A clear sign of a bustling industry is the entry of big business and this is exactly what is happening with the food truck business. One of the newest food trucks on the street today is the Starbucks food trucks. They are part of the campus scene at James Madison University (Virginia), Arizona State University, and Coastal California University (South Carolina). Arizona University has managed a special deal with the company that offers employee scholarships in the university’s online program
The Orlando International Airport now has 6 food trucks in their commercial parking lot and in the taxi area. The LA International Airport has one food truck but plans to erect a new structure to accommodate more food trucks. As a matter of fact, rumor is that the new building will look like a food truck! Tampa International in Florida also has become another major food truck lover since November 2012. The customers are coming in droves even among Tampa residents who are at the airport to pick up or send off friends and relatives. It’s incredible! The airport officials decided to extend the 30 day trial period up to middle of 2013 and every day, they bring in a new food truck or rotate the food trucks so anytime you’re in Tampa International, the food truck at the cell phone parking lot is probably going to be different. Part of their current list of food truck participants are Dude and His Food, Cheesesteak Truck, Graffeaties, and Nicos Arepas Grill.
The Austin-Bergstrom International Airport also had a pilot food truck program recently. Naturally, Texas food took center stage. The airport even provided a seating area with picnic tables in the cell phone parking area. The response was exciting and there is talk of continuing with the program on a more formal and permanent basis.
This is America’s newest food trend that people from around the world are copying and excited about. From Asia to Europe, food trucks are sprouting up so it really does make sense to showcase the best of the country’s food trucks at major ports of entry.
Food truck owners are super enthusiastic about the idea because it’s one way they can depart from the constant bickering between brick and mortar restaurants, the local government councils and their new food truck ordinances or rules, and the growing competition among food truck owners.
According to Tom Bradley of Cheeseteak Truck in Tampa, his once-a-week schedule is perfect because regular workers look forward to his food and talking about his menu and sandwiches with new arrivals is amazing. Furthermore, the business is a steady stream of customers unlike the roadside parking which is usually the lunch crowd only. Cheekily he says that, “My favorite are flight delays.”
Last January 2012, some food experts and critics came together in a talk show and made some wild predictions for 2012. Let’s look back at the year and see if what they said happened and what to expect for 2013.
The 2012 Predictions:
- There will be more goofy foods and gimmicks – The goofiest gimmicks in the food industry was seen in the many humorous food truck signs although some bordered on plain silly. Still, these goofy signs did a lot for the food industry because it made people stop, stare, laugh, and buy!
- Food trucks will start accepting catering jobs – This prediction didn’t really happen to the point of being a trend. Instead, there were food truck events and even a food truck reality TV show
- Mini meals will be a big hit – And they were! They will continue to be popular as Americans turn to mini meals as nutritious snacks. This is one of the reasons the food truck business did brisk business. People were not just conscious of eating healthier; they also wanted to downsize their meals to lose weight.
- Bacon everywhere? – This prediction tanked because with the bid for a healthier lifestyle practically being forced on the public, many people shunned fatty pork and opted for healthier chicken dishes
Food Predictions for 2013
According to the chefs of Esquared Hospitality which operates Go Burger, BLT Steak, BLT Burger, BLT Fish, Casa Nonna and 21 other restaurants and one food truck, there are 5 food trends to look forward to:
- Meat will have a new high-end social class where only the best cuts are sold or the best cuts are used to market a food establishment
- There will be more vegetables as side dishes, in desserts, drinks, or even as the main course
- Pit cooking will make a come-back
- New ingredients from South America and Asia will be introduced and become very popular
- Natural foods like fruits and vegetables will rule meals even mini meals with less use of syrups and sugar