The Unlikely Uproar: How the Absence of a Belgian Cookie Grounded an Airline

In 2020, United Airlines faced an unexpected backlash when it decided to stop serving Lotus Biscoff cookies to its passengers. What may have seemed like a minor decision at United Airlines headquarters turned out to have significant consequences, as travelers responded en masse, expressing a range of emotions from anger to sadness and disappointment on social media platforms. The American culinary community even took notice, with one website boldly declaring, "You can take my legroom, but you can never have my Biscoffs."

In the face of the overwhelming reaction, United Airlines swiftly reversed its decision and announced the return of Lotus Biscoff cookies on board. The power of a simple cookie had mobilized a vocal and passionate group of passengers. However, while United Airlines may have felt the impact, Lotus, the Belgian cookie manufacturer, continued its success undeterred.

In the preceding year, Lotus Biscoff had become a culinary sensation in the United States, with sales surpassing a billion cookies. Remarkably, almost five percent of households in the country purchased Lotus Biscoff at least once a year. This surge in popularity not only showcased the strong consumer attachment to the product but also demonstrated the influence of social media in shaping public opinion and driving business decisions.

While Lotus maintains its roots in the Belgian municipality of Lembeke, the company has expanded its operations globally. In addition to its Belgian headquarters, Lotus has established factories in the United States and is set to launch a new facility in Thailand. The cookie that inadvertently grounded an airline continues to soar in popularity, proving that sometimes, even the smallest treats can have a big impact on consumer sentiment and corporate decisions.


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