‘Haute’ cuisine: American Airlines teams with Zoës to offer tasty meals in coach

September 25, 2018

Rarely are the words, “fine food” and “flying” mentioned in the same sentence. In fact, if you sit in coach, the airline meals on offer are usually flat, flavorless—and utterly grody.  But maybe, just maybe, all of that is about to change.

American Airlines announced on September 24  that the company is teaming up with  Zoës Kitchen, a Mediterranean-inspired fast-casual dining chain based in Plano, Texas, to introduce a new food-for-sale menu for customers seated in the main cabin (coach)  that “will offer delicious, light and healthy choices onboard,” the carrier said in an official release.

The new menu, designed in collaboration with Zoës’ Head Chef and Vice President of Culinary Innovation Antonio Iocchi, includes items unique to American Airlines, as well as exclusive Zoës dishes—among them,  signature hummus and The Grüben sandwich.

The new items will be available for purchase on most domestic flights longer than three hours, beginning on December 1.

“Zoës mission to deliver goodness from the inside out and their ‘simple, tasty, fresh’ offerings made it an easy decision to partner with the fast casual, healthy restaurant group,” said Janelle Anderson, VP of Global Marketing for American Airlines. “Our customers have asked for lighter tasty food choices. This collaboration with the expert chefs at Zoës provides an innovative, fresh approach to on-board offerings.”

“Together with American, we are excited to elevate the inflight dining experience and deliver goodness to millions of customers by offering our chef-inspired menu items, in a fresh, new way,” said Kevin Miles, CEO of Zoës Kitchen. “Our goal in our restaurants is to provide delicious, wholesome food, inspired by the flavors of the Mediterranean and for our guests to feel good and motivated to live life to the fullest after dining with us.”

A fuller list of the new menu items includes::

  • Breakfast Sandwich: Turkey bacon, egg slices, and tomato topped with baby arugula on a waffle brioche bun with Calabrian pepper aioli;
  • Continental Breakfast Box:  Belgian waffle, hazelnut spread, and fresh berries;
  • The Grüben: Zoës signature sandwich with sliced turkey, Manchego cheese, crunchy Mediterranean slaw, and feta spread layered on marble wheat bread, and served with a Zoës chocolate chip cookie;
  • Chicken Wrap: Grilled chicken wrap with mozzarella, roasted tomatoes, arugula, and artichokes, served with a Zoës chocolate chip cookie; and
  • Hummus Duo: Zoës signature hummus duo, including their classic flavor topped with Kalamata olives and basil pesto hummus, served with pita bread, cucumber, and carrots.

Along with the new Zoës options, American will continue to offer its own fruit and cheese plate and breakfast platter. Throughout 2019, American and Zoës will continue to collaborate and introduce additional items in coach, as well as domestic first class service.

According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, other carriers also have revised their in-flight offerings: Alaska Air revamped its menu over the summer to highlight West Coast produce; United Continental. has added a bread pudding made with Chobani yogurt; and Delta will update its in-flight menu on October 1 on North American flights of 1,400 miles or more.

Research contact: mediarelations@aa.com

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