Now that the airlines are struggling to remain profitable, many of them have cut-back or eliminated the food service we had all come to know and um, deal with (rubber chickens should be part of comedy sketches, not human's diets). The first iteration of airline food for purchase was those boxed (or bagged) lunch things. They were still yucky if you asked me. Yucky is one thing if it's "free" (doesn't mean you have to eat it but still), but I don't pay for yucky. Then you notice that the airports and airlines encouraged food purchases within the terminals. Which is all fine and good unless you are the one stuck sitting next to the guy chowing down on a greasy, cold Whopper (not that there's anything wrong with Whoppers but they are messy and smelly in close quarters).
I'd started bringing granola bars and nuts and stuff on flights so I had something just in case. But I didn't have time to get that stuff together for this trip. Anyway, I didn't need to. I think Delta has gotten this "food for purchase" thing right. If the average flier grew accustomed to food as part of their flight, taking that away makes them feel like they are losing something. To make them pay to replace the *not great* food added insult to injury. The key (and what Delta got right) was differentiating the food offering that you are charging for.
What I had last night: a cheese plate including 3 kinds of cheese (goat cheese...yum!), grapes, crackers and pecans. That plus one of those little bottles of red wine. I was very willing to pay for that. Good job Delta.