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Food & Beverage Trends for 2019

It doesn’t matter if you’re new to events or a veteran. This is a special time of the year full of anticipation and curiosity, when all event pros start asking the same questions – what’s hot and what’s not for the New Year?

Let’s dive into 2019 and the exciting food and beverage trends that await!

International menus

In 2019, couples will ask to bring more culture and flair into their ingredients, whether that's in the form of something like Korean BBQ or an Indian essence. The entire menu doesn't necessarily have to reflect one theme, but couples are enthusiastic about incorporating their favorite authentic dishes into otherwise standard menus. If your client has a favorite dish from home, serve it as a cocktail hour appetizer with a twist.

Service styles

In 2019, we’ll see an increase in buffet service for sure. Over the past year, we saw guests moving away from family style, sit‑down dinners and opting for self‑serve. That will continue in 2019. Buffets present a more relaxed and time-efficient option and the opportunity to include live interactive chef-manned stations for total guest engagement, as well as a variety of dishes to meet the needs of all guests. They also help address the needs of guests with food allergies or sensitivities. Guests enjoy choice and the ability to select their own portions, and buffets are the perfect solution.

The catering + events show of the year is back! James Beard Award winners, TED style keynotes, influencers galore, and food for days. See all that’s in store here!

Photo courtesy Jenny DeMarco Photography –

Cocktail & beverage trends

Rosé is going to continue to reign supreme as a beverage trend. It’s a lighter option compared to customary reds and whites, and it pairs perfectly with a wide range of dishes from cocktail hour appetizers to dinner.

Classic cocktails will be in high demand like Manhattans, Old Fashioneds, and Bee’s Knees. Traditional, retro cocktails with fresh ingredients, handcrafted syrups, and unusual garnishes are hot. Local microbrews, wineries, and distilleries will continue to entice couples and their guests with personalized service and regional flair.

Bar setups will still be out there with unique barware and glassware as a focus, and interactive beverage experiences will continue to grow in popularity in 2019.

Say goodbye

The donut wall is finally making an exit. To replace it, we'll see new, interactive twists on classic dessert favorites. Deconstructed banana splits with options such as chocolate dipped frozen bananas and toppings will please guests’ inner children, for example. Strict rules on food and beverage are also out ‑ now anything goes!

So, pull out your crystal ball, start your exhaustive social media search, and put together your own list of highly anticipated trends for the New Year. As always, there is something for everyone! Which food and beverage trends are you anticipating most in 2019?

Heather Jones

Catering Sales Director

Heather Jones is the Catering Sales Director for Wente Vineyards, a family-owned property that is home to a winery and vineyards, a golf course, restaurant, and a handful of unique facilities for hosting weddings and special events.