Trending Now: Specialty Food Bars

By Bixel & Company, January 29, 2019

Specialty food bars should be on the top of every event planner’s list of opportunities in 2019.

Poke bar, risotto bar, cold pressed juice bar. Chefs and baristas can turn any ingredient into a themed food station or “bar.” Featuring trending ingredients, local specialties, event themed cuisine or just simple indulgence, food bars are evolving with the culinary scene.

This culinary presentation has always been a way to appeal to a wide audience. Sundae bars have long appealed to a guest’s sense of nostalgia while giving them the freedom to build their treats with just the right amount of toppings to suit their taste. While some prefer all chocolate, some prefer all fruit. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Similarly, Hawaii’s poke stations are always a hit as event guests seek out the signature dish that is not readily available in other destinations. Toppings such as ginger, sesame seeds and sriracha take poke to the next level of seasoning, spice and/or texture.

Oftentimes, the star ingredient or presentation is enough to draw the attention of guests. In other cases, it’s the sheer amount of add-ons that are the appeal. Acai bowls have replaced yogurt and parfaits with the hype of health benefits that this breakfast/brunch item have to offer. What makes it special isn’t the acai, however, it’s all about the toppings and/or blends. Some like their acai blended with coconut milk, power greens and bananas into a smoothie while others like them thick and topped with crunchy granola, berries and cacao nibs.

With the growing diversity in the workplace, attendees represent a wider range of cultures than ever before. Their palates seek larger flavor profiles than in the past and many are also more conscious of clean, healthy eating. With social media outlets and the popularity of Instagrammable food, the hype of ingredients and presentation is ever-more important for chefs and planners to consider. Not only do these food bars appeal to the wider audience palate, they allow an opportunity to showcase culinary artistry and even incorporate theme decor, branding and more.

Looking ahead, here are some food bar trends that we look forward to:

Avocado Bars

Yes, avocado toast is still “a thing” but this superfood is also a great vessel for so much more. Rich in nutrients, ripe avocado halves are filled with marinated braised short ribs and topped with melted cheese for a savory dinner item. They’re also filled with coconut cream and berries for healthy breakfast.

Kombucha Bar

Elevate the fresh juice bar to the next level with kombucha. This probiotic powerhouse is a fermented tea has become widely popular on store shelves. Mixed with lemon, apple, kale and ginger it’s a great green drink. It’s also something now served on tap and can be mixed with vodka, bitters, gin and more for a fizzy cocktail.

Cannabis Bar

Do we dare go there?


Recognized as the most experienced Destination Management and Event Production company in Southern California, Bixel & Company is renowned for creating imaginative events coupled with unparalleled execution. Its planning expertise include private corporate retreats, board meetings, exclusive VIP social gatherings and large scale award shows.

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