From fad to the norm: food and beverage trends that will last beyond 2020

February, 16th, 2020

Every year, consumers look for the newest trends and innovations in food and beverage, dictating what the restaurant and catering industries will hook onto in order to satiate those cravings.

While some trends end up as passing fads, a few become mainstays. With over 30 years of experience in the business, we at 12th Street Catering know what those bulwark trends will be. What can we say? We’ve been at the forefront of many them.

Here are a few of the top trends of 2020 we know will continue to influence the food and beverage industry.

Healthier or alternative options

Consumers are now more health conscious, and they’re demanding more transparency in the food they eat. They are also exploring alternative options, including plant-based ingredients like hemp and almond milk as well as meat substitutes like those offered by Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat.

We depend heavily on seasonal offerings and aim to constantly freshen up our menus, and we offer a wide range of options as we work with clients who may have special requests like dietary preferences and restrictions, including:

  • A station with customized mini salads and high-quality grains;
  • Fish, including our most popular Roasted Cedar Plank Salmon with Maple-Sage Rub;
  • Overnight oats for breakfast and fresh fruit instead of sugary desserts; and
  • Vegan and vegetarian options.

Our grain bowls — which include Rosemary Grilled Chicken over Brown Rice and Miso Ginger Salmon over Jasmine Rice — offer substantial, yet healthy, options for clients. Our international bowls have been widely successful.

Our chefs can create entirely plant-based meals, too, and are constantly innovating in the search of healthy and more sustainable eating. We are working with plant-based Impossible Foods “meat” and experimenting with creating a vegan charcuterie board, which are not on our menus yet but speak to the innovation we strive for.

Our events at leading institutions, like The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, are all heading in the direction of having minimal or no animal protein on the menus.

The desire for healthier options and transparency is making its way to children’s menus. More restaurants are adding healthier options to these menus, including more whole grains and other ingredients that have more nutritional value.

Since the next generation is growing up with a healthy mindset, it’s easy to see why this will become the norm for years to come.

Going global

Consumers today are more inclusive and adventurous when it comes to what they’re willing to eat.

Today’s consumers want to be transported to a new destination without the need for a passport or plane ticket, emphasizing the need for those in the food and beverage industry to add an international flare to what they offer.

At 12th Street, we don’t offer just one or two types of cuisine; we offer a wide range, including our most popular menus: American, American fusions, Mexican, Italian, and Chinese.

Everything we offer is entirely customizable — even the types of cuisine we offer. We have catered many events that offered Indian dishes, including Chana Chaat, a spicy Indian salad with chickpeas, cucumber, tomatoes, and pomegranate seeds, as well as Spiced Lamb Chops with cumin and ginger and pomegranate-molasses glaze.

For an Australian happy hour, we prepared appetizers like Dog’s Eye, a traditional Australian meat pie comprising minced meat, gravy, onions and mushrooms topped with tomato sauce; and desserts like the Aussie favorite lamington, a sponge cake dipped in chocolate and rolled in coconut with white chocolate and strawberry jam.

African cuisine dishes will also become a huge hit, and we have created a Moroccan station consisting of Savory Lamb Tagine, served over spiced couscous, and a dish consisting of medjool dates, orange, fennel, and pomegranate salad.

It doesn’t stop there. We’ve also prepared Thai, Japanese, French, Italian, British, Irish, and German cuisine.

Personalization and customization

Consumers are taking the power back when it comes to what’s on their plate, and this can be seen in the rise of fast-casual restaurant companies letting consumers customize every little detail of their meal.

Personalization has also become massively sought after in the catering world, where food stations strategically arranged throughout event rooms are becoming even more popular, letting consumers tailor their experience.

What sets us apart from the competition is our willingness and eagerness to customize each event. We don’t just work for our clients; we work closely with them. We take time to learn about their favorite foods, favorite places, and what feeling they’re trying to achieve for their events.

We can also get really creative with custom branding — from wood plate and dessert options, to cups, napkins, sandwich picks, and more. We even have branded citrus peels for specialty cocktails with company logos.

There are no cookie-cutter events here at 12th Street. Your event should be unique.

Sustainability and Going Green

Sustainability and reducing one’s carbon footprint are top priorities now, and they will continue to grow in the minds of consumers, who are more socially conscious. They’re paying more attention to topics such as food waste, and consumers are demanding more sustainable practices across the board.

The 12th Street team knows that we must be the heralds and incorporate sustainability into our practices. As a proud member and supporter of the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia, 12th Street Catering is an Earth-friendly company with a green philosophy reflected in all of our practices.

This mindset touches the company in many ways. We:

  • Use biodegradable plates and eating utensils made from bamboo and corn starch;
  • Work with an extensive list of purveyors who offer the freshest local ingredients;
  • Use ingredients we grow whenever possible — we have a rooftop herb and vegetable garden that we use in the summer; we have used our tomatoes and herbs for small dinner parties;
  • Work with institutions like The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, which has been dedicated to preserving the natural world for 200 years; and
  • Go paper free with our proposals and using all recycled paper for our inner office messaging.

Get in touch with us. Let us cater your next event, and did you know we also offer drop-off catering?

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