10 fresh catering trends you’ll want to incorporate at your next event

August 20, 2020Lauren Windle

Event trends are something we pay close attention to. And yes, even in 2020, a year when so many events have been cancelled or downsized, fresh and creative ideas continue to pop up.

Here are a few of our favorites, many of which we have already incorporated (or always promoted!) into our event planning and menu prep.

1. Sustainability

Every part of food preparation contributes to greenhouse emissions, including growing, sourcing, preparation, presentation, and waste – which is why Jacquie’s Gourmet Catering continues to be so laser-focused on food sustainability. The best thing we can do is reducing the use of single-use plastics at our events, whether that’s through the adoption of compostable alternatives or reusable utensils.

2. Superfoods

“Superfoods” continue to trend, and they’ve been quickly making their mark well beyond smoothies. Known for their remarkable nutritional density, superfoods can include berries, grains, fish, spirulina, probiotics, baby greens, sprouts, and more. We always enjoy exploring creative ways to work superfoods into all kinds of event foods from salads to sauces, veggie pairings to power bars.

3. Focus on bright, bold colors

We love to see a prism of fresh colors on a full plate! Some of our customer favorites are bright red and golden beets, jackfruit, rainbow carrot medallions, and brightly colored, artfully designed sushi. We look for fresh fruits with bold flesh and pair them with garden-fresh sustainably sourced salad fixings.

Bold colors take center stage with event décor, too. Subtly and monochrome colors are a thing of the past. Having a party means energy, enthusiasm and lots of splashes of color. Saturated color rocks the senses!

4. Artisan craft cocktails

From cactus fruits like prickly pear to Asian fruits like yuzu and dragon fruit, adult cocktails are kicking it up a notch and going into uncharted (alcoholic) territory. Look for unique fruit flavor combinations including Meyer lemon, bergamot orange, citron, makrut lime, pomelo, blood orange, and ugli fruit (a Jamaican form of the tangelo) in vodka, gin, rum, tequila, and bourbon.

5. Mocktails are mainstream

You don’t have to drink alcohol to enjoy the flavorful fusions of craft cocktails, sans the hard stuff. In fact, non-alcoholic liquors are expected to grow more than 7% annually between now and 2022. So expect to see mocktails popping up in larger numbers at your next event – as well as the world’s most famous restaurants and bars.

6. Gluten- and allergy-free options

Did you know that at least 11% of U.S. adults — 26 million individuals nationwide — have at least one food allergy? Another 8% reported having a food intolerance, such as a bad reaction to gluten. That’s why gluten-free foods make up more than half of all ‘free-from’ products. Soy-free, dairy-free, and other similar products are breaking into the culinary spotlight too, due to health concerns and an increase in allergies.

Allergies and food intolerances something we don’t take lightly, which is why we always offer to prepare special menus for those at our events that require specially prepared foods. Just let us know ahead of time, and we’ll take care it.

7. Yummier approaches to plant-based meat

Say hello to new plant-based meats that ditch the soy for more creative approaches to nutritionally-viable meat substitutes. Savvy gourmet event chefs are substituting peas, cashews, almonds, mushrooms, avocados, and beets in lieu of traditional beef.

In fact, the plant-based meat market is forecast to grow from $6 billion today to a whopping $85 billion by the year 2035. So yes, this is a trend we are embracing!

8.  Food sourcing

Understanding where food comes from is huge. At Jacquie’s Catering, we like to know who’s growing what – from Holsteins to hens -- and how humanely they’re treated. While industrial agriculture enables and even encourages compromise at the expense of farmers and workers, Fair Trade Certified™ produce is held to rigorous social, environmental, and economic standards.

These standards we embrace, knowing they ensure both environmental and income sustainability. We buy from known local farmers as much as we can.

9.  Alternative milks

Oatmilk is the hottest new plant-based alternative for milk. It’s got a creamy consistency that mimics the real deal much better than almond, soy, or coconut. Since Oakmilks U.S. launch in 2016, brands like Oatly have grown 1250%. We’ve seen them in milkshakes, cream sauces, at coffee bars, and used in ice creams and desserts. Yummy hormone-free alternative to milk, and better for you, too.

10. Coffee bars

What better way to end an evening than with a coffee bar? Besides being the perfect complement to virtually any dessert, coffees come in a multitude of flavors and styles from Tunisia to Costa Rica. A people-pleaser and conversation-starter, our barista adds everything from expresso to Frangelico, Aquavit to Chambord, Kahlua to Butterscotch Schnapps.

What a fantastic way to bid you guests a safe goodnight!




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