Airlines waste a lot of food. Airlines can't accurately predict how much people will order on a flight when they have buy on board menus. This isn't an issue for drinks and packaged snacks since they can be sold again in the future. It creates a problem for fresh food items, which could be wasted.

SWISS is bringing back a creative concept that the airline first trialed in mid-2021, which seems like a smart way to address this.

SWISS selling leftover food at a discount

SWISS will be launching the Saveurs To Go concept on April 20, 2022. The goal is to reduce the amount of fresh food that is wasted.

The airline caters food based on historical sales data to predict passenger demand, and has a buy on board menu on short and medium haul flights. The airline is trying to reduce waste associated with leftovers.

SWISS is selling unsold food on the last flight of the day.

  • At the end of the flight, an announcement is made informing passengers that some extra food is available for sale
  • Customers can purchase a bag containing one or two fresh food items, at a significantly reduced cost
  • The bag’s contents aren’t revealed in advance, and remain a surprise to the purchaser

SWISS first trialed this concept in August and September of 2021. It seems that it was a success, as it has been expanded and brought back.

The idea behind what SWISS is doing is wonderful. If the airline can give the food to someone who wants it at a reduced cost, it will be better for the environment. This is structured in a way that should minimize the extent to which SWISS cannibalizes its own inflight sales.

My only concern would be about the restrictions on food. I don't eat pork, so I could see myself getting a bag with two sandwiches in it. I suppose that's part of the risk, and in the grand scheme of things waste is still being reduced here.

Example of SWISS’ buy on board fresh catering

SWISS introducing food pre-ordering

SWISS is selling leftover food at the end of the flight, as well as introducing a pre-order option.

  • This is available for economy class guests on short and medium haul services
  • All freshly prepared items can be pre-ordered, including salads, sweet bakery items, sandwiches, and more
  • Items can be ordered up to 36 hours before departure via this link
  • Customers will only have to pay for their pre-ordered items when served by the cabin crew, and there will even be a discount for pre-ordering

It's great to see this feature rolled out, it seems like a win-win. When customers are assured that they are getting the option they want, it helps the airline more accurately cater the flight based on preferences.

SWISS is now letting customers pre-order buy on board meals

SWISS is trying to reduce food waste on short and medium haul flights.

The airline is allowing passengers to pre-order meals in advance so that they can be sure that they get what they want.

The airline will be selling mystery meals on the last flight of the night. Customers can buy one or two items at greatly reduced prices if there are leftovers. They won't know what they're buying until after the purchase is complete.

If airlines could use their leftover first class champagne and caviar to do this.

What do you think about the efforts to reduce waste in SWISS? If the price is right, could you buy a mystery meal?