Peanuts will survive on Delta Air Lines flights, though only in honey-roasted form.
The Atlanta airline said this week that starting Dec. 14 its free snack lineup will be yogurt bars, honey-roasted peanuts, brand-name pretzels and Biscoff cookies.
Gone from the lineup: plain old peanuts and generic pretzels.
The Atlanta-based airline said the new offerings have “larger portions and more variety.” Delta also plans to change its mix of snacks more often in the future based on customer feedback. The free snacks are for flights longer than 250 miles.
The carrier had tested peanut-less snack menus on a few routes earlier this year, raising the possibility it would drop one of its home state’s biggest cash crops.
The Georgia Peanut Commission at the time said Georgia peanut growers are “proud of our special relationship” with Delta “and we’ve looked for ways over the years to maintain and grow it.”
After Thursday’s announcement, commission chief Don Koehler said in an email: “As a representative of Georgia’s 3,400 farming families who produce nearly half the U.S. Peanut Crop each year, we applaud this choice by Delta! Affordable, sustainable, nutritious…choose the power of the peanut!”
Because of peanut allergies, concern has swirled for years about serving them in enclosed airliner cabins, and some airlines have dropped them. In 1998 the DOT called for “peanut-free” zones on planes, though the idea was not put in place. In 2010 the agency said it was considering steps including a ban.
Peanut backers say other foods carry allergy risks and peanuts should not be singled out.
On its website, Delta says that if fliers notify the airline about a peanut allergy, “we’ll refrain from serving peanuts and peanut products onboard your flight,” and allow passengers to pre-board and clean the seating area.