The International Association of Conference Centres (IACC) has announced its report on the Top Ten Conference Food Trends for 2015 in response to a shift in eating habits toward health and productivity.
The IACC’s CEO, Mark Cooper, said: “People are always looking for new and interesting ways to cater for their conference attendees and food has become so much more than just fuel. The trends identified will help meeting planners to deliver the ultimate experience when it comes to catering for conferences across the globe.”
The trends are:
1. Grow local Local produce has been identified as a major trend with attendees wanting to experience as much as they can about the area in which they are meeting.
2. Nimble networking Small plates of food items, continuously served add a nice break to an extended event. Alternatively, hold a more substantial networking reception mid way through your event for guests to meet in a causal environment while enjoying great food and beverage.
3. Size isn’t everything Bite-size desserts have overtaken larger portions. Homemade dougnuts, truffles, macaroons, mini cupcakes and cookies are top of the list for planners.
4. Fat-free and full of flavour Healthy eating has breached the realms of rabbit food with exciting new ingredients including whole grains, proteins (quinoa, amaranth, tofu, beans), greens (kales, spinach) and low fat and low glucose foods.
5. Breaking Bread Cooking gives teams the opportunity to show off their skills while enjoying the activity of creating food together. Culinary teambuilding is at the fore of this year’s food trend.
6. Contrasting Environments Outdoor space offers a change in scenery and casual networking opportunities during multi-day meetings and events.
7. Finale NOT Gala Be creative with your seating layout and dining style on the last night of your event to bag that memorable finale.
8. Dramatic dining Adding an interactive chef station can showcase the menu’s freshly prepared items such as panini, club-sandwiches or sliders, or be inspired by gluten-free options.
9. Go Micro Microbreweries have tapped into the conference industry, offering brews for receptions and dinners that work for a range of tastes.
10. Infused Tea Cocktails Infused tea cocktails have steadily taken hold of the mixology movement – combine this with a microbrew for an outstanding reception.