2024 Food & Beverage Trends to Inspire Your Event Menus

WhatsHot Culinary Report_2024_fried cheese and veggiesIf it feels like you’ve suddenly become surrounded by foodies, you’re not alone.

According to the National Restaurant Association’s 2024 “What’s Hot Culinary Forecast,” social media is influencing how consumers cook, eat and interact with restaurants. And it’s now an essential ingredient to culinary professionals’ work, whether it’s incorporating social media trends into dishes or using social media to send a dish viral.

All that food & beverage content your audiences are consuming in their personal lives means chances are your event attendees’ expectations for an experience are higher. Event menus could become key talking points in marketing campaigns as well.

Among macro trends the “What’s Hot” report identifies, in addition to social media trends, are regional menus, streamlined menus, restaurants as entertainment, and inventory optimization (read: less waste). Overall, the association’s survey found that comfort foods with a twist are on the menu this year.

red-baron-ohio-state-u-2023-students-with-pizzas_teaserMore F&B Trends:

WhatsHot Culinary Report_2024 hot chicken sandwichTop Trends include:

  • World stage soups and stews
  • Global chicken wings
  • International BBQ
  • Grilled or cooked cheese
  • Wagyu beef
  • Stuffed vegetables
  • Hot honey breakfast sandwiches


WhatsHot Culinary Report_2024_everything bagel spiceTop Flavors include:

  • Nashville hot (an example of regional flavor)
  • Everything bagel spice
  • Agave syrup
  • Turmeric ginger
  • Hibiscus

Culinary professionals say they’re seeing an increase in demand for “beverages that boost energy” but that are also healthy.


WhatsHot Culinary Report_2024_botanical cocktailTop Alcohol Trends include:

  • Botanical cocktails
  • Hard coffees
  • Low-alcohol cocktails

Other trending and emerging items this year include birria, a spicy and smoky stew to “elevate tacos, sandwiches, nachos, poutines, pasta and more.” Cannabis-infused dishes are also on the rise, as are exotic, tangy produce like calamansi (a Philippine lime) and cucamelon (an exotic cucumber).


WhatsHot Culinary Report_2024 tropical mocktails2COMFORT FOOD CREATIONS

In the 2024 Pinterest Predicts report, compiled from user activity, “mouthwatering mashups” are getting attention from Gen X and Boomer foodies. Think: burger quesadillas, pizza pot pies, gummy candy kabobs and carbonara ramen. Meanwhile, an “escapist aesthetic” has the attention of Gen Z via menu items like Hawaiian sheet pan chicken, pineapple upside down cake and tropical mocktails.




Photos: Courtesy of National Restaurant Association

Rachel Boucher
Posted by Rachel Boucher

Rachel joined Event Marketer in 2012 and today serves as the brand's head of content. Her travels covering the experiential marketing indust ry have ranged from CES in Las Vegas to Spring Break in Panama City Beach, Florida (hey, it's never too late)—and everywhere in between.
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