JetBlue started with the mission to bring humanity back to air travel. Our goal was to disrupt the model of what air travel had become and enhance the customer experience by providing an outstanding experience. Now 15 years later, 16,500 crewmembers and 10 consecutive JD Power & Associate awards for customer satisfaction, I think we are on to something. With this in mind, JetBlue recently launched our first business mentoring program – BlueBud (buddies + budding new companies) – to help other innovative companies learn what it takes to get their products onboard commercial aircraft.
We started with the goal of making a difference and even as we’ve grown, we haven’t forgotten our humble roots. We believe it is now our responsibility to help other small, like-minded companies. Even with our steady growth and many accomplishments since 2000, we haven’t forgotten what it’s like to start out small with a mission to innovate an industry. BlueBud will help companies connect with a diverse group of customers, all while maintaining responsible practices. The first program will focus on small food companies in New York State that are creating unique and novel concepts.
Participants will get special access to JetBlue’s business leaders, who will offer participants access to the airline’s unique product development culture, as well as valuable industry insights.
You may ask: Why food? Well, we believe just because you’re traveling, your health (and conscience) doesn’t have to suffer. Airlines haven’t historically been associated with fresh and responsible foods, but our product development and sustainability teams are working hard to ensure there are nutritious options available on all of our onboard food and beverage menus. For example, we are proud to offer items such as our kale and quinoa salad on many transcontinental flights, as well as organic and sustainably produced Blue Marble ice cream in our JetBlue Mint experience.
We’re proud of the products and foods produced in our home state of New York State and those that also consider environmental impact. These are our first choices to serve onboard and in our airports.
JetBlue has already helped put several small food brands on the map. In fact, the TERRA Blues potato chips have become synonymous with the JetBlue experience. The below timeline displays just a sampling of the brands we are proud to have brought onboard our planes. BlueBud gives us an opportunity to connect and support the next generation of small food companies whose values align with our beliefs and mission.
To ensure a match with our values, we will be judging BlueBud applications based on the following criteria:
- Responsible foods: foods focusing on positive environment and social impact
- Tasty foods: foods that are nutritious and conscious of targeted needs
- Informed foods: foods that are innovative, diverse, and part of a curated JetBlue experience
- Homegrown foods: companies with a connection to our New York hometown
There is still an opportunity to apply. The first BlueBud is focused on food companies from New York State and we will be accepting applications through April 27, 2015. For more information about BlueBud and JetBlue’s commitment to providing natural, healthy, and sustainable onboard foods, visit Jetblue.com/green/food/.