Like many, I make an effort to stay healthy while traveling, and I believe that your well-being does not have to be entirely compromised or disrupted while you’re on the road.
Lets be honest though – up until the last few years, it’s been for difficult for jet-setters to maintain a healthy lifestyle because stereotypical airplane food has always had a rather unhealthy reputation. The good news is that positive change and awareness across the board has continuously been a work in progress, and JetBlue is just one example of many (Hyatt also heavily-invested in a similar initiative, which I’ll share my thoughts about in a near-future post).
Three years ago, JetBlue introduced it’s “BlueBud” program, the airline’s food and beverage sustainability initiative, that not only promotes responsible and nutritious food and beverage offerings to all on board, but also directly-supports budding hometown NYC companies that share the airline’s vision to impact the people and the planet. The coolest part of the mentoring program is that it gives the companies the opportunity to learn what it takes (from one-on-one time with senior leaders) to potentially get their products onboard.
Previous BlueBud partners have included Bronx Greenmarket Hot Sauce and Hot Bread Kitchen (you can actually find the bakery’s challah rolls on the Mint brunch menu). Both winners are small NYC businesses that deliver social and environmental value through their products
In celebration of the third round of the BlueBud program, JetBlue has selected three food and beverage brands from New York:
- Toast Ale – Focused on reducing wasted food, Toast Ale uses unsold loaves of bread from local bakeries to brew beer. Since Toast Ale opened, 2,325 gallons of beer have been brewed using 1,375 pounds of bread that otherwise would have gone to waste. Originating in London, Toast Ale has been selling beer in New York since March of 2017. All of the company’s profits go to Feedback, a non-profit focused on anti-waste campaigns.
- Barber Farm Distillery – Since 1857, the Barber family has farmed produce and dairy in Schoharie Valley, New York. Barber Farm Distillery is a recent addition to this long-standing family business. Built on family and homegrown, high quality produce, Barber’s Farm Distillery brings a new facet to an already distinctive brand with its naturally gluten-free, farm-to-bottle vodka. Barber’s Farm is one of the only distilleries growing its own potatoes and using its own spring water in America.
- Luv Michael – Their organic, gluten-free, and nut-free granola is made without harmful chemicals or toxic allergens. Luv Michael is focused on providing training and income to individuals on the autism spectrum. Autism now impacts one in 68 children. The granola crafted by Luv Michael can be purchased in more than 30 stores in the New York area including Wild by Nature, Fresh and Co., and select Starbucks locations.
According to the official press release, here’s how these three companies will benefit from the business mentoring program:
- A tour of JetBlue’s Long Island City Support Center headquarters, its largest operation at JFK’s Terminal 5 (T5) and an airline catering facility to better understand how food (literally) gets onboard JetBlue.
- A speaking and taste-testing event opportunity for JetBlue’s crewmembers to learn more about each company at the airline’s Long Island City Support Center.
- A tasting event for JetBlue customers at the airline’s award-winning JFK T5.
- Intimate access to JetBlue teams including but not limited to strategic sourcing, purchasing, corporate social responsibility, sustainability, communications, marketing, brand and onboard product.
I really admire when an airline [or any hospitality brand] can go above and beyond in making sure that the food offerings not only carefully-selected because of nutrition, but is also socially-responsible. What’s even better is knowing a bit of history and stories behind where your onboard food is sourced from. When a company does good, you feel good… and somehow it makes it taste so much better, right? ;)
What are your thoughts? Do you notice when an airline or hotel brand makes a responsible effort?