What’s Cooking in the Food Truck Industry: Market Insights and Trends

In the food and beverage industry, food trucks are taking over and changing the way we enjoy delicious meals. Let’s dive in and explore recent food truck trends and find out what makes these rolling kitchens so special.

Shaking Up the Restaurant Industry 

Food trucks are a big deal, and according to food truck statistics they were valued at about $3.93 billion globally in 2020. That’s a big number, and it’s expected to grow even more over the coming years. According to a recent Food Trucks Market Size & Share Report by Grand View Research, people aged 16-34, especially millennials, have a growing preference for food trucks. With more than 60% of them stating they prefer food truck experiences over regular brick-and-mortar restaurants.

Why Are Food Trucks so Popular?

One big reason is that the start-up costs for food trucks are much less than those of traditional restaurants. Per food truck insights, opening a food truck business costs around $75,000 to $100,000 – compared to a whopping $290,000 in average revenue. Talk about a way to get more for your money! Obtaining the permits you need to operate a food truck also has a much quicker turnaround time – just 37 days in the U.S. compared to three months for brick-and-mortar restaurants.

Big Brands are Joining In

Even big names like Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks, McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and Hard Rock Café have jumped on the food truck bandwagon. In 2015, 40% of commercial restaurants decided to expand into the mobile food scene by launching food trucks of their own. 

A Lupe Tortilla food truck by Chef Units parked in front of a brick-and-mortar Lupe Tortilla restaurant location.

Size Matters, But Not Too Much

Medium-sized food trucks accounted for the maximum share of more than 44% of the overall revenue in 2020. Of the various types of mobile kitchens, buses and vans made up over 39% of the market in 2020, and are expected to maintain their popularity in the coming years due to several advantages like increased mobility and lower cost. However, food truck insights show customized trucks are gaining popularity and may catch up fast because people continue to show interest in unique, out of the norm culinary experiences. 

What’s on the Menu?

Fast food is still the king, making up over 33% of the global market. People love it because it’s quick, cheap, and comes in all kinds of flavors. Vegan and plant-based options are becoming more popular in recent years, growing by almost 10%. Barbecue and quick snacks are also gaining in popularity. Food trucks like King of Pops, Bacon Bacon, and The People’s Pig are mixing up tasty barbecue dishes, especially attracting younger folks.

As we roll through the exciting world of the food truck industry, Chef Units is right there, creating custom trucks that showcase a commitment to craftsmanship and creativity. Join us in savoring the many flavors on wheels, we’re confident that mobile kitchens will continue to change the way we enjoy food around the entire world.