What's JetBlue's most popular snack box?
I asked that question last week, bribing readers for responses by offering a prize to one correct guesser -- a nifty Frontier Airbus A320 model airplane.
Today, I select a winner. He is Scott Markman, and he correctly guessed that the "Beef Up" box is, by far, Jetblue's No. 1 selling snack box. I'll be mailing Scott his model airplane.
So why is "Beef Up" the top seller, with more than 30% of all sales?
If you went to JetBlue's website to see what's in each box, you'd notice that the "Beef Up" is the most unhealthy of the five boxes on sale. In the "Beef Up," you've got the trifecta of salami, cheddar cheese and the "Parmesan Peppercorn Cheese Cup." Some major salt and fat packed into a small box.
Paradoxically, when JetBlue queries passengers on the ground about what they want in the ideal snack box, travelers often say they'd buy healthier options. But once airborne, that all disappears. Passengers want the junk. Part of the reason: JetBlue estimates that you lose about 30% of your sense of smell at cruising altitude.
The same issue exists for JetBlue's free snacks, the most popular of which is Doritos. "When you are in a pressurized tube at 35,000 feet, you are going to go for the Doritos," said Rebecca Gottlieb, a member of the JetBlue team that handles food provisioning. "It's comfort food."