Event catering is susceptible to trends, but this can be a good thing – as this peek of what to expect in 2020, both locally and internationally, proves!Event catering is susceptible to trends, but this can be a good thing – as this peek of what to expect in 2020, both locally and internationally, proves!
1. Inclusive menus
Inclusivity is the buzz word right now, and this extends to food. Diets that were once considered faddish or alternative – such as gluten-free, sugar-free, vegetarian and vegan – are becoming mainstream, and events are expected to accommodate everyone’s dietary needs and preferences.
2. Still healthy
Attendees continue to be actively concerned about their health and want to eat well. This means events are dishing up more nourishing foods, prepared in a way to boost their nutritional value – such as fermented, steamed or flash roasted vegetables. An added incentive to serve these kinds of foods is that they tend to be energising, and will keep your delegates awake!
3. Smaller is better
Smaller portions and more frequent refuelling – effectively grazing – is an increasingly popular way to feed event attendees. This allows for regular breaks where guests can move around and mingle easily.
4. Cross cultural creations
Global cuisine continues to be on trend, but increasingly dishes and ingredients from different nations are being blended to give attendees exciting new flavours. Think dishes like Zulu Sushi, which Chef Charles Murray shares a recipe for in our latest issue of Meetings here.
5. Sustainably sourced
A growing awareness about the role we all play in climate change is driving the adoption of new, eco-conscious behaviours. This includes a preference for organic and locally grown ingredients, less beef and dairy, responsibly sourced seafood, and even zero-waste menus – where all parts of the ingredients are used (for example veggie scraps and bones are used to make stock) and leftovers are re-used (such as turning stale bread into croutons and roasted peppers into a hummus dip).
6. Play with your food
Food will continue to be a form of entertainment. From cooking demos or lessons, to build-your-own bars, being involved in creating their own food can be a fun way for delegates to take a break from a busy programme, meet new people and deepen relationships.
7. Less alcohol
Inclusivity and wellness are driving the trend of mocktails and low-alcohol cocktails and spritzers. These won’t replace alcoholic beverages, but will be additional options catering for those who want them.