What's in store for the future of the food truck industry??
Food Truck Market, Trends, and Consumer Preferences
No denying, in the last five years the number of food trucks have grown significantly. You can see these food trucks in every street corner in almost any city and they are now even expanding into the suburbs. IBISWorld puts the average annual growth of the street vendor’s industry at a whopping 8.4% from 2007 to 2012.
Emergent Research predicts last year’s $650 million revenue of US food trucks to quadruple to $2.7 billion by 2017. These figures are not due to the increasing number of consumers who go to food trucks as a cheaper source of food. In fact, it was shown in the same report that customers spend an average of $9.80 on lunch and $14.99 for dinner per person. The draw comes from food trucks having been described as fun, exciting, new, different, unusual, and unique. Food trucks are also trying to change the image of their food as being greasy and unhealthy, as the trend nowadays is the use of fresh and local ingredients. The trend is also going into the gourmet side of food having more and more professional chefs ride on the bandwagon. This has produced a lot of food trucks that have increasingly gone into specialty, ethnic and fusion food.
So if you are planning to go into the industry, how viable is the market and what should your target market be? Let us review the 2011 consumer survey of the National Restaurant Association. More than half or 59% of those surveyed said they would be likely to visit and eat at a food truck. But how visible are they? Nearly one-fifth or 18% saw a food truck in their community during the summer. Out of those who saw a food truck, more than one-quarter or 28% made a purchase. How do consumers locate a food truck? Majority or 73% just happened to chance upon it on the street, 54% visited it in an area where food trucks typically gather, 39% heard about it by word of mouth, and 13% found it through social media. Those with children were more likely to patronize a food truck than those without, so a menu for kids should be considered. But the majority of younger ones aged 18 to 44 were the ones most likely to eat in a food truck.
These numbers just show that the market for food trucks is still very much in demand (hint hint www.USEDvending.com) and that one just needs to find a suitable niche and maximize on the advantages that food trucks have over traditional brick and mortar restaurants in order to grow and be successful.