Food industry researchers expect the food truck trend to continue with the biggest hurdle – – getting consumers to take their first bite. According to a new study, 91 percent of consumers polled who are familiar with food trucks say they view the trend as having staying power.
The key for long-term success is getting the non-user to come on board. Consumers generally have positive impressions of food trucks once they try a bite, but 70 percent of non-users are still hesitant to purchase food from mobile vehicles. This seems to be the biggest current growth challenge. Struggles for food trucks, both in attracting new customers and fighting city regulations, such as the Chicago ordinance that prevents chefs from preparing food on trucks (all food must be prepared and pre-packaged in a commercially licensed kitchen), may be good news for quick-service restaurants.
It is noted that quick-service restaurants are impacted more by food trucks than traditional restaurants, with 54 percent of respondents reporting that they would have purchased from a QSR if they had not bought from a food truck.
Although loyal fans follow mobile food vehicles via social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, 61 percent of consumers find out about mobile food trucks simply by stumbling upon them.
Trucks have capitalized on this strategy by gathering multiple carts together in central locations with plenty of foot traffic, such as Chicago’s Food Truck Tuesdays in Lincoln Park and the Food Truck Food Court planned for San Diego’s upcoming Comic-Con.
While traveling across the country researching and sampling food from hundreds of food trucks, it was noticed that there were several meat trends, including the use of premium meats as in gourmet hot dogs and sausages, eggs on burgers and bacon incorporated into all kinds of dishes, including baked into waffles.
Any type of ethnic influence seemed to play very well. Nothing is preventing restaurants and chains from joining in and launching their own food trucks, especially for special events and catering. Even restaurants that don’t decide to launch their own food truck would do well to learn from their mobile competitors.
Since food trucks tend to specialize in limited product offerings, the consumer perceives them as experts in that product category.
Pedestrians flock to food trucks not just for the unique culinary offerings, but also for the buzz surrounding the vehicles. Consumers love the whole experience. The owners and operators are accessible and really excited about what they’re doing.
Meaty Truck Examples.
Some food trucks have a definite meat focus. Here are a few examples of the many meat-centric food trucks across the country:
Meatyballs Mobile, Chicago
Haute Sausage. Chicago
Meathead Mobile, Washington D.C.
Carnivore BBQ, Washington D.C.
BBQ smith, Boston
Kogi BBQ, Los Angeles
Smokin’ Willies, Northridge, Calif.
Fukuburger, Las Vegas
The Evil Weiner, Austin, Texas
Wurst Tex, Austin, Texas
Mexicue, New York
Souvlaki GR, New York
Source: meatingplaceonline, 7/20/11