Food has emerged as something of a dual function element of large events in recent years. Instagrammable food has become a genre in and of itself, with presentation becoming nearly (if not more important) than taste.
Putting a little research into 2017 food trends and what vendors you choose could be a route towards a whole new area of social media engagement for the new year.
The trick to applying 2017 food trends to events is keep it simple. Where possible, choose specialist vendors rather than asking in-house venue staff to put together something entirely new.
Where creating an entire menu might be prohibitive, mini versions of deserts and similar can be a great compromise. You can even create pre made up dishes specifically for social media, which was a huge success at the inaugural Dessert Goals this year.
So what are some trends you should try at your events this year?
2017 Food Trend #1: Basics Done Better
In a continuation of what we saw in 2016 with gourmet oatmeal coming to the fore in vegan restaurants the world over, 2017 sees more staples getting a new lease on life. Focusing on high quality ingredients, unusual flavor combinations and to an extent, nostalgia.
We will see barbeque food (specifically pulled pork) continue to mount in popularity as well as gourmet fries and sandwiches finding themselves as food trends. These are a handy choice for events because they focus on a very limited menu (hence less waste and less complexity) done really well.
2017 Food Trends #Buddha and Smoothie Bowls
Both heavy hitters in the world of instagrammable 2017 food trends, these are a superb option for conferences aiming for the clean-eating set. Smoothie Bowls are essentially the components of a smoothie but arranged nicely in a bowl, using seeds and colour to make it more photogenic. Buddha Bowls are the lunchtime equivalent, generally using a quinoa base. They are also a great way to jump on the spiralized veg trend that began in 2016.
Mango Buddha Bowl ??with grated carrot, raw beetroot slices, basil nooch zoodles, radish, tomato, chickpeas, shallots, @sandhurstfinefoodsau sauerkraut for some gut health ?? and sprinkled with Salad Booster from @thechiaco for extra crunch and some good fats ? I spiralised 3/4 of a large zucchini and then blitzed the remaining 1/4 with some fresh basil leaves, nutritional yeast and a little salt to form a sauce, and cooked the zoodles in that! Instant sauce with flavour ? Have a great day everyone. It's Monday here in Oz already – let's get ready for a new week ? #buddhabowl#zucchini#mango#meatlessmonday#fermentedfood#guthealth#sydneyfoodphotographer
2017 Food Trends #3: Hand Pulled Noodles
Aiming to take over from what sushi was a few years ago, hand pulled noodles are a newcomer in showmanship based 2017 food trends. Chinese lamian proving a favorite, the trend has found its feet in the US in places like The Handpulled Noodle in New York, and Kam Hong Garden in Los Angeles. This may be harder to find someone with the right skills for your event, but will be a great performance for attendees.
2017 Food Trends #4: Plant Butchers
Not an oxymoron! As vegan and vegetarian lifestyles become more and more popular for environmental, health and animal welfare reasons, they will come to be the forefront of 2017 food trends. This trend uses innovative techniques to make vegan food more appealing to meat eaters by matching it in texture and taste.
Beet juice for example can be used to give veggie burgers more of a hamburger appearence, but the list of options is endless, including meatless korean ribs or schwarma.
2017 Food Trends #5: Mocktails
Fitting in as a replacement for soda, rather than for their alcoholic counterparts mocktails with herb and even perfume bases, mocktails have become a sophisticated 2017 food trend in their own right. As many countries take on sugar taxes, sodas at bars are likely to find non alcoholic cocktails a serious contender.
What trends are you most excited for in the New Year? Or which 2016 trends are you ready to never see again at events?