New Orleans Catering Trends In 2020

New Orleans

Every new year brings new trends to catering menus.  This year is no different, with a smorgasbord of exciting changes taking shape.  Caterers like Messina’s Catering and Events is among the Top New Orleans caterers embracing these trends, which will be adding a unique flavor to everything from destination weddings to corporate retreats.

Skip the hard stuff.

The “mocktail” trend isn’t slowing down any time soon.  These booze-free, artisan-crafted concoctions are on the rise not only in restaurants and bars, but are also appearing more often on catering menus.  Drinks like the virgin watermelon margarita, featuring pureed watermelon, lime juice, agave, and sparkling water, as pretty in the glass as they are refreshing to drink. In fact, the alcohol-free liquor industry is expected grow 7.1 percent from 2020 to 2022.

Play by the numbers.

Restaurants have had to include calorie counts for all menu items since the 2018 FDA requirement took effect.  Those numbers are also predicted to become more common on catering menus as well.  “Nutritional transparency” is appreciated by health-conscious event guests as well as those watching their waists.

Yum, bacteria. 

Bacteria has always been a bit of a dirty word among food service professionals, but there is a trend toward offering probiotic-rich foods like kombucha tea, kefir yogurt, and kimchi at events.  The beneficial power of kimchi comes from lactic acid bacteria, which aids in digestion.  Kombucha provides many of the same benefits as green tea and is a tasty source of antioxidants and probiotics. Kefir is a fermented drink made from cow or goat milk that provides a lot of nutrients.  It’s made by adding the grain-like colonies of yeast and lactic acid bacteria to milk.  These “grains” can be used again and again.

“Free-from” menu planning will become more mainstream.

Gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, and sugar-free are gaining greater attention as more and more Americans identity wheat, soy, milk, and sugar as the source of their digestive issues.  Gluten-free products lead the way and make up more than half of the “free-from” products out there.  Messina’s Catering can make many of their most popular dishes free of these dietary culprits by substituting key ingredients like corn for flour tortillas on their fajita bar or offering brown rice pasta at their pasta station.

Planting the seed for meatless menu options.

Going meatless doesn’t just mean using soy anymore.  There are highly creative mixtures of plant-based meats available now, made from cashews, almonds, beets, avocados, and more.  Plant-based meats have even appeared on fast food chain menus with Burger King’s Impossible Burger and McDonald’s P.L.T. (Plant. Lettuce. Tomato.)  This trend is here to stay, as the plant-based meat market is expected to mushroom from $4.6 billion to $85 billion by 2035.

Expect the experts at Messina’s Catering to stay on top of these trends and help you include them on the catering menu for your next event.  Since 1961, they have been on the leading edge of catering trends as one of New Orleans’ top rated wedding caterers.