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Menus for Meetings: Four Trends to Watch in 2020

Food trends are undoubtedly a focal part of our culture, and they are key to meeting the needs of customers across every industry. As we enter a new decade in 2020, we can expect to see many such trends that will cause shifts for meeting planners as they strive to support their clients’ needs. These are excellent opportunities to add flair to any meeting and express some creativity. Here are four food trends that we can plan to see more of in 2020.

Plant-Based Foods

With an increasing call to action by environmentalists, medical professionals, and healthy eaters alike, plant-based diets are truly catching on. Thanks to the variety of benefits and pure curiosity, many are choosing to eschew meat in favor of this trend. For businesses, this is an opportunity to appeal to a widening demographic, while also offering healthy choices with a touch of ingenuity. Many companies are offering creative and delicious plant-based alternatives to traditional catered food, so expect to see more of this in the coming year.

Responsible Food Sourcing

In alignment with plant-based foods, many people now expect their food to be responsibly sourced – this is one trend we can expect to continue to grow in 2020. While many in the food industry are already working alongside local suppliers and tracing their foods, consumers are now additionally beginning to demand this (and many are willing to pay a premium to know where their food came from). Sustainability consciousness continues to increase across the population, expect an increased focus on knowing where foods came from and how they were prepared.

Allergen-Free Options

As the years have passed, food allergens have become a problem for an increasing portion of the population. Gone are the days of sandwiches or pizza for everyone, thanks to the unfortunate rise of a variety of food allergies and sensitivities. With this, expect to see more transparent labeling of foods, as well as options for those who cannot consume certain things such as gluten or dairy. Luckily, certain chefs and caterers are working hard to increase their ingredient transparency in dishes and providing simple allergen-free options. Many customers will expect this, while others will appreciate the additional options.

Craft Mocktails

While many meetings and events are known for their open bars, expect less of this next year. In conjunction with an increased focus on wellness, many people and companies are moving towards creative drinks without the alcohol. Especially for non-drinkers or those who just aren’t in the mood, inspired mocktails offer an outstanding alternative that decrease the liabilities of alcohol while still adding a touch of fun.


These are just a few of the exciting trends we can expect to see in food as we enter the new decade. As always, our teams at AMA Executive Centers are here to help you better prepare for your next meeting or conference by delivering an outstanding experience to your guests. For more information about our services, click here to contact us.