Top 10 Food and Drink Trends for Events

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These trends have come from a difficult year when the buffet line may never be used again.

Successful Meetings has curated a list of the top ten food and beverage trends for 2021 in-person events.

Related: T. Hasegawa Releases Functional Food and Beverages Trends Report

Due to COVID, trends have changed, and the way guests will eat and drink at events may never be exactly the same. 

1. Transparency

With the lingering fear of food safety, allowing guests to know exactly where their food is coming from is important. The article suggests having an open kitchen for guest to watch the food be prepared; it's transparent and a form of free entertainment.

2. Seating

Seating layouts will need to get creative to keep safety precautions in place. Look into incorporating Plexiglas throughout and creating different areas for different comfort zones, such as a secluded eating areas, as well as a community table with chairs six feet apart. 

3. Covered food

Adding a barrier between the food and the world can help ease any stress guest may have about contamination. This could be in the form of stainless covers or glass cloches to help protect the food. 

4. Mini

Instead of sitting down for a full meal, keeping the food bite-sized can help reduce the amount of time a mask is off.

5. Sustainable

Look into biodegradable options for silverware, plates, napkins and straws. 

6. Local

Food trucks have seen an increase in popularity, plus it is an easy way to serve a large amount of people without going the buffet route. 

7. Immunity foods

Foods and ingredients that are immune boosters, such as vitamin C health juices, elderberry drinks or acai bowls, are becoming a must-have on the menu. 

8. Mocktails

Non-alcoholic drinks have a plethora of benefits, they're normally less expensive, they minimize the risk of guests breaking safety precautions, and they encourage healthier habits, according to the article.

9. Happy Half-Hour

If there is alcohol, it may be beneficial to cut it down to a quick 30 minute happy hour. Again, this can help to avoid any issues with safety precautions due to intoxication.

10. Grouping

Sometimes food stations are the only option, and in that case, break up the guests into groups to avoid long lines. This could also work for designated eating times if the event has a lot of people.

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