All images: Vance Walstra

The biggest trend at IFSA this year had less to do with the food or drink products on offer, but rather how they were made. With suppliers going out of their way to highlight their behind-the-scenes efforts to keep their products healthy, delicious and above all else, eco-friendly.

Fair Trade chocolatier alter eco, for instance, sources 100 percent of its certified organic products directly from small-scale farmers with a focus on providing food security, biodiversity and promoting gender equality, and has even pioneered a fully-biodegradable foil wrapper for its truffles.

“Our name is actually a play on words,” said Brett Fisher, alter eco’s western region sales manager. “Everyone thinks it stands for ecological, which we are, but the founders originally created the name based on the term ‘alternative economy’ because our business is based in Fair Trade principles. So, it works both ways.”

George Kokinis, VP Sales at Salt Lake City-based Sevillo Fine Foods– who slow roasts their tomatoes and fire-grilled vegetables for up to twelve hours at a time – said that taking the time to make its products with love and care could be a huge selling point for forward-thinking airlines and their passengers. Particularly for carriers looking to maximize their ancillary revenue opportunities by adding a host of tasty, new artisanal offerings to their menu.

Emily King, marketing specialist at Emmi Roth cheeses seemed to agree. “I think that the influx of technology has a lot to do with why people care so much more about what they eat right now. We have more access to transparency and authenticity with our food … and I think passengers and consumers in general want to know that what they’re eating is being made by people who love to do it and who make sure that it’s good, not just for people, but for the world.”