In this age of fickle foodies and Top Chefs, event attendees are expecting a certain kind of experience when satisfying their appetites. It appears food and beverage trends are following suit. Event marketers are incorporating exotic ingredients, as FX did for a horror-themed release party. Hosting pop-up dinners, such as Acura’s white party in Brooklyn. And they’re turning to attendee-curated recipes during cocktail hour–just look at the garnish bar from AOL’s Programmatic Upfront.
The National Restaurant Association each year releases its What’s Hot forecast based on a survey of 1,300 chefs. You can download the full report here. In 2014, small plates, uncommon herbs, and ramen were among food trends predicted to heat up, while food and beverage trends like Greek yogurt, flatbreads and sweet potato fries were predicted to cool down. So, what should event marketers discuss with catering partners in 2015?
Consider a few overall new food trends included in the report, like hyper-local sourcing, food waste reduction, artisan butchery and house-made condiments. Count among “old news” techniques such as foam, froth and air, and foods like gazpacho, bacon and chocolate, and sliders. More results, below.
Gaining in trendiness since last year:
• Underutilized fish
• Doughnuts (cronut, anyone?)
• Specialty ice teas
• Street food
• Smoked dessert ingredients
Dropping in trendiness since last year:
• Kale salads
• Nose-to-tail cooking
• Hybrid desserts
• Gluten-free cuisine
Lest we forget about top booze trends for 2015:
• Micro-distilled and artisan spirits
• Locally produced beer, wine and spirits
• On-site barrel-aged drinks
• Regional signature cocktails
• Culinary cocktails (think savory/fresh ingredients, plus food and cocktail pairings)
Featured photo (top): The Vendy Awards