Mobile vendors selling goods from food to fashion to flowers are popping up all over the place, but what's driving the now global trend?
The States already had front row seats to the food truck phenomenon, where you can easily find any number of vans and trucks selling tacos, Thai noodles, falafel, BBQ, and of course, ice cream.
Now, the trend is also growing on European culture, with more and more cool looking trucks patrolling the streets filled with people who are ready for change.
Malls or fancy boutiques aren’t really cutting it anymore, but when you see a line of people standing beside a truck, something exciting must be going on.
Today's consumers are adventures, love to go places, stay in motion. They would rather have movement over practicality and something rare over something ever present. They are prepared to embrace a little more effort, especially if that effort rewards them with something that is exciting and rare.
Trucks work “off the grid,” they move constantly, “announcing” their location on Facebook, parking wherever they can and draw many people; it is where the action is. The truck and its staff of makers have become a sort of roving party, bringing people to neighborhoods they might not normally go to, and allowing for interactions with strangers they might not otherwise talk to.
"It's the social aspect, the closeness of the people,” says Max Rodriquez Nunez, founder of the Hot Roaster Food Truck. "It's really about shared experiences around food”. Together with his wife, Gina, Max has owned several restaurants in Amsterdam, yet, after a burnout about a year ago he decided it was time for a new path and decided to start his own food truck business, taking “his skills to the street”.
He sees restaurants as an older, established sibling living uptown, while trucks are like the younger brother fresh out of college, two different energies toward the same purpose.
Also, add in a bad economy, owning a food truck is a small risk. Cutting-edge entrepreneurs hesitant to invest serious money on launching a new cafe or restaurant, turn to mobile trucks as a less expensive way to sell food in a down economy.
The average restaurant costs hundreds of thousands to open. The average food truck costs tens of thousands, and as a street food market emerges in a city, there is almost a built-in, guaranteed customer base powered by the hype and excitement that comes along with a new and exciting event.
Basically, the old rules of of marketing and retail don’t work anymore. People have outsmarted the retail environment and are ready for a change. Even if it means that it is only a temporary.