Ever since they were added to United Airlines’ snack menu in 2016, Stroopwafels have been a beloved free perk for customers of the airline. A Stroopwafel is a cookie traditionally served in the Netherlands steamed over coffee. The wafer cookies sandwiching caramel could be purchased alongside coffee or tea; the steam from the cup softens the cookie to reveal a melty, gooey center. However, this experience is being replaced by a “maple wafer” on flights departing before 9:45 a.m. and customers are already upset.
“I will never forgive you for taking away the one reason I look forward to flights,” one Twitter user exclaimed.
“How dare you get rid of it,” accused another. “Shame on you.”
The snack snafu is just one of many unpopular decisions United Airlines has made lately with their in-flight menu. In May, the airline was under fire from Twitter users for removing tomato juice as a drink option — they later added the beverage back to their selection. Now, the airline’s cookie choices have sparked Twitter’s rage yet again.
United Airlines, on the other hand, seems to be thrilled about their new snack option. According to a release from the airline, the maple wafers were specially curated for the company by Byrd Cookie Company. The treat is described as “delightfully addictive” and “a maple wafer cookie that combines a crunchy texture with a sweet maple flavor.” Along with the release of the wafers, United is running a promotion where customers can bid miles to enter to win a tour of Byrd’s factory in Savannah, Georgia.
“We have introduced this new in-flight snack into our complimentary snack rotation so that we could offer customers a new option that is based on the current maple flavor trend that is becoming increasingly popular in a variety of food and beverages,” a representative from United Airlines told The Daily Meal in an email. The switch was in part inspired by a Google Trend search showing that maple-flavored treats are growing in popularity.
“We are always looking for ways to capitalize on trends in taste buds,” the airline’s vice president of catering operations, Charlean Gmunder, said in the release. “We are excited to offer our customers a light, crisp snack that is created by a woman-owned bakery.”
The airline even suspects that maple could be “the next pumpkin spice.” But unlike the excited craze about the release of the Pumpkin Spice Latte, the reaction from United customers is far from positive.
The swap could be a good thing, though, depending on your perspective. It may steer passengers toward more health-conscious choices. A stroopwafel isn’t exactly the healthiest thing you can eat during your flight.
HOLLY VAN HARE