Food and Beverage Trend Watch: Culinary Themes for 2019 - Event Marketer

Here’s What You’ll See on Event F&B Menus in 2019

Food and Beverage Trend Watch: Culinary Themes for 2019

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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