A new study by Technomic, the foodservice research firm, reveals good news for mobile food vehicles, as 91 percent of consumers polled who are familiar with food trucks say they view the trend as having staying power and not a passing fad. Only 7 percent of consumers who use mobile food vehicles (MFV) say they expect their frequency of visits to food trucks to decrease over the next year.
Technomic Director Kevin Higar says the movement could be far from reaching its apex. "The key for long-term success is getting the non-user to come on board," said Higar in a prepared statement. "One in five individuals is not aware of or has not seen a food truck, and one-third of individuals who are aware of them still haven't purchased from one."
Once consumers gain exposure, explains Higar, they seem to have very positive impressions of the experience. But according to Technomic's research, 70 percent of non-users are still hesitant to purchase food from mobile vehicles, which is probably the biggest current growth challenge.
To help restaurant operators and suppliers understand the trends shaping the food truck movement, Technomic has published the Food Trucks Innovation Report.
Report findings include:
Although social media is an integral part of food truck marketing and patronage, 61 percent of consumers find out about mobile food trucks by "just happening upon them." Of the consumers who do follow food trucks on social media, 84 percent do so at least once a week.
Three quarters of consumers who have come across MFVs located together in a central location make combined food and/or beverage purchases from two or more operators during any given meal occasion. Because of the highly specialized nature of food truck menus, they lend themselves well to this type of multi-concept purchase.
Quick-service restaurants seem to be impacted by mobile food vehicle success more than other traditional restaurants, with 54 percent of respondents saying if they had not bought from a food truck, a quick-service restaurant would have been their most likely destination.
The report is an all-in-one guide to the mobile food vehicle landscape. It includes all of the trends, consumer insights, implications and analysis needed to make real-life decisions and strategic plans for working with, competing against or creating your own mobile food vehicles.
Detailed appendices offer extensive contact information for almost 70 food truck and trailer operators, as well as concept profiles and complete menus with pricing information. The report features an analysis of competitive issues facing mobile food vehicles and traditional brick-and-mortar restaurants, as well as a detailed anatomy of the costs, motivations and planning involved in operating a mobile food vehicle.