All Nippon Airways (ANA) has invited the general public to vote on which dishes will be added to its in-flight menu for Premium Economy and Economy Class passengers. The largest 5-Star airline in Japan is seeking to get feedback from its potential passengers, in a competition that the carrier conducts on an annual basis.
ANA first held the competition back in 2013, and it has since become a popular addition to the airline’s services. In this year’s contest, all 10 possible additions to the ANA menu are based on a traditional Japanese rice bowl meal known as Donburi. It has become customary for the competition to focus on a particular category of Japanese cuisine each year, with the 2018 contest being based around curry dishes.
Commenting on this year’s competition, Hideki Kunugi, Executive Vice President of ANA, was keen to emphasize the participation aspect of the promotion.
“We are always looking for new ways to give our passengers a voice and inviting their input on the services that we offer in order to create a more responsive airline. Voting via the internet and social media platforms is a fun way for the public to make their opinion heard and ensure that our offerings align with their interests. ANA will continue prioritizing consumer input as we align every aspect of the in-flight experience with passenger needs,” Kunugi noted.
ANA has been particularly committed to culinary excellence as a selling point of the airline and attempts to deliver authentic cuisine and diverse food options onboard its aircraft. With this in mind, all 10 dishes for consideration have been created by the elite ANA chef team, a team that the airline describes, colorfully, as ‘THE CONNOISSEURS’.
The donburi dishes selected by ANA are intended to capture the local flavor of 10 distinct Japanese regions, with participants choosing their favorite dishes from both eastern and western Japan. Donburi traditionally consists of fish, meat, vegetables or other ingredients simmered together and served over rice. The dish derives its name from the oversized donburi bowl in which the meal is served.
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Voting for the competition will be spread over two separate periods. The first voting period will open on October 8, 10am JST (actually 11pm on October 7 in EST) and will run until October 17, 11:59 p.m. JST (October 18, 12:59am EST). This first voting period will be focused on deciding the top two dishes from Japan’s eastern regions. Voters will then determine the top two dishes inspired by western Japan in the second voting period, between October 18, 10:00am JST (October 17, 11pm in EST) and October 27, 11:59pm JST (October 28, 12:59am EST).
ANA customers from all over the world will be welcomed to participate in the competition, and the top four votes gathered from the contest will then be served in Premium Economy and Economy Class international flights departing from Japan, beginning in March 2020. A new website will be launched for the contest, while voting will also take place on the popular Chinese microblogging site Weibo.
Food has become an increasingly important part of the airline experience in recent years, with carriers continually seeking new ways to stand out from the crowd. One interesting innovation that emerged just last month was the concept of edible trays, as airlines attempt to appeal to the eco-conscious, as well as the hungry!