Street food operators profit as average spend rises 30% in two years

Braised beef brisket street food (Image credit: Santa Maria Foodservice

People are willing to spend more on street food than previously, and 94% of people plan to maintain or increase the amount of street food they eat, according to a new report which highlights a growing opportunity for operators.

The report shows that people are willing to spend £6.50 on street food, up 30% from two years ago, whilst one in four people say they now buy street food between two and three times a week.

Data from the report shows that the top three street food dishes are burritos/tacos/carnitas (15%), burgers (9%) and noodles (9%). The most popular three cuisines are Chinese, Caribbean (up 30% since 2014) and Mexican.

In terms of customers, men and millennials are eating and spending most when it comes to street food. The report also highlights an opportunity for operators to capitalise on the breakfast sector, with 10% of consumers now buying street food in the morning, up 7% from 2014.

54% say street food has increased their interest in spicy food and 78% have discovered new spices and flavours. Over 50% would like take-home DIY street food kits.

Eimear Owens, country sales manager of Santa Maria Foodservice, who produced the report, said: “Our research shows that consumers, especially millennials, have embraced street food as part of their everyday routines, and what’s more they’re happy to pay extra for it.

“Street food is driving a spice revolution, creating interest in spicy food and pioneering new spicy flavours. The upshot is a more knowledgeable and adventurous consumer and high demand for new eating out experiences.

“We know that chefs and operators are looking for ways to bring street food to their menus, so we’ve added 10 new products to our existing street food product range, including Jamaican Jerk seasoning – hitting the mark for consumers choosing Caribbean food as their second favourite cuisine in 2016.

“Street food vendors have thrown down the gauntlet, and with consumers prepared to spend more on street food, there is a clear profit opportunity for foodservice operators to maximise on the trend,” concluded Owens.

Image credit: Santa Maria Foodservice

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