For Impactful Event Dining, Think Seasonal!
In-Season Catering Is Better For Your Event (And Your Budget)
While eating seasonally might seem like just a trend, it is part of a much larger movement toward health-conscious eating. We see attendees choose cleaner food and request healthier options, including seasonal produce. Since event planning is all about designing memorable experiences, it is smart to lean into your attendees’ health concerns by using seasonal fruits and veggies—and healthier for your budget too!
Of course giving your guests what they want is a big part of choosing to use catering that provides seasonal produce. However, there are tangible benefits to serving in-season fruits and veggies as well.
Produce for Every Season and Theme
Whether we realize it or not, many of us already eat seasonally in many ways. We typically fill up on watermelon, berries, and peaches in summer. Pumpkins and squash are in everything in the fall because they grow in abundance at this time. Much of this is due to cultural cues leftover from the days when we relied on seasonal produce.
This cultural attachment to our food makes it easy to tie your in-season menu to your theme. Make in-season produce a star of your gathering, like showcasing locally sourced pumpkin pie at your fall event, or strawberry dishes at your summer event. Event planning consultants are always looking to add another level of immersion to guests’ experience, and this is a perfect way of delivering a memorable, engaging event.
Lower Carbon Footprint
If you are trying to add some green initiatives to your meetings and events, like so many event planning consultants, using seasonal produce can cut back on your carbon footprint. Eating with the seasons requires less transportation to get the food to you, drastically lowering the emissions produced. Carefully considering these details is one way to design an engaging event while still working towards earning a carbon neutral status.
We now live in a world without seasons when it comes to produce availability. Years ago, if you wanted berries you had to wait until the local berry fields were harvested. Now we import produce into the United States from Mexico, Central America, and South America when our seasons are over. While this modern transportation is an amazing feat of technology and engineering, it does require our produce to suffer in the way of flavor.
In order to get to you before rotting, your berries are picked while they are still green and are allowed to ripen during their transit. This means they never get to develop their flavor while still on the branch. You can design memorable events for your attendees around particularly delicious food by choosing a caterer that offers produce grown locally.
Positive Psychological Effect
Don’t be afraid to market your choice to offer seasonal produce! The farm-to-table movement has hit its stride and is no longer reserved for self-proclaimed “foodies.” Letting attendees know you are bringing fruits and vegetables fresh from the farm to their tables can have a strong psychological effect.
Putting an emphasis on your food’s source will shine a spotlight on the dishes of the event. Attendees will follow suit, giving the food extra attention and focus. Designing memorable events requires you to consider what your guests will find joy in, and there aren’t many people who wouldn’t enjoy an event that includes a carefully curated and prepared menu.
This is a simple case of supply and demand. If supply is up for certain produce, such as when it is in season and growing plentifully, then the price will be lower. This is one reason why many catering companies offer seasonal menus. Using in-season produce in a win-win for your attendees and your budget.
Tips for Using Seasonal Produce:
- Search for a caterer who specializes in using local produce. They will have the connections to local farms to get what you want, or they might have a seasonal menu ready.
- To focus on a seasonal theme, try to pick produce that you can use in a variety of dishes. Peaches, for instance, are delicious in both sweet and savory recipes. A menu of grilled peaches with pesto will get your attendees’ attention! Here are some recipes for inspiration on using this summertime staple outside of the usual cobbler.
- Using a website to plan what will be in season during your event will help you envision your theme and focus ahead of time. The Seasonal Food Guide can zero in on your location and give you the right information. However, nothing can replace communication with your caterer and their farmers, since crops can vary year by year.
With many attendees appreciating event food they can enjoy and feel good about, taking the time to provide seasonal produce will be worth the effort. Let in-season fruits and vegetables give your guests the delicious experience they crave and build an engaging event around the jewels of the season. Contact Omnience™ today for a consultation on designing memorable events for your organization.
Choosing to use seasonal produce for your events can not only be good for your attendees, but your budget as well! Check out our guide to finding and incorporating in-season fruits and veggies for your next event on the Omnience™ Advisor.
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