As the old year fades away, and a new year comes rolling in, it’s time to take stock and look towards the future. 2015 will bring new challenges for both professional, and amateur, event planners. Not the least of which is keeping pace with the latest trends and fashions that will be putting their mark on events in throughout the upcoming year.
As always, new catering trends will have a big impact on event planning in the new year, and it’s worth keeping abreast of what the catering community has in store. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at what our caterers have in store for 2015.
Locally Sourced Produce
The healthy eating trend is here to stay, and the new year will bring a renewed emphasis on locally sourced fruits, vegetables, and meats. Indeed, locally sourced produce of all kinds will be a selling point when it comes to your catered menus.
Clients and guests have become extremely food savvy over the last few years, and now more than ever they want to know where their food is coming from. You can expect the best caterers to form close working relationships with local farms, and “farm-to-table” will be the watchword for 2015.
Over the last few years, there has been a growing trend towards offering vegetarian alternatives at all catered events. That trend is not only going to continue, it’s going to intensify. More and more people are making the change to a vegetarian diet, and caterers are keeping pace.
2015 will see more vegetarian options, and not simply as alternatives to the main course. In many cases, vegetarian menus will be the star, with non-vegetarian options becoming the alternative.
Gluten Free Dishes
Like vegetarian alternatives, gluten free dishes are gaining ground with the public and caterers are following the trend. But it’s not simply gluten intolerance that is driving the trend.
Gluten free grains like quinoa and buckwheat offer more nutritional value, and that falls in line with growing health trends across the country. Throughout 2015, expect caterers to offer more gluten free dishes in their menu suggestions.
The traditional sit down dinner has been losing ground at catered events for some time, and that trend is only going to continue. Guests and clients want smaller portions and greater variety.
Expect 2015 to bring rounds of hors d’ouevres, smaller plates for receptions, amuse courses for sit down dinners, and bit-sized deserts to round of the menu. Variety will take center stage in 2015.
The marriage of catering services and entertainment has been going on for some time now, and that will only continue into the new year. Expect to see more action stations at catered events; with chefs preparing dishes to order, demonstrating cooking techniques, and actively encouraging guest interaction.
This interactive catering is turning otherwise ho-hum events into nights to remember, and is going to remain a trend to watch in the upcoming year and beyond.
Upscale comfort food remains a strong catering trend, and the new year will see it take on a more ethnic flavor. Caterers are taking perennial favorites and infusing them with exotic flavors. Think macaroni and cheese with a Moroccan flare. It’s a great way to give guests something the love, with a new and exciting twist.
Also expect to see more ethnic food stations cropping up at catered events this year, as guests and clients expand their palates and hunger for more exotic fare.
The new year will see a continuing trend in craft beers and artisanal wines. Traditional cocktails will make a strong showing, but with the added twist of featuring small batch, hand-crafted, spirits.
Expect to also see a wider selection of non-alcoholic beverages at many catered events, as more guests and clients opt for healthier options.
The new year is upon us, and it is set to bring some exciting opportunities. New catering trends are poised to spice up the year’s upcoming events, and the smart event planner should be ready to work with their caterers to provide the latest in enticing, and exciting, menus.