Hidden Gems – bringing the joy back to the inflight meal service

‘Hidden Gems’ is an all-in-one economy class meal box concept that brings an element of fun and discovery to onboard meals

The glamorous side of flying has always been about going somewhere special or being together with loved ones and sharing a special experience throughout a journey. However, the glamour has faded with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

As airlines have introduced stringent new health and hygiene precautions to protect their passengers, they have also introduced restricted or reduced hot meal services in their planes, in favour of hygienically sealed all-in-one meal boxes. While these are essential measures to protect public health, it is undeniable that the measures also dull the sheen of flying through the additional barriers to providing a seamless and enjoyable experience.

“At Tangerine, we challenged ourselves to bring the fun back to flight and address one area where we an airline could rapidly improve the experience – the onboard meal service,” says Matt Round, chief creative officer at Tangerine.

Many airlines have restricted or reduced their inflight hot meal services, in favour of hygienically sealed all-in-one meal boxes. These measures are essential for protecting public health, but it’s undeniable that the measures also dull the sheen of flying, creating additional barriers to a seamless and enjoyable experience.

“Tangerine’s ‘Hidden Gems’ is an all-in-one economy class meal box concept that brings an element of fun and discovery to onboard meals, while also being sensitive to the need to minimise the risk of exposure to Covid-19 during a flight,” explains Round.

Small morsels of delicious and varied foods sit in the different compartments of the box, easily accessible so that they can be popped into one’s mouth quickly, only requiring face masks to be lowered for a minimal time. The design has the potential to limit the risk of exposure to droplet infection during mealtimes and means that there won’t be rows of passengers removing their face masks all at once.

Each tray unwraps in a different way, which introduces an element of discovery and play to dining, with each morsel of food revealing a different sensory experience. The innovative packaging design provides a contact-free tasting menu, without the need for any cutlery.

By concentrating on the simple stuff, not the hero moments, airlines can build a greater emotional connection with their passengers.

Small morsels of delicious and varied foods sit in the different compartments of the box, easily accessible so that they can be popped into one’s mouth quickly, only requiring face masks to be lowered for a minimal time.to limit the risk of Covid-19 exposure

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