Most industry vets know that the first thing an attendee is likely to complain about at an event is the food and beverage selection. That makes delivering a high-quality, on-trend F&B menu a top priority for many an event marketer. Helping guide the way is the National Restaurant Association’s annual “What’s Hot” culinary forecast, a survey completed by leading chefs that identifies food and beverage trends and culinary themes for the coming year.
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The 2019 forecast showed a strong shift toward CBD- and cannabis-infused food and beverages, with 77 percent of chefs ranking it as the year’s No. 1 trend. Other top themes included greater emphasis on global flavors and dishes (with North African cuisine rated the year’s “hottest” global flavor), zero-waste cooking (thank you, millennials), locally produced spirits and hyper-local sourcing, including restaurants that grow produce in their own gardens. Losing steam within the culinary landscape are pretzels as dessert ingredients and anise-flavored cocktails.
The report’s top five culinary trends of 2019:
- Cannabis/CBD-infused drinks
- Cannabis/CBD-infused food
- Zero-waste cooking (elevated cuisine using food scraps)
- Globally-inspired breakfast dishes
- Global flavors in kids’ meals
The top five alcoholic beverages:
- Craft/artisan/locally produced spirits
- On-site barrel-aged drinks
- Culinary cocktails (e.g. savory, fresh ingredients; herb-infused)
- Locally produced spirits/wine/beer
- Rosé cider
The top five restaurant concepts:
- Chef-driven, fast-casual concepts
- Pop-up temporary restaurants
- Commissaries (e.g. shared commercial kitchen space)
- Small-plate menus/restaurant concepts
- Food halls
View the full report here.
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