As we wave goodbye to 2016, and say hello to 2017, we turn our eyes to our stomachs. For what kind of meeting planner would we be if we did not feed our attendees, and feed them well, and also introduce them to the cool new food trends of now. Here are some items and ideas to add to your menu.
Soda consumption continues to drop and as it does more RTD (Ready to Drink) options are showing up in their carbonated wake. Consider including some of the following at your beverage bar:
- Teas: Some new teas to know about is Lettuce Tea which is vitamined and enriched with cruciferous vegetable juice and Tuvunu Greek Mountain Tea which is a combination of herbs, fruit and natural spring water from Greece. Kombucha, a fermented tea chockfull of probiotics is still gaining in popularity. And for tea with a kick, try out some cocktails with Absolut Wild Tea.
- Protein shakes ready to go are a great option; check out Skinnygirl and Svelte.
- Coffee options grow each day. Fill up and energize your attendees with TruSource ProteinJava. For those that have hopped on the butter coffee trend, try Grass Fed Coffee.
- A bit of bubbly can still be enjoyed with healthier soda-like choices from Celsius, Obi, Steaz and Hot Lips.
Free food, well actually, Free-From foods are all the rage. Gluten-free continues to gain in popularity. Dairy-free options made with almond, coconut, cashew, rice and even hemp milk are on the rise. Allergen-free foods are a safe option for those who experience any type of food allergies.
Meat alternatives are also trending. Though people are not going full out vegetarianism, they are looking to eat meat less often. Be open to trying out foods that are designed to appeal to vegans and carnivores alike.
Food buzzwords to know are:
- Environmentally friendly
- Health conscious
Add some new spice in 2017. African spices are leading the flavor trend, look for dishes flavored with berbere, dukkah, harissa and tsire.
Middle Eastern fusion cuisine may also be on the rise, be on the look out for foods flavored with pomegranate, sour cherry, fenugreek, sumac and orange blossom.
Happy eating and drinking, meeting planners!