Why is tomato juice one of the most popular beverages when the drinks cart comes around on flights? The answer is a simple, yet scientific one.
Onboard Lufthansa flights, passengers drink a lot of beer (surprise!), 223,339 litres last year alone. But passengers also drink a lot of tomato juice, around 200,627 litres every year! This was such an unexpected finding that the airline wanted to investigate just why its passengers prefer tomato juice over other fruit juices.
Notes were made on a group of volunteers in a flight simulation when their meal trays and beverages were being served. Systematically, tomato juice was preferred on the simulated flight, more than any other beverage. The explanation? The pressure in the cabin is lower, which means that our blood has less oxygen and this changes our sense of taste, as well as all our other senses.
Tomato juice becomes more acidic and more refreshing. This is also the reason why candies seem less sweet on an airplane and dishes seem less salty or spicy than when consumed on the ground.