As professional food caterers in South Africa, we see it as our duty to stay abreast of the local and global food trends that are constantly unfolding in the catering marketplace. Chefs are creatives. They are artists…
Which is why we found ourselves heading to the Gulfood 2019 trade show in Dubai, UAE – for some inspiration. The biggest Food Trade show in the world covers the latest food trends for 2019 and also addresses many other issues influencing world class catering.
It’s Been Bugging Us
As much as we might resist it, the consumption of insects has been steadily moving westward, onto online shopping portals and into grocery stores, such as Sainsbury’s, who was the first UK-based grocery store to place crunchy roasted crickets on their shelves.
According to Eat Grub, who manufacture these protein-rich snacks, the worldwide edible insect market is expected to exceed $500m by the year 2023. This topic – and others like it – come up time and again at Gulfood, as the global food leaders explore food sources that have been overlooked for decades, in search of solutions to shortages and nutritional deficiencies.
We will not be pursuing this trend! (Unless, of course, you request it)
You Are What You Drink
In the food and beverage industry, food has always trumped beverage. The last decade has seen a gradual shift in focus, and anyone who’s paying attention will acknowledge that the beverage industry is booming. Beverage trends were a massive topic for discussion at Gulfood 2019, some of which included:
- Unusual wines – such as wine made from oranges, instead of grapes.
- New beer methods – coffee beer can only be as heavenly as it sounds, and craft beers are skyrocketing in production and popularity.
- Low-alcoholic beverages – Going as low as 0.05%, low-alcoholic liquor is gaining traction as an up-and-coming trend for those who wish to enjoy a drink, but practice restraint.
- Non-alcoholic beverages – not to be confused with ‘mocktails’, which simply pretend (and fail) to be a cocktail, the new non-alcoholic beverages being dreamed up are mixology masterpieces on their own.
- Legal addictive stimulants – Hosting more roasteries and coffee brands than ever before, we were almost buzzing on caffeine fumes at Gulfood 2019, and this already-magic bean is being blended with anything from cacao to cannabis.
Meat-Free – Monday – Tuesday – Wednesday – Thursday – Friday – Saturday – Sunday
Although we love our meat dishes at Par-Avion, one can’t possibly deny the strengthening of the vegetarian and vegan movements, across the globe. Addressing sustainability, ecosystem management, food economy and consumer pricing, food production technology, and human nutritional needs, Gulfood 2019 inevitably did more than touch on the necessary growth of vegetarian and vegan lifestyles. The show encourages more meat-free days and provides a platform for meat-replacement products to shine. We’ve experienced a steady increase in requests for vegan meals since 2017 and it only seems to be growing.
Let’s Go To Theatre
Dubai’s Gulfood show is the gathering place for the world’s food and cooking leaders and prodigies with a combined wealth of talent, creativity and experience. Drawing top chefs from nationalities North, South, East and West, Gulfood 2019 provided a stage for artists to perform incredible culinary feats, putting out fascinating displays of ingredients and creating decadence that foodies dream about.
It’s impossible not to leave the show feeling inspired, and a little in awe, by what is possible when a creative and determined mind meets opportunity. We loved watching the live cooking demonstrations.
We Actually Genuinely Just Love (Good) Food
And inspired, we were! The decision to attend Gulfood 2019 was the best thing we’ve done for ourselves this year, being given the opportunity to travel to an incredible destination and reignite the flames of passion that drove us into the catering business in the first place: Food.
We wandered the show aisles for three days, with wide eyes and hearts full of wonder. There is so much that we haven’t seen, so much that diners in South Africa are yet to experience, and we are excited to bring some of those experiences home and hope to adapt them as much as possible for inflight and transfer meals.
We’re currently working on ways to breathe some fresh life into our ever-changing menus!
Editor’s Note: At Par Avion, our expert team of function chefs served incredible clients at top events around the country. From boardroom catering to special occasions and large-scale corporate launches, our menus are fresh and exciting, but deeply rooted in culinary knowledge, and always tailored to suit the style and need of each and every event. Want to take your event to the next level? Talk to us, we’d love to cater for you!