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Aviation

Launching: the new and more sustainable Cube

New Nordic by SAS, the inflight meal service SAS offers on short-haul routes, features locally sourced, seasonal ingredients and keeps waste to a minimum. It’s now been relaunched in new packaging that’s even more sustainable.

New Nordic by SAS was introduced in 2017 to offer a more sustainable onboard dining experience featuring Scandinavian flavors and cooking. It’s still very much on the menu and still presented in the award-winning Cube that is the epitome of minimalist and innovative Scandinavian design. And it has now been relaunched in new, more sustainable packaging.
“The outside of the Cube has always been made from paper approved by the Forest Stewardship Council,” says Linnea Malmberg, SAS Head of Concepts and Service. “But we wanted to minimize plastic in the Cube, so we developed a new, more sustainable inside together with our suppliers.”

The new Cube also has fewer items in it, a decision made after looking into customer behavior. 

The extra salt and pepper, for example, has been removed, along with the wet wipe and the toothpick. And instead of having one cutlery kit for all meals, there is now one for breakfast with a spoon and one for lunch and dinner without. 
“We’ve been working on a process we call stop, reduce and replace,” says Gustaf Öholm, Head of Onboard Product Services & Ancillary at SAS. “This -involves evaluating all materials and products we load on board and asking: Should we have this on board? Does the customer need it?”

The cutlery material has also been changed from an oil-based plastic to a plant-based one and the cutlery kit is now wrapped in a paper napkin instead of a plastic bag.

‘We talked to our material suppliers and asked if we could eliminate the plastic’

With its locally sourced and seasonal food, which means rotating menus, the New Nordic dining experience is also as just as sustainable as before. 
“Our focus has always been to make something better for the customer and for the environment,” says Malmberg. “And we’ve been taking steps to introduce more vegetarian options in the Cube.”

The New Nordic dining experience was also introduced to help reduce food waste and it reflects the fact that many travelers don’t want a three-course meal when they fly. That’s why side dishes and desserts are offered separately. 

SAS Go travelers are encouraged to use the preorder meal service to help minimize food waste and reduce weight on board the aircraft. They can also customize their meals with menus that include vegan, lactose and gluten-free options. 
“We have a sustainable mindset in everything we do, and we’re constantly looking at our weight and the materials we use to see how we can become more sustainable,” says Öholm.

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