The evidence is showing up everywhere. For example, the number of Americans who regularly watch cooking shows on television is up to 8 out of 10, and the millennial generation is proving to be much more food conscious and ingredient aware than their parents. Consumers care about their food and what’s in it more than ever. So what does that mean for the event planners and caterers? It means the way that we prepare food is keeping up. In 2018, caterers are taking note of what brides, grooms, and event planners of all types are looking to fill their menus with,
and some of these trending favorites of the culinary world are making their appearance on the scene:
- Destination-specific cuisine. Taking into consideration that many guests travel from out of town in order to attend a wedding or a large corporate gathering, caterers are meeting the desire for a taste of the local favorites by incorporating some of the region’s best offerings – and that includes the libations: local beer and wine is a now a must for many clients.
- Classic dishes with an international twist: gone are the days of baked chicken and iceberg lettuce salads on a buffet table. Thinking more along the lines of Korean Fried Chicken or tacos filled with Mediterranean lamb and harissa, many caterers are meeting the demand for unique and and culturally-inspired dishes by combining flavors from all over the world.
- Instagram-worthy items. With the ability and habit of documenting everything they do, this same millennial generation taking their food to the next level is also taking a lot of pictures of it – and caterers are paying attention. Knowing that every dish has the potential to be photographed and showcased by hundreds of guest at a given time has prompted a new wave of creative displays and showcasing food. From fresh fruit served in waffle cones to speciality drinks served out of old fashioned milk bottles, the instagram effect and the promise of free-marketing from a highly connected group has got everyone in event planning bringing their A-game to each dish’s presentation.
- Food displays. More than ever before, couples are opting out of the traditional plated food service and going with food displays instead. Different from a buffet, food displays are creative and stylized tables that offer unique, themed food options where guests can help themselves. And because they are so customizable, couples are incorporating everything from pizza to donut themes, offering guests both a talking point and a fun food experience.
- Quality. Heather Jones from Catersource writes that, “Whether it refers to ingredients, experience, or its value over quantity, quality is the buzzword you’ll hear from clients; and the menus that are resulting are just phenomenal.” Because this generation of brides and grooms, along with guests, care deeply about the source and ethic of the food they eat, 2018 will see a rise in demands for high quality ingredients, even with the price tag. Seeing words like “organic vegan menu” and “sustainably farmed seafood” will no longer be a surprise, but part of the norm.
Here at Mangia, we have always prided ourselves on serving only the highest quality ingredients, sourcing from local vendors whenever possible. We love the creativity and ideas our clients bring to their dream events and we love introducing them to some of the more trendy food options we see on the scene, too. Let us help make your next event one to remember – call us today and let’s get started!