ATLANTA, Feb. 22, 2007 – Celebrity culture is reaching new heights – the sky. As Americans’ purchasing decisions continue to be influenced by an attachment to a famous name, celebrity chefs are hotter than ever. Today’s traveling consumers are not only craving sophisticated fare from the country’s most renowned food masters, they’re willing to pay for it, according to a new national survey commissioned by Delta Air Lines in conjunction with its sponsorship of the sixth annual South Beach Wine & Food Festival that kicks off in Miami on Feb. 22.
The survey of more than 1000 men and women nationwide reveals that food created by a “celebrity chef” is desired by nearly half (45%) of all airline passengers and that 60% would be willing to pay for it. The findings also show that, when it comes to enjoying food or drink in-flight, men are more inclined to indulge with an alcoholic beverage, while women favor their sweet tooth. Of the men surveyed, 43% relax on-board with a drink – and 22% would prefer a trendy cocktail. While only 33% of women would choose cocktails, nearly half (47%) would purchase a brownie or ice cream dessert, if offered.
“Today’s consumers are very familiar with celebrity chefs and are very likely to react favorably to an in-flight offering created by a personality,” said Joan Vincenz, Managing Director for Product Marketing for Delta. “Our survey findings support the fact that renowned chefs are extraordinarily credible among traveling consumers. We’ve experienced this first-hand with positive reaction to Michelle Bernstein’s menu for our BusinessElite product and we hope to offer even more of this type of in-flight cuisine.”
Echoing the findings of the survey and consumer preferences, Delta Air Lines currently partners with popular celebrity chef Michelle Bernstein, who has created the menu for the airline’s international BusinessElite product. Bernstein will lend her culinary expertise to Wine Spectator’s Best of the Best event, Friday, February 23, from 7:30 pm to 11 pm, which showcases the finest reserves from around the world. Her tasting menu will include selections from her signature Delta BusinessElite cuisine.
About Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines (Other OTC: DALRQ) offers customers service to more destinations than any global airline with Delta and Delta Connection carrier service to 304 destinations in 52 countries. With more than 50 new international routes added in the last year, Delta is America’s fastest growing international airline and is a leader across the Atlantic with flights to 31 trans-Atlantic destinations. To Latin America and the Caribbean, Delta offers nearly 600 weekly flights to 58 destinations. Delta's marketing alliances also allow customers to earn and redeem SkyMiles on more than 14,000 flights offered by SkyTeam and other partners. Delta is a founding member of SkyTeam, a global airline alliance that provides customers with extensive worldwide destinations, flights and services. Including its SkyTeam and worldwide codeshare partners, Delta offers flights to 453 worldwide destinations in 97 countries. Customers can check in for flights, print boarding passes and check flight status at delta.com.