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Emerging Food Trends in Corporate Meetings

March 8, 2017

Each year there seems to be a hot trend in food and beverage. Which should come as no surprise, as this is an industry that tends to push limits and break traditions, often due to customer demand. This year’s food and beverage market is seeing emerging food trends in corporate meetings that are both simple and sophisticated.

According to Senior Vice President of Research for the National Restaurant Association, Hudson Riele, “Menu trends today are beginning to shift from ingredient-based items to concept-based ideas, mirroring how consumers tend to adapt their activities into their overall lifestyle philosophies, such as environmental sustainability and nutrition.”

With the emphasis on organic, natural, and health conscious preferences, culinary chefs are faced with the task of coming up with creative cuisines that please palette, body and soul.

How does that shape the menu at corporate meetings? Serving food that recognizes and respects the call for balanced, natural, good-for-you and good-for the environment delicacies will be the hot button. To help satisfy customer demand, try incorporating some of the hot trends shaping food and beverage this year:

Emerging Food Trends Shaping the Meeting Industry

Local and sustainable ingredients
Serving locally sourced food can actually be easy on the budget, as it reduces transportation costs and removes the middleman. In recent years there has been a growing desire for organic and farm fresh fare, with guests preferring to know just where their food was sourced. By using local ingredients, chefs are able to assure guests that animals were properly raised and that produce is as fresh as it can possibly be.

Minimally processed food
While it’s no surprise that natural is in and processed is out, the fact is that most of the so-called ‘healthy’ menu choices contain chemically processed foods loaded with sugar, high fructose corn syrup, salt and artificial flavors. Serving processed foods is the fastest way to ensure your group sleeps through afternoon sessions. According to WebMD, while these foods spike energy, they quickly deplete it and send the mind into that proverbial food coma. To combat the afternoon lull, opt for food that’s served in its most natural state. Consider fresh, raw salads topped with nuts, sprouts and seeds. Avoid carbohydrate-laden foods and anything heavy on the sauce or cheese.

Newport Beach Restaurants’ on track with emerging food trends

House made/Artisan Items
Ranging from bread and cheese to fresh pressed juice and hand made cocktails, the trend here is to serve anything hand crafted and locally sourced. Newport Beach has several group-friendly restaurants offering house made delicacies, including Cucina Enoteca, known for its handcrafted confections, artisanal breads and pastas and Provenance which makes all of its sauces and dressings with items direct from its on-site garden.

Bolder flavors
International cuisine abounds in Newport Beach. With restaurants such as Sol Cocina, Red O, Javier’s and Canaletto Ristorante, groups hoping for a little kick to their food will have plenty of options. The ethnic spices that are in right now include: curry, peri peri, and shichimi. Sorry, siracha you had your time last year!

Healthier snacks
While most hotels have been moving toward serving healthier meeting break snacks, it seems granola, fruit, and yogurt don’t cut it anymore. This year raw nuts and seeds, plant-based snacks and nut-based milks are making their way onto the meeting break scene!

Sustainable seafood
The push to serve only sustainable seafood continues to be a hot button this year. Chefs have been challenged with creating delicious fare from the more abundant, but lesser known species. As you may have guessed, many of Newport Beach’s coastal restaurants have risen to that challenge, among them; Farm House Café, Ritz Prime Seafood, Bluewater Grill and The Cannery Seafood of the Pacific

Beverages
Retro and local are the trends shaping the beverage scene. Classic cocktails such as the tried-and-true Old Fashioned, and the traditional Manhattan are making a comeback. Non-alcohol drinkers will appreciate the rise in creative mocktails such as the Mango Mule, the Rosemary Blueberry Smash and the Strawberry Chamomile Martini all of which use locally grown fruits and vegetables.

Whether you’re looking to spice things up with international cuisine, or keep it natural with organic and farm to table fare, Newport Beach has a line up of restaurants covering all trends. But don’t take our word for it, bring your group to Newport Beach and try a taste for yourself!

When you’re ready to begin planning your next group meeting, contact the staff at Visit Newport Beach, the destination marketing organization for Newport Beach, CA. Visit Newport Beach opens the doors to this Pacific paradise with destination expertise, customized site visits, strong partnerships and resources that ease the planning process.

Written by Visit Newport Beach Meetings

As a not-for-profit Destination Marketing Organization (DMO), Visit Newport Beach provides destination expertise, customized site visits, strong partnerships and resources tailored specifically to the needs of meeting planners and their clients.

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