If you’re the type of person that loves to go on holiday, but dreads the thought of having to take a flight to get to your destination, a new in-flight menu may help to ease your fears while you’re 30,000 feet in the air.
Low-cost airline Monarch has teamed up with a top food psychologist to create an experimental snack box with ingredients that are specifically designed to de-stress nervous flyers.
Professor Charles Spence – who’s worked with Heston Blumenthal on some of his most creative menus – has helped the budget carrier to revamp their in-flight menu with a new spread of mood-boosting foods that goes far beyond the usual soggy egg sandwiches and congealed fruit puddings.
The ‘mood food’ menu, which is currently being trialled on several flights, serves up a series of clever snacks to quell the anxieties experienced at different moments throughout the flight.
Prior to takeoff, passengers will be treated to an unusual echinacea and liquorice ice cream, which aims to boost immunity, after Monarch found that 39 per cent of Brits get ill when travelling.
“The black colour [of the ice cream] is certainly counter-intuitive – most passengers think of white or pale colours with the ice cream,” Professor Spence told The Telegraph. “This may also help to distract passengers from their chaotic journey whilst also surprising them and playing into childlike nostalgia.”
While in the air, fliers can tuck into soothing rice cakes powdered with lavender, which enhances relaxation and sleep quality, while a green tea infusion is packed with antioxidants for a double boost of immunity.
Passengers will wash it all down with a chamomile, fennel seed and kelp tea – a fusion that’s proven to combat bloating and help digestion.
Finally, just before the plane makes its descent, the snack box ends with a sweet caramelised nut bar that’s coated in umami-rich mushroom and tomato powder. The idea is that the nutty and unusually fragrant taste awakes and revives passengers ready to carry on with their journey upon landing.
The airline carrier said that they were inspired to create the mindful menu after research revealed that over a third of Brits don’t fully relax until at least day three of their getaway, while 72 per cent find travelling to their destination stressful.
Monarch’s Nil Christy told Refinery29: “We know how precious time on holiday is, so are delighted to be able to listen to our customers’ needs and trial the Monarch ‘Mood Food’ box this summer enabling more people to relax, feel good and start enjoying their holiday from the moment they get to the gate.