- The company that supplies United Airlines with its first class nut mixes is selling bags of the snacks directly to consumers at huge discounts.
- With United and other airlines cutting flights and reducing on-board service due to the COVID-19 pandemic, suppliers like GNS Foods can find themselves holding unneeded products or supplies at risk of spoilage.
- The nuts are available online for as little as $7.99 for a two-pound bag.
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It’s a hallmark of first class airline travel: A small ramekin of warm mixed nuts, washed down with a glass of sparkling wine as you watch the hoi polloi file past on their way to their economy seats and await takeoff.
But along with so many trappings of life aloft, the COVID-19 pandemic has done away with that savory snacking. As air travel demand plummeted in March, airlines pulled back on their catering to reduce cost and limit contact between passengers and flight attendants.
That has left GNS Foods, which supplies United Airlines with its nuts, with more than 30,000 pounds of excess food. With a year left of ingredient contracts, the company has a warehouse full of baggies of mixed nuts and raw ingredients.
Faced with the risk of spoilage, GNS is turning to retail channels, selling its goods at what it says are “near-cost” prices.
The overstock situation is just the latest example of how the pandemic has tipped the broader airline industry — which operates on tight margins and tight supply chains — into disarray. Suppliers and contractors have seen sales and contracts cancelled, while a reduced demand for airplanes has impacted planemakers and their long supply chains.
People looking to stock up on quarantine snacks for cheap can find the two-pound bags of the Elite Status mix (that’s whole cashews and whole almonds) for $7.99 on the company’s online storefront, and of the Elite Status Hawaii mix (whole cashews, whole almonds, and large whole macadamia nuts) for $10.99 — peanuts compared to what you’d typically shell out at a store like Whole Foods.
Retailers looking for large quantities can call GNS at 817-795-4671.