Emirates sees demand for plant-based meals increase 40%

Interior of Premium Economy Emirates cabin.
Photo Credit: Emirates

As global interest in Veganuary reaches its peak, Emirates has not only taken note but has embraced the challenge after seeing a 40% surge in customer demand for vegan dishes.

To meet this demand in 2024, Emirates will introduce an array of new vegan dishes onboard and in lounges later this year, adding even more dishes to its ‘vegan vault’ of more than 300 curated plant-based recipes.

The Vegan Surge

In 2023, Emirates took a major step, boasting a repertoire of over 300 vegan recipes across 140 destinations, a significant jump from the 180 recipes offered in 2022.

The airline served more than 450,000 plant-based meals onboard in 2023, witnessing a substantial increase from the 280,000 meals served the previous year.

Notably, the consumption of vegan meals has grown by 40% year on year, with certain regions like Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East experiencing even higher spikes.

Customers can request vegan meals on all Emirates flights and across all classes of travel up to 24 hours before departure.


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Economy Class

In the heart of the aircraft, Emirates’ Economy Class unveils a tantalizing array of vegan options. From chickpea crepes stuffed with a medley of vegetables to a hearty chickpea kale stew, passengers can indulge in flavorsome dishes.

Scrumptious vegan desserts, including a coconut mousse with mango compote, elevate the in-flight dining experience, making a compelling case for choosing the vegan option.

Premium Economy

Passengers in Premium Economy can savor dishes like jackfruit curry with basmati rice or a rich squash chestnut stew.

The vegan dessert offerings are equally tempting, featuring a light chocolate tofu cheesecake and a raspberry parfait with a pop of orange compote. Emirates ensures that the vegan journey is a culinary delight, even at the elevated comfort of Premium Economy.

Business Class

For those in Business Class, Emirates presents a range of elegantly curated vegan dishes.

Roasted cauliflower with ancient grains, Asian tofu ragout, and decadent desserts like tropical coconut pineapple cake showcase the airline’s commitment to providing a gourmet experience at 30,000 feet.

First Class

Emirates’ First Class takes vegan dining to unparalleled heights. Creamy polenta cake with thyme mushroom ragout, aubergine curry with charred rice, and tantalizing desserts like rhubarb strawberry charlotte define the epitome of sophisticated vegan gastronomy.

New Vegan Offerings for 2024

In 2024, Emirates is set to launch a slew of new vegan main courses, snacks, and delectable desserts, including chocolate pecan cake and pistachio raspberry tonka cake.

This commitment ensures that passengers, regardless of their travel class, will have a diverse and sumptuous selection of vegan options.

Emirates sources high-quality vegan ingredients from around the world.

‘Beyond Meat’ from California, soybean protein from Singapore, Qian Ye pressed tofu from Japan, and organic dark vegan chocolate from Linnolat in France are just a few of the premium products that grace the airline’s vegan menu.

Locally grown kale and lettuce from the world’s largest hydroponic vertical farm, Bustanica, add a fresh and sustainable touch to some dishes.


Emirates has been a trailblazer in vegan cuisine since the 1990s. Originally focused on specific routes with dietary requirements, the airline has evolved its vegan offerings, introducing a gourmet vegan menu in 2022 for First and Business Class passengers.

This move caters to the increasing global interest in veganism, providing a wealth of choices for those seeking healthier and environmentally conscious meal options while flying.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
4 Min Read
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