The embattled Nordic airline Finnair will start flogging its signature Blueberry juice drink at up to 300 K-Group supermarkets and convenience stores across Finland starting in December. The new retail offering comes just a couple of months after Finnair launched a range of ready meals based on its in-flight menu at K-Citymarket stores.
With Finnish cuisine renowned for its use of wild berries, Finnair introduced blueberry juice as its signature onboard juice back in 2014. Blueberries grown in abundance in forests across Finland and Marika Nieminen, vice president of Finnair’s in-flight catering division says they’ve always proved popular with Finns.
“Probably every Finn has picked blueberries, and you can buy them by the bucket when they are in season in August,” Nieminen says of the popularity of blueberries.
Since the drink was introduced onboard over six years ago, Finn’s and many other passengers from around the world haven’t been able to enough of the drink, with Nieminen estimating that the airline serves up more than a million litres of the deep blue coloured drink every year.
Not this year, though, as the Coronavirus pandemic continues to batter the airline industry. Instead, Finnair has largely grounded its planes, laid-off thousands of staff and looked to alternative ways to make money.
In October, the airline launched a range of Business Class inspired ready meals like reindeer meatballs, smoked char and chanterelle risotto. The contemporary Nordic offerings with slight Japanese influences cost €12.90 for a main course, while appetisers are just €5.90.
Nieminen said the project had not only proven a hit with grounded passengers but had helped to keep some employees in the airline’s kitchens safe from being laid-off.
Sadly, Finnair’s blueberry juice is actually a juice drink which means it isn’t 100 per cent blueberry juice and probably has a lot of sugar added to the mixture. At the very least, though, Nieminen points out that the drink is manufactured with 100% renewable energy.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.