Lufthansa is introducing an interesting initiative, intended to reduce food waste.
Lufthansa will sell food at end of flight for a discount
In 2021, Lufthansa eliminated free food in short haul economy, instead switching to a buy on board menu, known as Onboard Delights. This includes fresh meals, packaged snacks, and drinks.
As you’d expect, the fresh meals, such as salads, bowls, and sandwiches, don’t have long shelf lives. They’re prepared fresh daily without colorants or preservatives, so Lufthansa allegedly tosses them if they’re not sold on a particular flight.
Lufthansa will now be introducing the “Onboard Delights Last Minute” initiative. Shortly before landing on all flights to Frankfurt (FRA) and Munich (MUC), Lufthansa will sell all fresh items at the cost of €3.50, representing a significant discount over the standard pricing. The intent is then that passengers can take these meals with them to enjoy at their destination.
This seems like a great initiative. If food will otherwise go to waste, it’s much better for someone to be able to enjoy it at a later point at a reduced cost.
Will this cannibalize Lufthansa’s buy on board sales?
What makes this initiative particularly interesting is that this will consistently be offered on all short haul flights to Frankfurt and Munich. As people start to understand this system, will this cannibalize Lufthansa’s standard buy on board sales?
These meals can sometimes cost up to €10.90, so who wouldn’t want to buy them for two-thirds off instead? If you’re happy just waiting until the end of the flight, presumably there’s nothing preventing you from buying one of these snacks and then just consuming it on the descent. I think the only potential risk is that the items could sell out.
Interestingly Lufthansa Group carrier SWISS has had a similar program for quite some time, selling leftover food at a discount. The program is known as “SWISS Saveurs To Go.” There are two things that make this different, and make it harder for people to game:
- The discounted meals are only sold on the last flight of the day
- Customers can purchase a mystery bag containing one or two fresh food items at a reduced cost, but they don’t know what’s in the bag
I think that system is less likely to cannibalize demand, since you’re probably not going to end up getting your first choice. Meanwhile with Lufthansa, it all sounds a bit too straightforward.
Lufthansa will start selling leftover meals shortly before landing on short haul flights for just €3.50. This is a great initiative that will hopefully reduce waste, making sure that food that would otherwise be thrown out is consumed by people.
My only concern (if you want to call it that) is that the system sounds surprisingly straightforward, in the sense that this will be available on all flights bound for Frankfurt and Munich. If you know you can buy something at a discount later in the flight, would you be less likely to buy it earlier in the flight? Is this sustainability initiative sustainable? 😉
What do you make of Lufthansa’s new initiative to reduce waste?
Alternatively, they could just sell the food at prices that arent an absolute rip off and then they may sell more anyway?
Anyone that buys food and drinks on shorthaul flights are, in most cases, fools.
So that means especially for the very short flights many people will wait.
Swiss OPO- GVA sold remaining food items just before landing as well. Last Sunday.
The humor here no one realize.
It's the airlines way of giving customers the middle finger for overcharging but spin it to please liberals of not wasting food or conservatives for cheap food.
LH probably still makes money on many items at 3.50 Euro. The low margin ones would verschwindet.
Reminds me of the Europe to US bound woman who got arrested by bringing the Delta served sliced apples to customs.
I see your point, but I do wonder the percentage of people who purchase food on shorter flights purely for something to do, almost as an entertainment factor. Buying it cheaper at the end defeats that purpose.
Does this mean that cabin crew will make more than one round of BOB service and won't expect you to only have a one drink on a three hours flight to Lisbon?
I support food on airplane needed to be paid, however, charging for non-alchoholic drink(even water) is just absurd.
So complicated. Just bring back the free food and drink they had before. It wasnt much, but I always enjoyed the salami sandwich and water, or whatever, I got on my FRA-PRG and FRA-BCN flights. I recently was on BUD-FRA in economy and there were hardly any takers for anything. Really annoying product degredation.
Agree. I do think this "unbundled service" style is going to be gone soon especially as air fares are not expected to get lower, if anything only higher. I don't think the costs saved from small complimentary snack and a drink (with economies of scales factored in making it cheaper when catering whole planes) really saves that much nor do I think the revenue the buy-on-board brings is really worth it.
I see a point in unbundled food for several reasons. First, most people don't need/want to eat on shorthaul flights. Second, if I do want to eat, BOB gives me proper options unlike the old "meat or vegetarian sandwich" (which 90% of the time meant that both options are disgusting and I refused them anyway). Interestingly, I now eat more often on a plan than I did when the food was free. And what's even...
I see a point in unbundled food for several reasons. First, most people don't need/want to eat on shorthaul flights. Second, if I do want to eat, BOB gives me proper options unlike the old "meat or vegetarian sandwich" (which 90% of the time meant that both options are disgusting and I refused them anyway). Interestingly, I now eat more often on a plan than I did when the food was free. And what's even more bizarre is that thanks to BOB, I usually find something I like when I'm in economy, while I almost always decline the free food in LH business. You literally get better catering in economy these days.
Drinks are different. Pretty much everyone needs to drink during a flight, so having soft drinks, beer and wine unbundled doesn't make sense and they should be included in the fare. Spirits are a bit different due to their higher purchase price, so perhaps they could remain chargeable.
I disagree. I actually see few people buying BOB, especially in Europe, and especially on legacy carriers like this. I think KLM has found the sweet spot with this, the small sandwich, additional packed snack on longer flights and drinks is the enough for short-haul and is value for money cost wise.
This is literally the app Too Good To Go with the this "goodie bag" idea which they do for café's, restaurants and bakeries but inflight lol
Also to answer Ben's question about dietary needs, usually on Too Good To Go, you have a choice between regular and a vege option of the goodie bags from a particular food outlet, so I suspect Lufthansa will do the same to cater to this much the same. It's not very tailored obviously, but will give people some idea...