With growing low-cost competition, Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) knew it needed to differentiate itself – and its customer experience – from other airlines. SAS challenged Designit to create a high-level future vision and reimagine the whole onboard food and beverage experience: from the service concept to the actual food and its packaging – even the supply chain.
We started with extensive user research, observing and co-traveling with passengers and cabin crew to learn about their needs and pain points first-hand. To better understand back-end needs and operations, we visited SAS suppliers and worked closely with SAS meal-planners and the SAS service experience team. We even installed SAS plane seats in our offices to better understand how passengers experience meals.
Together we identified three core customer insights. 1) “Flying sabotages my lifestyle” – Customers, especially Scandinavian travelers, wanted healthier food choices. 2) “Flying is not about the food” – Food is important to the customer experience, but it needs to fit the context of flying, not a five-star restaurant! 3) “The SAS service experience does not match the outside world” – Customers have high expectations and want a unique SAS experience.
Based on these insights, we created The New Nordic food and beverage vision. Inspired by the food movement of the same name, it bridges tradition and future, with a focus on high-quality, local ingredients. Together we completely redesigned and rebuilt the supply chain and menu from scratch, with fresh, nutritious, locally-sourced ingredients. SAS now sources 95% of its food from local farmers, compared to just 5% before the project, with Norwegian fjord salmon, Swedish lamb, and Danish veal on the new menu.
The New Nordic concept continues into the menu and packaging concept, the “Cube”, with its cool white exterior, and graphic illustrations of serene Scandinavian scenery. From the ingredients to the small, cube-shaped packaging, every component of this service is designed to be frictionless for passengers and cabin crew. The modular meals not only give passengers more choice and personalization, but reduce food waste. Meanwhile meals are quick and easy to pass out and collect, convenient to eat while continuing to work or relax, and can be separated into plastic and paper for recycling.
It’s not possible to reproduce a restaurant experience onboard, so we’ve created something completely new, that takes in everything the customer wants, and delivered it. We think the Cube is going to revolutionize the onboard dining experience. Gustaf Öholm, Head of Onboard Products & Services
Launched in 2017 on SAS domestic, Scandinavian and European flights, the project has increased sustainability, while reducing costs and creating an outstanding experience – tailored to travelers’ needs, and true to the Nordic spirit of SAS.
Bronze Pentawards 2017
IxDA 2018 finalist
Svenska Designpriset 2017 nominee
Dieline Awards 2018
The Next Generation Lounge
A loyalty program trailblazer
A digital strategy to lead the foodservice industry
The experience is the difference
Food’s not just a product. It’s an experience.
Food industry, meet service design. Service design, meet food industry. It’s about time.