Monarch thinks a 'mood-enhancing' menu featuring liquorice ice cream can cure flying jitters

Abigail Smith
The low-cost airline is trying out an experimental snack box
The low-cost airline is trying out an experimental snack box (Source: Monarch)

Liquorice ice cream which can boost your immunity; stress busting lavender cakes; these creations wouldn’t sound out of place in Willy Wonka’s factory.

In fact, they are part of Monarch’s new “mood food” in-flight menu, which has been designed to improve the flying experience and get them in the holiday mood.

In hopes of revolutionising plane food, the low-cost airline has teamed up with psychologist Charles Spence to create a new snack box. Spence, a food psychologist and lecturer at Oxford University, has previously worked at Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck restaurant, known for its experimental meals.

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Each part of the food box is designed to counteract a common flying problem, ranging from nervousness to bloating. Designed by chef Jozef Youssef, the box is to be eaten at four specific times during a flight.

Before take off, passengers will be invited to try the echinacea and liquorice ice cream. The black ice-cream is designed to ward off colds and illnesses which affect 39 per cent of plane travellers, according to Monarch’s poll of 2,000 holidaymakers.

As the plane takes to the air, Monarch will serve green tea and lavender mochi rice cakes. One in five find take off to be the most stressful part of flying, so the sleep-inducing lavender is designed to counteract that.

(Source: Monarch)

After thirty minutes of flying, herbal tea will be served, containing chamomile, fennel seed and kelp. Alongside this, passengers can expect a seaweed biscuit. Much like the flyers’ favourite Bloody Mary, umami is one of the flavours which can still be fully experienced at reduced air pressure.

Finally, as they land, passengers get a caramelised nut bar, covered in mushroom and tomato. It may sound a curious combination of flavours, but this bar is designed to re-energise you just in time for the baggage carousel.

The airline has just started the trial of snack boxes on selected European flights, and it will then be used to influence Monarch's future in-flight menu.

Monarch’s mood-boosting snack box


Time to be eaten

Problem associated with flying it targets

What the food does

Echinacea and liquorice ice cream


Colds and illnesses

Boosts immune system

Green tea and lavender cakes

During take off

Nervousness and anxiety

Induces sleep and relaxation

Herbal tea and seaweed biscuits


Indigestion and bloating

Aids digestion

Umami-rich snack bars




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