SWISS Details New Economy Buy On Board Service

Filed Under: Swiss

In November 2020 it was announced that Lufthansa Group airlines will begin offering a buy on board food & drink concept in economy on short and medium haul flights. We had already learned the details of Lufthansa’s new buy on board concept, and now we’ve learned the details of SWISS’ new buy on board concept.

Basics of SWISS’ new buy on board service

SWISS will be introducing its “SWISS Saveurs” food & beverage concept for short and medium haul economy class flights with a duration of at least 50 minutes (business class service will remain unchanged). The concept will be available out of Zurich as of March 30, 2021, and out of Geneva as of April 28, 2021.

The airline had already trialed a buy on board concept for flights out of Geneva, which the airline claims has proven “such a success.” SWISS will be working exclusively with Confiserie Sprüngli for the development of the recipes for the fresh items on the menu. This is a Swiss company that has been around since 1836, and that’s now in the hands of the sixth generation of its founding family.

SWISS claims it’s putting an emphasis on the following:

  • Offering a wider selection of items
  • Freshness and quality
  • Regional accents
  • Sustainable packaging

SWISS is rolling out buy on board service from Zurich

What’s going to be on SWISS’ menu?

Menu items for SWISS’ buy on board service will include bircher muesli, a pretzel with air-dried beef, a vegetable brioche, and Luxemburgerli mini-macaroons. Prices for fresh options will range from CHF 7.50 for a bircher muesli or a sandwich to CHF 18.50 for a freshly prepared hot meal (though the hot meal is only available on longer flights). The product range will be updated every three to six months.

SWISS will be supplementing its fresh Sprüngli products with further Swiss classics, like Ragusa, Kägi Fret, Zweifel chips, and Caotina hot chocolate. Beyond that, coffee will come from Zurich-based miró manufactura de café roastery, and there will be gin from Turicum of Zurich, and WhiteFrontier craft beer from Martigny in Canton Valais. Prices for prepackaged snacks and drinks will range from CHF 3 to CHF 12.

SWISS’ fresh items will be from Confiserie Sprüngli

Water & chocolate will continue to be free

SWISS has long had a tradition of offering each passenger a complimentary piece of chocolate, and that policy will remain in place.

Each passenger will also receive a complimentary bottle of water, and the airline is even trying to hype this up. SWISS is calling this the exclusive “SWISS Altitude 1150” mineral water, made in collaboration with water supplier RAMSEIER Suisse AG.

This water is produced exclusively for the airline in Switzerland’s Glarus Alps, and the name is inspired by the source spring’s elevation above sea level (in meters).

This water will first be introduced on short and medium haul flights, and will also then gradually be introduced on long haul flights.

SWISS will continue offering complimentary chocolate

Bottom line

SWISS will start rolling out its new buy on board menu in the coming months for all short and medium haul flights.

On the plus side, passengers will continue to get a free bottle of water and chocolate, and the menu looks pretty decent. That being said, no matter how you slice it, this is bad news, as you’ll be paying for food and drinks that were previously free.

What do you make of SWISS’ new buy on board menu?

  1. I’m excited. I plan on using Swiss for BER. ZRH.EWR on 30MAR. Is there any word on the reopening of the lounges in Zurich?

  2. Sad to see this service diminution.
    The European legacy carriers are getting it all wrong, in my view. By stripping out services they weaken rather than strengthen their competitive advantage versus the low end carriers like Ryanair. I would go the other way: smart uniforms (which Swiss has), a good service ethos, lots of eye candy and a full meal and drinks service.

  3. Swiss’s food in Economy may have been free but it was also dismal, both quality and quantity-wisw. I therefore see this as an improvement. It is also true of Very Short Haul Business Class.

  4. This is a step back. I don’t fly enough to get real status (certainly not now with the pandemic) so economy is the way to fly for me. With BOB, there is really no reason why I should pay more for. legacy carrier instead of Ryanair. Ryanair has steadily been improving their offer and has a very large network. I would have hoped that Swiss would not succumb to this drive to the bottom but alas.
    On the free food being awful: even if it is awful, it is the gesture of being served throughout t he flight. You don’t have to do anything, you are being taken care off. BOB takes away that magic.

  5. @A340TCAS: The lounges are classified as restaurants in Switzerland and therefore closed during lockdown.

    The government has announced that outdoor restaurants can open from 1 April, however, congress is debating whether to open earlier and/or also indoors. Therefore, it’s really not clear when airport lounges will be able to re-open.

  6. BA started off with decent quality, freshish food when it first launched BoB and then over time it became more and more processed carb junk. Let’s see what Swiss is serving in two years time.

  7. Confiserie Sprüngli is a very good and reputable brand in Switzerland. Their chocolate is definitely up there in terms of quality, and also served as after dinner chocolate in SWISS First these days… Although pricey (as is the rest of Switzerland), I’m excited…

  8. I totally agree with Ben Dover: if the legacy carriers are imitating the low cost carriers with regards to service, why bother flying the legacy carriers?
    I have been willing to pay extra to fly with legacy carriers all of my life but I am starting to wonder how long before I may as well try LCCs on some routes, something I have been opposed to up till now.
    (In a normal year I fly 100-150 times)

  9. “SWISS is calling this the exclusive “SWISS Altitude 1150” mineral water, made in collaboration with water supplier RAMSEIER Suisse AG.”
    I’m pretty sure Ramseier, or any other company for that matter, doesn’t MAKE water.

  10. Looks good on paper, however: looking at BOB menus it’s typically sad sandwiches, Pringles and other unhealthy snacks. This makes sense, as uptake will be different on each flight, and if you carry too many fresh options they’ll have to be thrown in the bin if they’re not sold.

    Agree with the previous posters on the fact that legacy carriers need to differentiate themselves from the LCCs. They can never compete purely on cost due to a more complex product (eg connectivity, fleet etc), so they need to provide an incentive for people to pay more. FFPs is a great incentive, but many airlines have hollowed these out. Getting a cup of coffee on a morning flight, or a glass of wine on your way home from a stressful day. Simple things, not costing much either. And last, but not least: great IRROPS recovery.

    I wish they could offer cheese fondue 😉

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