Airlines can no longer afford to ignore, or cater inadequately, for vegan passengers.
That is the message from Norwegian after the low-cost carrier on Wednesday (January 30) revealed vegan meal orders this January increased 7% year-on-year to 1,400.
Norwegian’s vegan meal orders this January were also up 5% on December 2018.
Demand for vegan meals on its Gatwick-Los Angeles route, meanwhile, is 55% higher than average across Norwegian’s other long-haul routes.
In total, Norwegian served more than 23,000 vegan meals on its long-haul flights from Gatwick over the past year.
It comes after Emirates reported a similar Veganuary trend, the carrier serving more than 20,000 vegan meals this month – up 40%.
Matthew Wood, Norwegian senior vice-president, said it was now as easy to be a vegan at 35,000ft as it was on the ground.
“Veganism is taking to the skies, and the increase in our customers choosing vegan meals clearly shows there’s a ‘Veganuary effect’ taking-off.”
Vegan Society spokesperson Elena Orde added: “It’s not uncommon for us to hear stories from vegans who had poor experiences on flights, being left only with snacks such as peanuts or crisps.
“We would love to see airlines really embrace the variety and creativity that is possible with vegan food, and to create options that are suitable for vegans but appeal to everyone.”
Norwegian’s vegan menu includes gnocchi in a Mediterranean vegetable & tomato sauce with black olives, or a chickpea stew with roasted baby aubergine and broccoli in a harissa sauce.
Emirates’ vegan fare, meanwhile, includes mushroom ravioli, vegetable tagine with couscous, and a sweet potato, lentil and spinach ragout served with brown rice.
Jet2.com this week announced it was refreshing its in-flight menu with vegan options.