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Street vendors on the rise

Foodies make pop-up dining the latest trend

Why is pop-up food now the in-thing?

Eventbrite has carried out research that has revealed that the UK is indeed a nation of food and drink lovers. This is after the organisation highlighted that both street food vendors and pop-up food stalls have increased in number year on year.

Furthermore, Eventbrite has found that the pop-up dining experience has grown by 82 per cent — making it the fastest growing trend across all of the food and drinks industry.

To find out how bricks and mortar establishments have been replaced with dining experiences boasting spontaneous and makeshift designs in considerable numbers, Flogas, a provider of gas bottle refill services to pop-up food vendors, has conducted the following investigation:

Pop-up dining experiences under the spotlight

A lot of people don’t mind paying more money when it comes to pop-up dining if it means they receive a more positive culinary experience. In fact, 75% of those polled in a survey claim that they are happy to pay more money for a better foodie experience overall. Around half of respondents also said that they would be happy to pay more for a meal from the exact same menu at a pop-up event where chef interaction is involved as opposed to one served in a regular restaurant.

It’s not only the willingness to spend more money for great value which is linked to how people see pop-up dining experiences in a positive light. For 84% of survey respondents, it was a unique menu or theme that drew them towards pop-up food vendors. This was followed by events held at memorable location (76%) and occasions that promised to be a one-of-a-kind experience (74%).

Thanks to pop-up dining vendors, public spaces can be interacted with better and the cultural dynamics linked to the concept of ‘eating out’ can be altered too.

Explaining this point in more detail is chef Melissa King, Co+Lab the pop-up’s creator, who said: “There are so many chefs out there — they have their restaurants, their day jobs, but they’re looking for something more. That’s what the pop-up culture offers them. They are able to take over someone’s space for only a few hours and convert it into their own identity. It’s not just about the food, it’s about creating a memorable experience for the guests.”

Not forgetting how street food has become appealing too

There has also been a lot of interest in street food throughout the food and drinks sector in recent years. UN-FAO statistics claim that an estimated 2.5 billion people now eat street food worldwide and had some 2,800 members with over 7,000 units serving food across the UK as of 2015.

Where has the appeal for street food stemmed from? For one, it’s because the food that is cooked is usually cheap and nutritious. Inspired by local areas, street food tends to be influenced by the seasonality of farm production, so the local agricultural community usually benefits from street vendors who wish to cook with local produce in mind.

If you have £5,000, you’ll already have the investment required to buy a market stall or a second-hand catering trailer. It therefore becomes clear as to why so many stalls are turning up on streets across the country. A report by the Nationwide Caterers Association acknowledges that a fully equipped market stall can be bought for around £3,000 and a food truck for an estimated £10,000.

Speaking to Produce Business UK, street food vendor Charlie Morse is confident that street food will become more of a norm in the food and drinks industry instead of a novelty or a trend. He said: “Street food as a trend is certainly growing, although it’s still not at the same level as in New York. I think it will die off a little as a trend and then become a normal, everyday offer. A lot of office workers go to street food stalls to buy their lunch and eat something healthy, cheap and different. There are so many trends within food but it works when you consider that people are money conscious and like variety.”


This article is supplied under the terms of the DB Direct service

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