Food truck owners are always looking at their menus to see what changes they can make to increase their success. In some cases, customers want the same tried-and-true dishes they’ve learned to love from their favorite food truck, but in other cases food trucks need to be constantly innovating and changing to keep their customers interested. A lot depends on the type of food you’re selling and how many food trucks you’re competing with.
Recently, the National Restaurant Association did a survey of more than 1,500 members of the American Culinary Federation to find out what trends they’re seeing across the country. Here are Hoodmart we’re always innovating to ensure we’re providing our customers with the best kitchen exhaust equipment possible and we thought some of our food truck customers might find these food trends useful for their own innovations.
The biggest food trends in 2016
According to the abovementioned survey, these are the most popular food trends in 2016:
- Locally sourced produce, meat, and seafood
- Healthy meals for kids
- Sustainable seafood products
- Artisan ice cream
- Ethnic cuisines
- Hyper-local sourcing
- Natural ingredients
- New and innovative cuts of meat
- Minimally processed food
- Environmentally sustainable foods
- Ethnic condiments
- Unique spices
Food trucks are adding unique beverages to their menus
While we’ve seen a lot of the trends show up in food trucks, we’ve also noticed that many trucks have started offering unique beverages. Getting licenses to serve alcohol can be challenging to impossible for a food truck – especially in areas that are already hesitant to accept mobile food options – so we’ve focused on some of the more popular non-alcoholic drinks out there.
- Artisan soda
- Specialty iced teas
- Gourmet flavored lemonade
- Coconut water
- Cold brew coffee
- Mocktails (like cocktails but without the alcohol)
- Flavored water
- Water enhanced with vitamins and minerals
- Hot teas
- Sparkling water
New ingredients and menu items may require an upgrade to your kitchen equipment
Food trucks that started with one particular dish or type of cuisine in mind are often equipped only for that particular dish or type of cuisine. As a result, updating your menu may mean updating your equipment. Don’t let this dissuade you! If it means a significant increase in business, or a higher price point for your products, then upgrades could pay for themselves. Hoodmart is here to help you decide what you need and what will work best for your food truck.