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!