TOKYO - Due to the massive decline in flights amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, one Japanese company is re-purposing its in-flight meals as bento boxes to be sold online, in supermarkets and department stores.
The Japan Times reported on Sunday that Nagoya Air Catering Co., a company which provides in-flight meals to international flights at Chubu Centrair International Airports in central Japan, has seen a worrisome decline in demand for its meals.
The declining sales forced the company to sell limited quantities of their meals at a local department store last month near Nagoya Station, a major railway station roughly 127 miles east of Kyoto.
According to the Times, the popular meals drew swaths of hungry customers lining up for the coveted bento boxes.
The meals included Kobe beef bento, beef fillet sandwiches originally intended for business-class passengers as well as various other Asian and European dishes, the Japan Times reported.
Following the response by consumers of the limited sale of these meals, a company spokesperson told the Japan Times that they are considering making the meals available at various convenience stores as well.
"We’ll develop products while hearing consumer opinions," a Nagoya Air Catering official told the Japan Times.
Bento boxes are a popular meal in Japan. They take on many different forms and sizes and typically come in the form of a packaged meal containing key ingredients like rice, noodles, pickled and cooked vegetables as well as fish or meat.