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New Catering Food Trends for 2013.

I recently had an opportunity to attend a regional Catering Food Tradeshow. This event is held every year, and is designed to introduce new catered food techniques and trends.

In order to find out what some of the new trends will be for 2013, I spoke with several different catering chefs and business owners. The first person I spoke with was a catering chef who has been in the industry for over twenty five years. He mentioned that since he started in this business, he has seen it really grow and evolve. For example, instead of just serving cheese and crackers, many clients today are requesting something more upscale like brie cheese on rye toast. Other changes this chef mentioned in regards to changing catering trends included replacing individual dessert servings with a dessert buffet. Examples of items featured on these buffets include caramel cheesecake, lime coconut angel food cake, strawberry mousse eclairs, and triple chocolate peanut butter brownies. I also found out that the popularity of chocolate fountains has helped to spawn the introduction of melted caramel and toffee fountains.

As I strolled down the trade show floor, I stopped to chat with a few catering food company owners. I wanted to ask them what they thought the new trend will be in terms of appetizers for 2013. The first owner I spoke with said that she expects to see a lot of changes in finger foods for next year. Some examples she gave included seeing less of things like traditional chip and dips, and more of other items like crispy grilled vegetable chips and homemade side sauces. In terms of flavor, these sauces will be made with items like orange juice, hot sauce, ground cinnamon, sliced tofu, lime peel and coconut cream. In regards to the grilled vegetables, the most common will be grilled lettuce leaves, mini corn on the cob and sliced eggplant. The reason for these changes is because a larger number of people today are becoming more health conscious, and therefore are looking for appetizers that are more lighter and fresher to serve.

Another business owner I spoke with also said that there will be changes next year in how catered food is displayed and served. For example, instead of just sitting down and waiting to be served, event attendees will now be shown a moving tray by a server, that will display all of the foods and desserts that will be served for that day. As the server moves down the table, attendees can select their meal directly from the tray. This new trend is expected to be well received, because it allows attendees to “visually see” their food before they eat it. Another interesting tidbit I learned at this trade show, is that grilled flavored tofu is gradually becoming a more popular appetizer then long time favorites like white bean dip and salmon mousse.

Based on these new trends, I expect 2013 to be an exciting time for the catered food industry.

Category: Food

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