Universalization of food: Offering Plant-Based Ramen on board


As part of its efforts to meet the needs of customers with diverse eating habits, ANA has newly co-developed Plant-Based Ramen - "Pla-ton" with the ramen restaurant Ippudo, and began offering it as an in-flight dish option on international flights in December 2022.

To bring our very popular ramen to a wider range of passengers

Ippudo's ramen, popular not only in Japan but around the world, has been offered as a light meal menu item in international first class and business class (on some routes) since June 2013, and has been enjoyed by many passengers.

We also wanted to offer a taste of Japan to passengers who could not eat tonkotsu(pork) ramen because of their dietary habits, and after about a year and a half of work, we jointly developed a meat-free "Pla-ton" with Ippudo.

"Pla-ton" served in a bowl

Even the raw materials do not contain ingredients of animal origin.

Nevertheless, we have created a "tonkotsu ramen-like" dish that is satisfying in taste and aroma.

ANA Promotes "Universalization of Food"

ANA has made ongoing efforts to provide meals that reassure and satisfy passengers with diverse eating habits, such as the renewal of some special in-flight meals and the introduction of "healthy katsudon," a bowl of rice topped with healthy katsu, which uses new ingredients derived from soybean okara (bean curd) and konjac.

This time, by producing the popular ramen using plant-based ingredients, we hope to provide an opportunity for a wider range of passengers to become familiar with the taste of ramen.

Interview with the person in charge

We interviewed Ms. Ryujin (ANA Products and Services Planning Department), who is in charge of the development of the product.

Left:Ms.Ryujin (ANA Products and Services Planning Department) Right:Ms.Shibata(ANAC In-flight Services Planning Department)

What made you decide to introduce "Pla-ton"?

Under the ANA Future Promise, we have been promoting "universalization of food" with the aim of expanding food options for all passengers, and the introduction of "Pla-ton" is part of this effort.

We wanted to offer Ippudo ramen, which has been popular for many years as an a la carte menu item in first and business class, to more passengers on board.

At that time, we noticed that Ippudo was offering "Plant-Based Akamaru" for a limited time at 44 stores in Japan in February 2021, and began to consider it from the perspective of strengthening the universalization of food and as the next development of Ippudo ramen onboard aircraft, which has been well received by our customers. Now, with the cooperation of Ippudo, we have developed a product that can be enjoyed in the unique in-flight environment, and we are pleased to offer it to our passengers.

Are there any major differences in taste from previous ramen?

We have been developing a variety of flavors, including pork bone, soy sauce, and miso, but the satisfaction of ramen has been maintained.

The miso flavor that passengers have enjoyed in the past has been well received, but the key point is that this is a revival of Ippudo's signature pork flavor, and since it is now a plant-based product, more passengers can enjoy it.

What were some of the challenges in development?

Because the product was made without animal-derived ingredients, we had to change the specifications, including the noodles, from other Ippudo ramen products that had been offered on board.

Various adjustments were then made to complete the product, including the unique in-flight environment where the boiling point of water is not 100°C, cabin attendants' in-flight operations, and changes to the shape of the packaging material to make efficient use of the limited on-board space.

Do you have any thoughts you would like to share with our customers?

ANA has been continuously promoting the universalization of food, not only for ramen this time. For example, of the 24 special in-flight meals available for all classes, we renewed* four healthy meals in the fall of 2021 and vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free meals in the fall of 2022.

We believe that many of our customers may have become aware of our special in-flight meals as a result of these new offerings. As we develop our various menus, we would be happy if we are able to offer more choices to our many customers. We will continue to strive to offer a wide range of dining options that meet the dietary habits and preferences of all our customers.

  • * Renewed for routes departing from Japan.

ANA will continue to promote "universalization of food" so that passengers can enjoy meals that meet their individual food preferences and daily eating habits on board, and will expand the range of meal choices for all passengers.