There is this observation/theory that during flights, people really like to drink much more tomato juice than while on the ground.
"A small study" (as Wikipedia calls it) from 2015 tries to analyse this alleged phenomenon:
This result was, however, more attributed to pressure change than to sound condition. More recently Spence, Michel, and Smith (2014) suggested that perhaps it may be the interaction of cabin noise and umami taste transduction that is responsible for the demand for umami-rich tomato juice in airline cabins.
— Kimberly S. Yan and Robin Dando: "A Crossmodal Role for Audition in Taste Perception", Observation of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance 2015, Vol. 41. No. 3, 590-596. (link)
But when was this alleged phenomenon was first noticed?
It was noticed many times before that referenced analysis started, and analysed multiple times previously. This went back about 40 years in my research.
This "small study", however, references a much earlier study, trying to explain the 'thing':
— Pettit, L. A. (1958). The influence of test location and accompanying sound in flavor preference testing of tomato juice. Food Technology, 12, 55-57.
Limiting subsequent search results to 'before that' produced no meaningful results.
Disregarding any effect, real or not, about tomato juice taste or preference effects while in-flight:
When was it first noticed/claimed that inflight tomato-juice consumption was significantly higher than otherwise?
While it will be most interesting to know the first mention of real-world statistics, acknowledging an increased consumption across the board. It would be even more interesting to correlate that with early testimonials from passengers reporting this alleged effect.