The refreshed Business Class menu offers Nordic flavors with a bit of a twist
The food at Finnair is well known for its high-quality Nordic specialties and local ingredients. The refreshed Business Class menu still highlights these elements but to boost the Scandi flavors Finnair has now looked towards the tastes of Japan and makes the most of local delicacies in the destination countries.
Both the short-haul and long-haul flights can now enjoy a renewed Business Class menu.
“Customer service is obviously always the number one factor in customer experience, but food is also very high up. That is why we are happy that we've been able to rethink what our customers want the food service to be now,” says Maarit Keränen, Head of Inflight Food and Beverage Concept.
At the center of the new menu selection remains the modern and high-quality flavors that the customers expect and appreciate.
“But we have also found that a little twist of Japanese cuisine works well with the Scandinavian flavors. The culinary traditions are very similar,” Keränen states.
There is a focus on local ingredients, especially when it comes to the meals made in the Helsinki kitchen. On the return flights from long-haul destinations the meals are made locally, and the local food heritage is respected.
Simple and beautiful
According to Keränen the new menu strives to be simple yet pleasing to the eye and delicious. The idea has been to find a limited number of options that most passengers will find delicious.
“Of course, we cater for all that have dietary restrictions or allergies and offer around 20 different special meals to pre-order,” she says.
Simplicity is important for the sustainability targets that Finnair has. The goal is to avoid carrying large quantities of extra meals onboard and offer a high-quality experience done in a smart and resource efficient way.
Customer wishes have been heard in the changes made and this has led to entirely new features in the service.
“For example, we are now introducing oat milk as a coffee creamer option to the long-haul flights in Business Class. This has been highly requested by our passengers,” Keränen mentions.
Long-haul gives you time to savor the new flavors
The meals on long-haul flights are a great combination of tradition and refreshing new experiences. Before the actual meal passengers can snack on a small amuse bouche. The starter is a combination of three different elements where Scandinavia meet the piquant flavors of Asia.
There are three options for the main course, one of which has the interesting, sustainable Benella rainbow trout as the main ingredient. The other two options are a Japan inspired chicken dish and a plant-based meal that celebrates the tastes of India.
“All the main courses have an emphasis on umami. Your sense of taste is not as heightened when on air, so deeper flavors hold their own better than more delicate ones,” Keränen describes.
After the main course there is a separate cheese course, where at the moment the traditional French Comté meets a Finnish white cheese Heidi from Herkkujuustola cheesery.
Many passengers know to expect a cake to finish the meal with and you can still find a lovely Normandy apple tart on the menu. To fit the trend of all things traditional and as a nod to the Finnish exotic the other option is now a whisked berry mousse. It is usually made with lingonberries but modernized by Finnair and made from blackcurrants.
“My bet is that it is going to be a bit hit,” Keränen mentions.
There is another meal served prior to landing on long-haul flights. If arriving before noon the meal is a generous breakfast including continental elements such as fresh fruit and bread. If you are feeling quite hungry there is the option to have a traditional hot breakfast as well.
Later in the day the second meal is an avocado pasta. According to Keränen Finnair wants to include plant-based dishes but with a strong focus on deliciousness.
“The most important factors are always quality and taste,” she states.
In addition to the actual meals there are small snacks available throughout the flight to satisfy a small hunger or a craving to snack when watching a movie.
Short-haul means fresh and easy to eat
Even on the short-haul flights there is an emphasis on wonderful food experiences. But the food must also be easy to eat, light and refreshing.
On the flights that are approximately an hour or under the meal served is a sandwich with accompanying drinks. If the flight is under three hours the meal is a fresh, cold dish made in the Finnair kitchen. For now, the meal is a hearty salad made from Benella rainbow trout. In the future the dish might be another chilled option, such as a poke bowl.
For the flights that are over three hours the passengers have the time to enjoy a rounded three course meal based on the new flavor profiles.
In addition, the passengers can always make the most of the Nordic Kitchen onboard menu, that features light snacks and a variety of drinks.
“Our service now represents a new way of thinking about food. It is local yet global, simple yet offers incredible taste sensations,” she outlines.