United Airlines Partners with Impossible Foods

The airline makes a move to expand their vegan options

Teaming up with Impossible FoodsUnited Airlines is looking to add more plant-based options to in-flight and lounge dining for passengers. Impossible Food’s signature product is the Impossible Burger, a plant-based meat substitute which has been seen in similar partnerships for years, including the Impossible Whopper at Burger King since 2019.

Available to first class passengers on all domestic flights, the vegan options will feature three Impossible Meatballs with a custom mix of Impossible Beef and Impossible Sausage that’s made from plants and broccolini, served on couscous and herb-infused tomato sauce.

Apart from in-flight service, United is also updating its menus on the ground at select United Polaris airport lounges which include Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Newark. Offering Impossible’s plant-based sausage as an omelet ingredient, with plant-based sausage patties at their breakfast buffets.

When compared to animal agriculture which is responsible for nearly 60% of greenhouse gas emissions, Impossible’s plant-based alternatives require 96% less land, 87% less fresh water, while generating 89% fewer greenhouse gas emissions.

Aaron McMillan, United Managing Director of Hospitality and Planning, believes that the quality of food choices at the airport and in the sky is a crucial part of the customer experience and therefore they’re invested in making sure their menu items exceed the customer’s expectations. “We want our food offerings to evolve and change along with people’s preferences—we’re proud to work with Impossible Foods and think our customers are really going to love these new options.”

“It’s exciting to see the airline bring new options to consumers that are better tasting and better for the planet,” added Dan Greene, Senior Vice President of Sales at Impossible Foods.

Impossible’s United partnership follows its collaboration with Delta Airlines earlier this year which resulted in some in-flight menu changes as well. Back in March, the airline added various vegetarian options for business class passengers (Delta One) and first class. But one of the very first plant-based options of the airline was actually The Impossible Burger. “Not only are plant-based meats like Impossible Burger delicious to eat, but they’re also often better for the environment, using far less land and water to produce,” said Kristen Manion Taylor, Senior Vice President of In-Flight Service at Delta.

With United’s partnership, Impossible is hoping to give customers an option that’s kinder to animals and much more environmentally friendly. Fortunately, other airlines have also begun exploring plant-based options. Some of them include American Airlines, Lufthansa, Emirates, Swiss International Airlines, and  Air New Zealand. According to Emirates, vegan options were the third most requested meal in economy class and requests for vegan meals across all classes were increased by 40% in January of 2019. The Middle Eastern airline served over 20,000 plant-based meals across all classes.