Tuesday, 30th June, 2015

Street Food Trends

The impact of street food on the UK market is huge and as more and more consumers look to pick up some tasty ‘world food’ quickly and easily the number of vendors increases too.

Street Food is undoubtedly the latest trend in out of home eating and as a result traditional grab and go concepts are evolving to incorporate it.

Most Street Food markets are ‘grab and go’ in nature but the service style is predominantly ‘serve-over’ or ‘assisted serve’, whereas ‘grab and go’ is, by definition, a pre-packed self-service operation.

The growing flavour profiles within Street Food currently are Italian, Pan Asian, American and Mexican – all of which can be adapted to grab and go formats.

It probably comes as no surprise then that the UK’s dynamic street food trend, not only came from America, but also stemmed from the recent economic downturn. With no money to afford rent, out of work chefs returned to both their roots and the streets, and today’s street food trend was born.

Until then, street food was often an unlicensed sausage vendor serving late-night kebab alternatives, but in 2015 street food is something else entirely. Echoing the demanding expectations of the modern consumer, street food has never been so glamorously simple. Consumers no longer expect sub-standard ingredients, they want locally sourced fresh ingredients and street food vendors have a real task on their hands to not only meet market demands, but to keep their offerings different from the opposition, who may often be just over the road.

Not only is street food reasonably priced, it’s fast too, and caters for the busy lifestyles of the food on-the-go consumer.

Popularity and Choice

Talking about the rise in popularity within the market was Eimear Owens, Country Sales Manager - UK & Ireland, for Santa Maria, she said: “The street food trend remains a firm favourite because consumers love its diverse cuisines and exciting flavours and ingredients.
“Our Street Food report revealed that 80% like the adventurous flavours and spices and 68% said that street food has introduced them to new flavours.

“With 81% of consumers choosing to eat street food for lunch, offering street food specials at lunchtime can help caterers attract new customers. It’s easy to give diners the choice of cuisines and flavours they want by simply introducing a different street food inspired dish every day.

“The street food trend continues to evolve. Not only are we seeing the emergence of new cuisines with ‘ones to watch’ such as Korean and Peruvian, but we’re seeing more and more street food inspired dishes in retail outlets and on menus.
“What’s more, street food establishments are expected to continue to grow over the next 3-5 years, as consumers seek accessible, authentic foods from around the globe.

“Our insight ensures we can help our customers make the most of current trends. Our World-To-Go concept, inspired by street food, features ten sauces and a range of easy recipes, so operators can quickly create appealing dishes with flavours from around the world.

“Mexican is the most popular street food cuisine, so why not spice up ribs with Santa Maria’s Mexican Hot sauce and serve with an apple salad.”
With all of this in mind it is important that operators can embrace the latest trends by adding street food inspired recipes to menus.  After all, street food is designed to be eaten on the move.  And it doesn’t have to be complicated.  In fact, the best dishes are often the simplest.

Today’s street food is about fresh, easy to eat food, so the key is to choose dishes that are full of flavour but still nutritionally balanced. 

Trends and products
One of the most versatile products available to the street food market is cheese and recently we spoke to Grace Keenan, brand manager for Kerrymaid, who said: “Kerrymaid Grated is the ideal ingredient for street food operators and is available in both red and white varieties, as well as a special pizza blend.

“The cheese adds a smooth and creamy taste to on-trend dishes such as burritos, pizza slices, cheese toasties, pulled pork sliders and so on. Our pre-grated 2kg bag format also helps vendors to ensure a fast and efficient service.
“Burgers are also still a popular trend among consumers and the increased popularity has seen a significant rise in new flavour trends that enhance the traditional burger experience.

“New trends include low and slow flavours such as pulled pork and slow cooked brisket that is being seen more frequently on menus. Chicken remains one of the most popular protein options, but often served with an on-trend US smokehouse flavour profile, as well as a move towards a fusion of sweet and savoury options with a sticky barbecue glazed chicken bringing spice, depth and sweetness to plates.

“Many operators are sticking with what they know, but giving it a modern - and sometimes unexpected - twist, such as authentic peri-peri chicken with tequila for extra flavour. Being aware of these prime poultry, fusion and slow cooked trends is essential for operators looking to keep menus fresh and contemporary and to keep consumers returning again and again.

“Building on these trends, named ingredients such as chipotle and roasted black pepper continue to feature on menu descriptions as a method of creating premium barbecue offerings. Food provenance is also becoming an important qualifier in consumer purchase decisions and offering regional or local produce can be used as a strong additional selling point.

“In keeping with these trends, Kerrymaid has a great range of innovative barbecue recipes from industry chefs to help operators think outside the box and provide something that will make them to stand out from competitors.
“Our range of recipes include a slow burger options with Pulled Pork Sliders and a sweet and savoury fusion with a Thai Pork and Lemon Burger, as well as a Lean Lamb Burger with Thyme and Parsley for a twist on proven flavours.

Setting up as a street food trader is not necessarily as expensive as a shop but it still contains some sort of financial risk.

Investing in a mobile unit or a vehicle to trade from can be expensive and there can be a number of problems that can arise. These can be expensive which is why some operators opt to go with established designers and companies such as Business On Bikes Ltd.

Business on Bikes is the manufacturer of the highest quality, professional, eco-friendly Traditional Ice Cream Bikes available in the UK and Europe today.

The Traditional Ice Cream Bike is the company’s flagship business on a bike! It is made to the highest specification, maintaining the traditional style of years gone by, yet incorporating modern reliable technology. The whole design is based on the classic 1940’s and 50’s “Stop Me and Buy One!” tricycles, everything does a full circle and some 60 years on, these incredible bikes are back in fashion and making a serious income.

The freezer unit is manufactured to their specification and is a top of the range commercial unit, standard 240v with two glass-sliding lids and fully insulated top lids to ensure maximum trading hours. The lids also come with locks as standard, keeping your stock secure if left unattended. Simply plug in the unit overnight, un-plug the next day and away you go, then just plug it back in on your return, ready for the next day’s trading, no need to empty each day and move heavy freezer plates.

However, as their name implies we can create any Business on a Bike and have created a range of tricycles and can offer alongside their flagship Ice Cream Tricycle. In the past they have made refrigeration tricycles for Cathedral City Cheese to sample cheese from, for the Co-Op to sample chilled food and for Disaronno to sample Disaronno Sours!

Their tricycles don’t have to just revolve around cold things!! The team at Business on Bikes now have a new range of confectionary tricycles designed to be mobile and sell confectionary or other small items to the passing public! They also have created Hot Dog tricycles, Hot Chestnut Tricycles, Soup/Crepe Tricycles and many more hot food ideas to capitalise on the mobility of your business being on a bike all year round!

We pride ourselves on producing the complete package, everything you need to get to work, all you need to do is find a good location and get ready to sell! All of the Business on Bike tricycles come with the option of being branded up to suit your company’s existing colours or if it’s a new start up they can help you create a new identity to get everybody talking about the new bike on the block!