Thanksgiving is here, and we can’t stop thinking about food. So in honor of that, we figured this was a good time to talk about some new and different food trends for events right now.
A lot has changed in terms of how attendees eat. Buffets are out, and individual bento boxes are in. Non-alcoholic beer is having a moment, and the entire culinary world has had to rebuild from having a full stop in 2020. So lots going on. To bring you up to speed, here are the coolest and most unique foods to serve up at your event.
Start with giving back.
The Los Angeles Food Bowl, a yearly event featuring top-notch local and visiting chefs, is partnering with the LA Regional Food Bank to help promote awareness for hunger and food scarcity. Since 1973, The LA Regional Food Bank has donated 1.2 billion meals.
When it comes to food at events, especially around Thanksgiving, the first thing we think about is how to give back.
Events are in a unique position where they can both inspire people around important issues while helping to raise capital to do something about those issues. Portions of ticket sales, food and drink profits, auctions, raffles, and VIP sessions of all kinds can all help support a charity that you feel fits best with your event.
In our article earlier this year about planning in-person events, we mentioned how the Richmond Virginia Fashion Show used a VIP dinner to raise funds for a food-based charity in the local community. This was a perfect example of event dining directly giving back.
Shef, a new company that lets you order food from local culinary professionals who are cooking at home, was recently featured on Forbes’ 2021 Potential Billion Dollar Company list.
The basic idea was born out of watching culinary and hospitality professionals struggle at the beginning of 2020. It also touches on the very human need for good home-cooked food, and the urge to try as many cuisines as possible.
Orders are placed a few days in advance, which gives the chefs time to get ingredients and make sure that everything about your meal is perfect. The company also has a corporate partnership program that is definitely worth taking a look at.
Shef supercharges an organizer’s event’s ability to provide one-of-a-kind cuisine to attendees. It can also help hybrid planners provide inspiring meals to attendees in the comfort of their own homes. A win-win however you use it.
Check out Non-Alcoholic, it’s having a moment.
The New Yorker recently published an article that details one man’s journey through the world of NA (Non-Alcoholic) brewing companies (which are making some surprisingly good-tasting beers right now). Pictured above is a clip from an Athletic Brewing Company commercial.
Some found drinking comforting in 2020, some tried to cut it out, some did both. Some people just don’t drink in general but would like a NA beer that actually tastes good. Whatever the case, NA drinks are having a renaissance.
But what about the buzz? The article notes that the buzz many people feel from those first few sips is mostly psychological. It’s the lights of the bar, the smell of the hops, and good vibes that give us the buzz at first (if we didn’t already know that).
Organizers should note that NA drinks are also easy to transport across state lines and have virtually no restrictions. You can consume NA drinks outside, inside, on a hike, anywhere. Cheers!
Make food a team sport.
750 Attendees at the FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) Conference, along with Which Wich, worked together to create 33,303 PB&J sandwiches in one hour (a new world record). The sandwiches were then donated to various food banks, veteran’s organizations, and schools in the Dallas area.
Setting a world record is always good, but the best part of food challenges like this is that they require attendees to work together and make something tangible (which is actually the best way to make friends at events). They are also a fun and unexpected break from event sessions.
PB&J is a good starting point, but you can always branch out to making the longest sub sandwich or the largest pizza. Use your imagination. Think of a food or dish unique to your event, and then just go big!
Get people going with matcha, moringa, mushroom cacao, and really good coffee.
Matcha is definitely having its moment. Some say moringa, a plant-based caffeine-free drink is poised to overtake the matcha trend. Mushroom cacao is everywhere. And pretty much everyone still loves really good coffee.
So what does this tell us? It tells us that it’s time to up your game for how you get people going in the morning. Also, you can only drink so much coffee before it stops working, so it’s good to have other energizing options for attendees throughout the day.
One last note on these kinds of drinks — only go for the highest quality. People will always remember a fantastic cup of coffee, tea, or anything that got them going in the morning and excited to go to your event. Even if it was caffeine-free!
Event food is looking pretty tasty right now!
We all know event food can be hit or miss, but there are actually quite a few new and inspiring food options to look forward to right now.
Consider partnering with companies like Shef, that work hand in hand with local culinary professionals to help people discover new food. Surprise attendees with non-alcoholic beverages to help them unwind. And don’t forget to go all out on morning drinks to get everyone going. All in all, events in 2022 are looking pretty tasty!