The 6 Biggest Food Trends of 2014 That Will Change Your Corporate Catering Routine

Posted by on Friday, December 20th, 2013 with 0 Comments

If 2013 was the year of the cronut, then 2014 may be the year of the… bean?

Food writers, chefs, and consumer research firms are coming forth with their annual predictions for the next year’s food trends. Most trends have one thing in common: Americans are more concerned than ever about eating healthier foods, and restaurants and grocers are adjusting their offerings accordingly. For office managers and administrative staff who are placed in charge of corporate catering and keeping the workplace happy and well-fed, here are the top six food trends that may influence your company’s food programs in the coming year:

dish of nuts

Nuts and other healthy snacks will be taking center stage in 2014.
Image source: flickr user TheTravellingBum

 1) Healthy snacks. Consumer research shows that Americans are snacking more than ever, but are trying to choose healthier options like nuts and fruit versus chips and candy. This is one food trend that is well worth following in the office: stocking healthy snacks in the break room helps keep workers energized throughout the day, and brain-boosting foods can help sharpen focus and attention.

2) Where’s the beef? If your office’s corporate catering plan currently includes lots of beef-heavy dishes, a change may be in store. The NPD Group, a market research firm based in New York, advises that rising beef and falling chicken prices will likely lead many restaurants to adjust their menus. To manage food budgets and increasing demand for leaner proteins, this may mean swapping in chicken fried rice for beef and broccoli when it’s time for a Chinese lunch delivery.

3) Gluten-free menu options. The NPD Group also reports that consumer demand for gluten-free options are rising — not necessarily due to allergies, but to an overall increase in healthy eating. Especially when trying to meet the needs of a large group, this trend will certainly make life easier for corporate catering organizers!

4) Mobile apps. This may seem only tangentially related to food trends, but considering the trend towards health-conscious eating, it makes sense: more companies will use mobile technology to connect with their customers, such as allowing smartphone users to scan a product’s label and access detailed nutrition and ingredient information.

cauliflower on a cutting board

Move over, kale: cauliflower is the new superfood king.
Image source: flickr user IndianaPublicMedia

5) Cauliflower. Look out kale: chefs and researchers alike predict that cauliflower will be the new year’s trendiest vegetable. Cauliflower is surprisingly versatile, full of nutrients, and can even be used to make healthier versions of carb-heavy dishes like mashed potatoes and rice. As cauliflower begins to become prevalent on restaurant menus, expect your coworkers and employees to clamor for cauliflower in the catering order.

heirloom beans

Vegetarian alternatives like heirloom beans are growing in popularity.
Image source: flickr user tonrulkens

6) Beans. CNN’s food editors and highly respected Washington, D.C.-based chef Jose Andres agree: beans are on the upswing. As vegetarian diets and health-driven concepts like Meatless Mondays become more common across the country, unusual and heirloom varieties of beans will be a popular alternative to traditional meat-and-poultry proteins. Office meals should always accommodate vegetarian needs, but as beans are treated as a centerpiece by respected chefs, entrees starring the fiber-rich protein source may become a widely requested staple of your corporate catering routine.

When it comes to staying atop the latest food trends and growing demands for a wider variety of healthy meals, Waiter.com is here to help. Easy online ordering and Virtual Cafeteria Service streamlines corporate catering and makes providing the highest-quality office meals your employees deserve a breeze.

When it comes to feeding employees and coworkers, make your company's food program really count! If your workplace dining plan needs to take it up a notch — or if you don't have one at all — Waiter.com is here to help. From Virtual Cafeteria Service to diverse menus to local takeout & deliveryWaiter.com offers customizable dining solutions for every business and budget. Contact us today to get started!

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