As part of a drive to reduce food waste onboard its flights., Etihad Airways has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with ‘The Concept’, a UAE-based product development and design company, to research and develop inflight technology that can monitor food consumption.
The Concept is developing NEOS Fly+, which combines IoT-based technology with meal trays. The tray itself is made from sustainable materials, including PET bottles previously used on board and then recycled.
The IoT element will enable Etihad to track the consumption of food items served on flights, including detailed information around components and portions of the meal that are not consumed. The anonymised data collated will be used to highlight food consumption and wastage patterns across the airline’s network, and will help to reduce food waste, improve meal planning and reduce operating costs. For example, if most passengers don’t like broccoli, then the caterers can exclude it, saving wastage and money. To support the project, Etihad will be providing the company with industry expertise and access to its catering facilities and flights.
The collaboration between The Concept and Etihad Airways comes as part of the airline’s partnership with Hub71, a global tech ecosystem community and network of startups and entrepreneurs. The NEOS Fly+ project was of interest as its data could help solve an industry-wide food waste problem estimated to add up to around US$3.9 billion per year.