising the menu, Samoa Airways staff members from various departments were invited to a food tasting session on Wednesday.
“The best ways to get real feedback is from our people by getting them involved in the process. They are personally vested into making sure our passengers have a positive experience that is uniquely Samoan.” Rounds said.
Samoans and internationals alike will appreciate the new snack replacements on board - a lighter take on local favourites such as ‘masipopo’ (coconut crackers) and ‘fa’apapa’ (coconut scones)
Business class customers will enjoy dishes like roast beef and vegetables with pumpkin hash or luau and breadfruit coconut curry with rice for a vegetarian option.
The new desserts include a remake of saigo pudding with papaya custard and tropical fruit salad.
The economy class menu has also been given a makeover with the addition of luau rice risotto and spicy chicken stir-fry for a dinner option. Breakfast will include crepes with papaya sauce and tropical fruits.
Samoa Airways flight attendant Mary Hicks is excited about launching the new menu upgrades.
“This menu is so much better and the presentation is great” Ms Hicks said.
“It’s important for us to try out the menu so we know what we are talking about when we serve our customers and better cater to their dietary needs”
Currently, only the product service out of Apia has been modified with meals out of Australia and New Zealand pending a review over the next few months.
The menu is expected to launch November 1, 2019.