Food & Catering Trends of 2024

Industry Trends to Look Forward to in 2024

With the start of a new year, we’re sharing the most delicious and anticipated food trends for 2024!

From familiar comfort foods and interactive food stations to mindful sips and convenient on-the-go snacks – this year’s catering trends are sure to delight your taste buds and your guests. Join us as we share the flavors that are rocking the scene, the sustainable twist with organic designs, and how quality ingredients are stealing the spotlight this year.

So, grab a seat, and let’s dive into six of the top 2024 catering and industry trends to expect in the months ahead!


In a culinary landscape often marked by innovation and new ideas, one refreshing trend is a return to the dishes we grew up on. 

In 2024, many caterers are going “back to basics,” and serving nostalgic comfort dishes made from fresh, farm-to-table foods and time-honored techniques. 

Forbes notes that in 2024, “old school is back in style.” Simplicity reigns with red-sauce dishes, classic comfort foods like meat ‘n’ veg, fresh seafood and sides, and stews made with high-quality ingredients. 

To serve these familiar favorites, National Geographic suggests “showstopping large sharing dishes,” also known as family-style service. With hearty shared meals served family-style, everyone to connect and bond while getting their fill! 

Lasagna - Back to Basics Food Trends 2024


In 2024, interactive food stations are redefining the way we dine at events by inviting guests to become active participants in their culinary experience. From build-your-own taco bars to personalized pasta stations and customizable dessert bars, the possibilities are endless, allowing attendees to curate their meals according to their tastes and dietary needs.

Interactive food stations are not only about personalized meals, but also about bringing the kitchen experience to the forefront of the event. Catering companies are breaking down the barriers between the culinary team and the guests, creating a seamless and transparent connection. Chefs become performers and educators as they interacting with attendees, turning the dining experience into a captivating show as well as a learning experience.

Beyond the culinary excitement, interactive food stations redefine how guests engage and socialize at events. Attendees can mingle around a variety of food stations, creating a lively atmosphere. The shared experience of customizing meals becomes a natural conversation starter, breaking the ice and creating lasting memories. Browse more than two dozen interactive food station ideas in this post from BridalGuide!


Mocktails 2024 Catering Trend

2024 also marks a continued rise in mindful drinking. As a result, thoughtfully-curated mocktail menus can make a big impact at your event. Mocktail options are an inclusive touch for those seeking a more conscious and health-oriented approach to their beverage choices. This trend is not always necessarily about abstinence – it’s about allowing everyone to partake in raising a glass without the need for alcohol!

With a whopping 15% of U.S. adults participating in “Dry January” in 2023, the “sober curious” movement remains popular with many people. In fact, one study found that 41% of respondents plan to drink less alcohol in 2024! Additionally, many people are going all-in on the “hydration” trend. With the latest popular water bottles, drink mix packets, infusions like fruit and herbs, and even fancy nugget ice makers – mocktail and water-based drinks are sure to be popular options!

This trend allows mixologists and caterers to unleash their creativity in new ways. Mocktails are no longer just about fruit juices and sodas. These days, they’re intricate, layered concoctions that rival their alcoholic counterparts. Imagine sipping a basil-infused cucumber cooler or a spicy ginger pear fizz. These sophisticated and palate-pleasing creations are designed to elevate the drinking experience, proving you don’t need alcohol to enjoy a well-crafted beverage.

4. in Menus

This year, you can expect menus that tell a story of diverse cultures coming together in a harmonious culinary celebration. The trend of incorporating global flavors into catering menus can be a beautiful way to honor your heritage, pay homage to favorite culinary traditions, and introduce guests to foods that may be new to them.

Caterers can explore their local markets to discover unique produce, spices, and artisanal products that add a distinct regional touch to international recipes. Imagine savoring a Thai-inspired curry made with locally-grown lemongrass or a Mexican street corn salad featuring the best of locally-harvested corn. These are the culinary experiences that await 2024 event attendees!


Plant Decor 2024 Catering Trend

Image credit: Farrah Power, @farrahpower

Florist: Caroline Worth Design, @carolineworthdesign

Bid farewell to synthetic and plastic-heavy décor as organic designs takes center stage in 2024. Catering companies are reimagining event spaces by incorporating an abundance of plants, flowers, and natural elements. From lush greenery adorning tables to cascading floral installations, this trend is a celebration of nature’s beauty, transforming venues into breathtaking, eco-friendly havens.

The organic designs trend is a natural progression in the broader movement toward sustainable events. Consumers and caterers are responding to the growing demand for eco-friendly practices. This commitment to sustainability aligns with the values of individuals looking to celebrate their special moments without compromising the well-being of the planet.

Beyond its eco-friendly credentials, the organic designs trend introduces a new level of artistic expression. Caterers are working with florists and designers to create installations that are not just décor but living, breathing works of art. From minimalist succulent centerpieces to extravagant floral arches, each event becomes a canvas where nature takes center stage. The results are nothing short of spectacular!

6. with Substance

Lastly, say hello to the liberating world of snacking with substance! In 2024, event menus will offer an assortment of tantalizing treats that allow guests to mingle, dance, and enjoy the festivities without being tied to a formal dining setting. This trend is not just about what’s on the menu, but how the entire event experience unfolds.

Don’t mistake snacks for mere appetizers – the snack trend in 2024 is all about providing substantial, satisfying bites. Caterers are focusing on creating snacks that are not only delicious, but also filling. It’s the perfect fusion of convenience and culinary excellence.

For instance, you can serve up fresh-popped bags of popcorn with a toppings station to add a customized sweet or savory touch! Or, replicate your favorite fast-food items with burgers, fries, tortilla wraps, and wings. You can even serve portable charcuterie cups for guests to graze on as they wander around!  

Snacking at events will go beyond just satisfying hunger; it’s a social experience. Catering companies are strategically placing snack stations throughout the venue, encouraging guests to move, mingle, and share the joy of discovering new flavors together. The social element of snacking creating an atmosphere that brings people together and keeps the celebration in constant motion.

Ready to Explore More?

For more event and industry tips from our farm-to-table catering team, check out Avalon’s blog posts below.
Want to connect about an event? Reach out to our team to schedule a conversation!
We’d be happy to chat about all your needs and details to ensure a perfect event.
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