In-person meetings are happening! And hopefully, they will continue to happen. Of course, where there are people, there is food. Here are some yummy food trends to keep an eye on!
- Safety: Due to COVID, people are hyper-aware of food safety. Be sure to consult with your venue to understand what protocols they have in place that keep your audience safe.
- Mental Health Cooking: It’s a thing! There is a link between what we eat and our mental health. Yes, on veggies and fruits, but also think about food high in Omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, tuna, walnuts, chia seeds, and soy.
- Carb Alternatives: Not a new trend, but many people are low carb, keto, and/or gluten-free. Offer sandwiches with lettuce leaf “bread” or stack the meat in between thin slices of zucchini. In lieu of pasta, offer spaghetti squash, spiralized veggies, or cauliflower couscous.
- Waste-Less Food: Meeting planners have embraced sustainability and are eco-conscious. Consult with your venue to inquire whether they utilize waste such as stems or peels from vegetables, to make veggies broths, or compost.
- Charcuterie boards are all the craze right now. You can offer anything and everything in a fun, sophisticated way. Offering them in mini sizes and in jars (Jarcuterie) is a great way to keep them meeting-friendly.
- Small but impressive desserts: Think quality, not volume. Ending the meal with a bit of sweet is still welcome, but rather than a huge piece of cheesecake, challenge the venue to come with something smaller and visually appealing with interesting ingredients – mini bundt cakes, large strawberries stuffed with a cheesecake filling, or deconstructed s’mores with high-quality dark chocolate.
- Earthy ingredients: Think exotic mushrooms and roots like parsnips, fennel, and radishes. These foods are vitamin- and adaptogen-rich.
- Plant-based food: These days you can get protein-rich foods made from plants that mimic seafood, chicken, pork, beef, and more!
- Wine: If you are serving wine, consider natural wine. There is also orange wine. And if you have the budget, how about this wine that spent some time in the sea?
- Diversify: Who are the businesses behind your food? Highlight foods from black-owned and and Latinx.
Food should always be a highlight, even more so as we are able to have more in-person encounters. When we commune over a meal we build relationships – a big part of any event! Cheers to delicious food, wonderful company, and a fantastic event!