United Airlines adds new plant-based items to menus on select routes & in select lounges

the side of a plane with blue writing on it

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I may not be a vegan or vegetarian but the fact that plant-based foods are appearing on increasingly more menus hasn’t passed me by. The demand for plant-based foods has been increasing rapidly in various parts of the world and here at home, United Airlines appears to be taking note.

As of right now, United Airlines is offering two new plant-based items from Impossible Foods on select flights and in select airport lounges, as part of what it says is its “new push” to add more plant-based options to its food offerings.

As part of a new partnership with Impossible Foods, the United-exclusive Impossible Meatball Bowl is now available to First Class passengers on all domestic flights that are longer than 800 miles.

Additionally, during breakfast at the Polaris Lounges at Chicago O’Hare, Los Angeles (LAX), Newark, and San Francisco, United will offer ground Impossible Sausage as an optional omelet ingredient as well as Impossible Sausage breakfast patties in the buffet.

According to United, the Impossible Meatball Bowl offers flyers three Impossible Meatballs made from plants and broccolini served on a bed of couscous and topped with an herb-infused tomato sauce. Impossible Meatballs are made with a custom mix of Impossible Beef made from plants and Impossible Sausage, seasoned with a savory homestyle spice blend.

Aaron McMillan, United Managing Director of Hospitality and Planning, is quoted as saying the following:

“We want our food offerings to evolve and change along with people’s preferences – we’re proud to work with Impossible Foods and think our customers are really going to love these new options. To many travelers, the quality of food choices at the airport and in the sky are a really important part of the customer experience, so we’re invested in making sure our menu items exceed their expectations. This is the first of many updates we look forward to sharing in the months ahead.”

I have no strong opinion about plant-based foods and while a plant-based meal wouldn’t be my first choice off a menu, I’d be happy to try one just to see if they really do come anywhere near to replicating the taste of the foods they’re trying to mimic.

a plate of food with meat and broccoli
Dos the Impossible Meatball Bowl really taste like meatballs?

Impossible Foods says that its products are designed to look, cook and taste like animal meat without many of meat’s negative qualities so it would be interesting to find out just how true that is – do any readers have experience with products from Impossible Foods?

Overall, this is clearly a positive move by United. More choice for travelers is always a good thing and with more and more people starting to dabble with plant-based foods at home, it makes sense for the airline to begin catering to that increasing demand.

I doubt that the idea of a plant-based meal is going to get many people’s salivary glands overheating but considering some of the garbage I’ve seen airlines try to pass off as regular food, having an option that may be harder for the crew working the galleys to destroy may not be such a bad idea! 😁

What do you think of United’s move to offer more plant-based items on its menus? Is this something that would get you to move more business to the airline or do you just see it as a nice option to have if you happen to be flying with United?