Monarch Airlines Mood Food Airplane Food Dining
Credit: Courtesy of Monarch Airlines

In-flight nerves are never a good feeling. They’re even worse when “hanger” strikes.

Grumpy, hungry passengers can get very agitated when all they have is tiny packets of pretzels and less-than-appetizing in-flight meals to distract them from their cramped, noisy and sometimes turbulent flights. Add a little bit of flying jitters into the mix and that is a recipe for trouble.

Monarch Airlines decided to try to sooth both passengers' hunger and their anxieties with new, allegedly mood-boosting snack boxes featuring foods designed to help passengers keep their spirits and their immune systems up while flying.

The “Monarch Mood Food” snack box contains snacks chosen by Oxford University’s Professor Charles Spence.

Before take-off, passengers get an echinacea and liquorice ice cream to supposedly help reduce the symptoms of coughs and colds — something all passengers would love a little help with while flying. “The black color [of the ice cream] is certainly counter-intuitive – most passengers think of white or pale colours with the ice cream,” Professor Spence told The Telegraph.

Next, passengers enjoy lavender- and green tea-flavored rice cakes to aid relaxation and counteract jet lag, washed down with blends of herbal teas to prevent bloating. Plus, there’s also an umami seaweed biscuit.

And speaking of umami, the final course includes a caramelised bar covered in umami mushroom and tomato powder to be enjoyed just before passengers land.

Professor Spence told The Telegraph that umami is a special flavor to imbibe while flying. “Reduced air pressure, dry cabin air, and engine noise all inhibit taste perception, but umami is the only one of the basic tastes that manages to cut through these barriers, which is why so many passengers order a tomato juice or Bloody Mary on-board. Using umami tastes alongside our other flavour combinations will be comforting and satisfying for passengers,” he said.

If our next flight is guaranteed to include delicious snacks, sign us up.