1. the general course or prevailing tendency; drift.
2. style or vogue.
Food and beverage can define a meeting or event as much as a keynote speaker or entertainment, if not more! It can inform a space, create mood and generate conversation. Above all, F&B doesn't have to be boring! In this Education Essentials, we'll explore the year's top F&B trends to help you plan exciting meeting and events, tips for sustainability and other creative ideas for elevating the food and beverage experience.
What FICP Meetings Professionals Think of F&B Fads
Meetings professionals have seen it all. We asked the FICP community in a recent TheNetwork poll, "F&B fads come and go. Which of these are ready for something new to come along?" Here's how they responded:
Are you considering ways you can make your meeting or event more green and environmentally-friendly? Start with the excess food that is prepared but not served at the event. In a recent blog post, James Spellos offers a solution for dealing with excess food: donation. Many meetings professionals are concerned with liability when it comes to donating excess food to help feed those in need; however, there are laws in place that support organizations that wish to donate leftover food. Read more about how you can make your meeting more sustainable.
Trends and Fads: What's the Difference?
As a meetings professional, you're always on the lookout for the next big thing, that Wow Factor that sparks interest in guests and ignites conversation about your must-attend events. How do you achieve this? Stick with the trends, not the fads. A fad is temporary and short-lived. It’s something that has caught on but will quickly fizzle out. A trend, on the other hand, has long-lasting interest and often has a broader reach. You can repeat a trend at multiple events over the year and often even further into the future.
In a recent blog post, Amanda Sherman, CMP, shares some insights on the current F&B trends and ideas for incorporating them at your next meeting or event. Ideas for capitalizing on the health and wellness trend include offering an egg whites alternative for scrambled eggs at breakfast, substituting candy bars on breaks for protein bars and sliced fruit, and offering lighter dinner options that are protein-rich.
What's Cooking in F&B
The National Restaurant Association recently released a report on U.S. food and beverage trends, and found that the year's hottest culinary trends include plant-based ingredients, including cannabis and cannabidiol (CBD), and zero-waste cooking. Read the full report here. Other trends that made this year's list include:
- Globally inspired breakfast foods
- Hyper-local foods make from produce grown in restaurant gardens
- Veggie-centric cuisine
- New cuts of beef
- Plant-based sausages and burgers
- Locally sourced meats and seafood
- Veggie-carb substitutes
For more information on F&B trends, check out The Food People Trend Reports and watch this video for a sneak peek at 2018-2019 trends.
Event Disruption Corner
Are the dietary restrictions that you ask participants for on your registration site more often dietary requests? Include the most common dietary restrictions in a drop down list in your registration form instead of using an open-ended comment box. This will help you determine the necessary foods to avoid. Follow up with attendees with the most extreme diet restrictions and ask, "What's your ideal meal?" In this case, you'll be able to work with them on what they can eat versus what they can't. Be proactive by reading this handout that defines the most commonly recognized dietary restrictions to help you meal plan for your events. This will help you determine the necessary foods to avoid and prevent a medical emergency at your meeting.
#TBT - Selfie Latte Station
At the 2019 FICP Winter Symposium, attendees had the opportunity to put their photos on marshmallows served with hot chocolate, or on a cookie, with selffee. What are some creative ideas you have done to elevate the food and beverage experience at your meeting or event? Share it on TheNetwork.
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