Every meeting planner knows that a great deal of a meeting’s success is largely attributed to the food and beverage offerings. No matter what time of day, in or out of session, your attendees deserve the best culinary experience. And, sometimes, it’s all in the details. Below are some tried and true trends in food that never fail and promise to be big in 2018.
A Plate Worth 1,000 Words
Love them or hate them as you scroll through your Instagram feed, perfectly posed photos of food aren’t going away any time soon. If you’ve got social media savvy clients, you’re going to want to make sure that the food you’re serving them at events not only tastes good but looks good as well. Choosing a venue or caterer who pays attention to plate composition and the color palette is a surefire way to take advantage of this trend in the coming year. This is even more important if your attendee list includes millennials who especially love to share their experiences in social channels.
Contemporary Regional Chinese And Mexican Cuisine
According to Nation’s Restaurant News, Mexican and Chinese food will continue to be hot ticket items in 2018. As chefs continue to explore the nuances of regional cuisines of those two countries, you can expect to see more menus moving forward that focus on one of Mexico’s 31 states, or discrete Chinese provinces like Shandong. Be on the lookout for restaurants that infuse these classic menus with regional flourishes if you’re looking to increase event attendance by offering clients something they may not have tried before.
Vegetarians, vegans and people looking for other dietary alternatives – this is your time to rejoice! In 2017, companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods gained an incredible amount of traction and continued developing ways to process plant-based protein into food that looks, cooks and tastes just like meat. With recent culinary innovations, the plant-based cuisine is one of the top 2018 food trends. Not only is this a powerhouse of good nutrition and good for our health, it’s also good for the environment.
This year, expect plant-based meats to pick up momentum and with that – a larger variety of options available at your grocery store and local restaurant menus.
Craft Is King
Craft beers and breweries are all the rage, with no shortage of new breweries in-site see what’s on tap and coordinate a one-of-a-kind beverage experience for your guests.
Comfort Is Key
More chefs are making strides to redefine multi-star dining in efforts to incorporate the fast-casualization fetish that is sweeping across America. Mac & cheese, pot roast, meatloaf, fried chicken, BBQ, mashed potatoes and green bean casserole are all fair play. Guests want it the way mom used to serve it but with a sophisticated twist, so give them a surprising take on nostalgia with reworked old school classics.
Megan Van Petten
CEO & President
Van Petten Group, Inc.