By: Mark Massicotte, Executive Chef, Vancouver Convention Centre

To complement our trends predictions for 2018, we wanted to dive deeper into what planners and delegates are looking for in food and beverage this year.

Gluten Free Demand is Waning
The gluten free bandwagon appears to be slowing down. People are learning that there is no real advantage to avoiding gluten in their diet. Except for the one percent of the population that truly suffer from celiac disease, studies show that gluten forms part of a well-rounded diet – and omitting it can have detrimental effects.

Growing Demand for Quality and Choice
Delegates are much more “food savvy” and are looking for opportunities to enjoy a variety of small tasting plates and more interesting wines. Customers like to enjoy small samplings and then decide if they like it or not before committing to buy more. 

With the advent of the Food Network and an incredible range of information on the internet, guests are much better informed. They’re asking for detailed ingredient lists, calorie counts and dietary designations. Gone are the days of eating dinner and not asking what’s in it. At the same time, people are much more conscious of their environmental impact on the world; quizzing us on food waste, recycling practises and local product sourcing. 

All Things Korean
Korean food continues to be hot, and planners are quickly realizing that the flavours and diversity of Korean food is very exciting and intriguing.  From bi bim bop, japchae and bulgogi, the flavors are intoxicating and mysterious. This type of cuisine also lends itself well to mixing with other styles from around the world, for example Korean tacos. How can you resist them?