The 50,000 Pounds Of First Class Nuts United And American Quit Buying? We Bought Them All!

Early in the pandemic airlines stopped offering on board service. Gradually they brought back drinks on request, though generally speaking coach doesn’t offering alcohol and Delta doesn’t offer anything.

American and United have slowly brought back food, too. American offers what used to be the buy on board food in coach as first class meals, and United is selling food again using contactless payments.

But there’s no hot nuts in domestic first class. And stuck with huge inventory that airlines weren’t buying the small business that supplies them to United and American was on the verge of going under.

The company’s owner said they had “50,000 pounds of nuts American Airlines and United didn’t want!” They had a warehouse full of boxes stamped “American” and “United” on them.

Initially American told them to ‘wait three weeks’ after the decision to remove nuts from flights, then came back and let them know that “the nuts were gone for good.”

The store offered to individually bag the nuts, so flight attendants wouldn’t be handling them, but American didn’t want to serve nuts in first class – it wasn’t just a Covid-19 precaution after all. They offered the nuts as a package the airline could send to AAdvantage elite members, but American didn’t want to spend that money either (AAdvantage has eliminated elite membership kits, too).

But word spread where you could buy them and grounded flyers ate them up. According to the company, all the packaged airline nuts have sold out. They continue to package ingredients they’d pre-committed to.

Thanks to your tremendous support, we’ve sold all 78,000 bagsof airline mixes! But we still have more ingredients under contract and we are roasting and packaging fresh mixes that we will continue to sell at near cost until we use all the ingredients that we have under contract. And it’s all thanks to you! So please continue to buy these wonderful mixes.

The company didn’t really have a retail capacity to handle this, but they needed to save the business. They “a shipping app to [the] website and worked to staff and stock the store. It was all hands on deck!”

I’m a big fan of the Aloha mix from Hawaii flights with the candied pineapple pieces.

Some flyers report they “actually took a bag on board an A[merican Airlines] flight…and [a flight attendant] happily heated them up in first class!” Another chuckles, that the nuts are the reason “everyone in first class looks so smug when I walk by them on my way to coach!”

This is a wonderful story of a customers finding a product that reminds them of better times, that they enjoy, and a company quickly pivoting to stay in business when the big airlines left them high and dry.

It isn’t just furloughed employees at American and United that are put out by the pandemic, or hotel owners failing to make mortgage payments. Those just get the headlines. It’s small businesses who serviced large airline and hotel chains, who built their businesses around supplying their stream of orders, making it through grit and determination. Not all of them do, but applause to the Great Nut Supply Company!

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Bought four 20 oz bags and reordered. A veritable bargain compared to the offerings at gourmet groceries.

  2. When I got the e-mail saying they were out, I went to the website and they still have more. They shipped today. It’s my 4th order of 6 bags

  3. When I heard about this months ago, I bought some because I felt that it was the right thing to do and frankly – I like nuts anyway. Today I buy from these people because they really do have a superior product. I’m not sure I’ll ever buy nuts from a grocery store ever again.

  4. So they really are gone for good? No chance of them coming back as part of their “reimagined” catering?

  5. I bought a few bags of the AA Aloha mix just yesterday (11/9) and they had a whole pallet full still left – mostly UA mixes at this point, but still plenty of AA as well! Also, this place doesn’t just make amazing airline nut mixes – they have a whole host of other nuts as well. I bought some amaretto almonds yesterday as well…I may have died and gone to heaven. If you’re in the DFW area, the warehouse is relatively close to the airport – it’s down the street from Cowboy Stadium in Arlington.

  6. Hey @ Truthinf, save your tired old breath and just stay home……… No one wants to hear your whining, wah, wah, wah!!! I would have used harsher words, but wanted this to get posted fast!

  7. @GLCtraveler No whining I just happen to be in the nut business and know that they profited many times over selling the nuts online at retail prices than the original contract with the airlines. Buy hey more power to them you keep on being a sucker.

  8. @truthinf,

    I hope someone busts your nuts. Play nice. Maybe you can find quality nuts for just over $6 per pound, including tax and shipping. I can’t.

  9. I am glad that they were able to make lemonade out of all those lemons …. i bought a variety of nuts and they were ALL delicious …

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