Even with the emergence of fancy restaurants, street food continues to be a big hit year after year. Aside from being affordable, it offers a different kind of experience.
More than being delicious, street food is a different social endeavor. It gives a distinct vibe, making it enjoyable, especially when done with family and friends.
With the continuous popularity of street food, it becomes a viable business idea. To succeed, make sure that you know the top street food trends for 2022, including those we’ll talk about in this article.
12 Street Food Trends for 2022
1. Food Trucks Dominating the Scene
This is a trend that we have been seeing for years now, and will most probably continue in the foreseeable future. Food trucks are perfect for street food because they are easy to set-up almost anywhere. Not to mention, they are effortless to move around.
If you plan to use a food truck for your street food business, one of the most important is to make it stand out. Some people opt for vintage-looking trucks to attract attention, especially in a place with tight competition.
You don’t need to buy a new truck just to start your business. A more affordable alternative is to go for a second-hand truck. After all, things like engine and other things related to vehicle performance won’t be too important.
2. Used for Experiential Marketing
Owners of street food businesses can tap a profitable fraction of the market – commercial customers. Many big brands are offering experiential marketing as a way to promote their products and services. One way they often do this is through offering street food.
For instance, when launching a new brand, some companies may opt for an informal set-up to feed their guests. Instead of having fancy dishes, they can offer a pop-up street food cart instead for a different experience. It can be a great addition to corporate events.
3. Environment-Friendly Packaging
As with the food industry in general, sustainability is another growing trend in the street food scene. To do so, many businesses are shifting to eco-friendlier choices for their packaging. Gone were the days when plastic is the standard.
One of the most common choices for environment-friendly packaging is a compostable bowl. It is made of different materials, and one of the most popular is sugar cane fiber. Despite being biodegradable, they are solid, so you can be confident that quality is never compromised.
Aside from the packaging itself, the choices for cutlery are also changing. Plastic may still be the standard, but there is a growing trend towards shifting into materials like wood and renewable plant starch.
4. A Healthier Menu
It is not only the packaging that has been changing in street food businesses. The menus are also experiencing dynamic shifts. Among others, one trend is to go healthy. Street food is traditionally associated with being junk, so that assumption is slowly changing.
To offer healthier street food, businesses are changing the ingredients that they are using. For instance, instead of focusing in red meat, plant-based alternatives are gaining popularity. Incorporating more vegetables is another simple way to make street food healthier.
A healthy street food menu often includes a selection of fresh fruit juices and smoothies. Vegan cuisine is also a must, including hummus and tofu.
5. Getting Fancier
When you mention street food, a lot of people instantly think that it is dirty. This is exactly the reason why many are not keen on trying it. Today, however, businesses want a change in perspective by leveling up the game and making street food fancy.
One of the best ways to make street food fancy is to change its presentation. More so, it is also common to use expensive ingredients to give familiar foods a one-of-a-kind twist. Such trends are more common in restaurants than those that are actually sold in streets.
However, some people might not like how making street food fancy may defeat the experience. Plus, it can also make the menu more expensive.
6. Going Mobile
In a bid to innovate and stand out from the tough competition, street food vendors can consider the possibility of going mobile. This means that they will allow customers to order through their smartphones.
Mobile ordering is one of the consequences of the pandemic. A lot of people are not confident of going out, afraid that they might catch the virus. They would rather eat at home. It is more convenient, not just safe.
To encourage mobile ordering, it is crucial to have a user-friendly platform. Make it easy for customers to place their orders. Add comprehensive menu descriptions and pictures so that your patrons will have an idea what to order.
7. Utilizing Contactless Technology
Aside from going mobile, there are other ways by which it is possible for street food vendors to use contactless technology. One of the most common is through having QR codes in place of traditional printed menu.
More so, contactless technology is also utilized when it comes to payments. Cash is king, but many vendors are shifting into digital payments, especially in the time of the pandemic. The latter will minimize physical contact, which will also offer a safer dining experience.
8. Emphasis on Hygiene
Ask anyone who hate street food why they don’t eat it, and one of the most common answers would be the assumption that it is dirty. They have a good reason to say so, especially because they are often prepared on the streets and without a fully-equipped kitchen.
Many street food vendors, however, are stepping up their game. They are making sure of state-of-the-art practices in food handling to be hygienic. Not to mention, some countries like Thailand even have an association to ensure the cleanliness of street food.
9. Using Social Media
If you are thinking of starting a street food business, pay attention to your marketing strategies. The latter will help you stand out of the competition and be on the top of mind of your customers. Among others, one that is most effective is the use of social media.
From Facebook to Instagram, use different social media platforms for promoting your street food business. Create a content calendar so there is something that will engage your audience. Work with influencers to help you promote. Learn from your competitors to see what works.
10. Food-Hall Style Establishments
It is common to see food-hall style establishments serving street foods today. Rather than having a stand-alone truck, you should be part of a large community. This way, you will be surrounded with other stores, bringing the customers in a single place.
One of the problems with this set-up is that the competition can kill your business. With too many options, you are risking that customers will go somewhere else. Find a way to make your store stand out. Offer something more innovative than traditional street foods. Invest in top-notch customer service.
11. Offering Options for Customization
Street food is known for being generic, almost to the same point as fast food. In order to up the game and offer a higher level of satisfaction, many vendors are offering options for customization.
Among others, one way by which street food can be customized is by substituting ingredients. For instance, instead of having meat, the customer can choose tofu, which is great for people who have plant-based diets.
Customization can also exist in the form of offering different sauces, dips, and dressing. The latter can significantly alter the flavor of food to make it more suitable to personal preferences of customers.
12. A Theatrical Display
Eating street food is more than just savoring good taste. It is an experience! With this, many vendors are making a theatrical display out of their stores. It does not have to be elaborate. It can be as simple as having a multi-sensory experience to encourage diners.
Bright and theatrical street food dishes will catch the eye of patrons. It will make the food more IG-worthy, which is also a great way to gain social media traction. Best of all, it will provide an unforgettable dining experience, which will keep customers coming back.