If Atlanta is any indication, the abundance of the gourmet food truck craze is not a passing fad. At a recent outdoor festival this Examiner spied sixteen trucks selling food and drink. The concept is certainly not new, as food truck purveyors have been in existence for years serving breakfast, lunch and snacks to employees at companies across the country. But the concept has taken plain food and elevated it to gourmet status. Look for food trucks selling everything from Korean tacos to fancy grilled cheese sandwiches to cupcake trucks and gourmet popsicles and much more.
Chicago-based market research firm Technomic Inc. found that 91 percent of survey respondents familiar with food trucks said the trend has staying power and is not just a passing fad. Kevin Higar, a director at Technomic, said, “Food trucks could be far from approaching their peak in popularity, given the number of American consumers who live in areas without them or who have yet to try food trucks.The key for long-term success is getting the non-user to come on board,” Higar said. “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.”Seventy percent of non-users are hesitant to purchase food from a vehicle’, which Technomic’s report indicated would be the greatest challenge to the trend’s growth.
Location is critical to the success of food trucks, as 61 percent of consumers “just (happen) upon them.” Social-media tools like Facebook and Twitter remain important for marketing these mobile restaurants because consumers who follow food trucks on social media are heavy users: 84 percent of them visit food trucks once a week.
A huge market is the afterhours bar scene where after hours partiers are looking for food that is fast, tasty and priced right. Social media sites are checked for the location of their favorites.
In Atlanta, the Atlanta Street Food Coalition is the voice and main advocate working to secure more relaxed rules and laws so that the food truck business can exist and prosper. After all, like all business, food trucks provide employment and tax revenues for the city.
Peruse the slideshow for many of the food trucks in the city and look for more as entrepreneurs and restaurants put their own on our streets.
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