Over the last few years an interesting phenomenon has been sweeping across Manhattan and spreading to other boroughs like Brooklyn and Queens. It is a new kind of culture; a culture that is satisfying the rumbling of everyone’s tummies.
The people responsible for this culture have decided to not follow a traditional route nor stay in one location for a lengthy period of time. These people are our beloved Independent Food Truck Vendors, and there are more than 30 of them in Manhattan alone. And those of us who are food lovers have become part of the culture.
What is it about these trucks that has us searching on Twitter and Facebook for their locales? Is it an internal drive to be one of the select few to discover their location, like a character in some Hardy Boy or Nancy Drew mystery novel? For those of you who are not familiar, I invite you to do a Google search.
These savory and sweet vendors each have something in common: they specialize in one particular kind of food. In some regards they have a monopoly on the market. No two trucks are alike. Their owners follow a similar path to branding as the one we at CBX do when establishing a brand for our clients. Each truck is branded with its own identity, and the colors, graphics, words and logos are all selected with the intention of differentiating the brand.
The cost of entry into the market is slightly different than brick and mortar restaurants or CPG brands. Because the market is not (yet) saturated like, say, the snack food category or corner bodega, one can create a food truck to one’s own liking. Take, for instance, grilled cheese. Gorilla Cheese NYC sells a plethora of variations on this childhood favorite. Another truck, the Dessert Truck, has dedicated this craft to making restaurant-worthy confectionery delights. And they are one of the few trucks that has expanded into a brick and mortar location. The storefront on the Lower East side has allowed them to extend their line, something not so easy to do in a grocery store (there’s no battle for shelf space here).
Early June marked a momentous occasion for foodies nationwide: the first food truck in the USA received a liquor license. The Pera Turkish Taco Truck, parked outside the Tavern on the Green in Central Park, will now serve beer, wine and cocktails. There is one catch: those wanting to consume an adult beverage with their taco can only do so in a small seating area. Still, could this be a sign for trucks to come? Can they take market share away from restaurants that aren’t mobile? Only time will tell.
Bottom line: You cannot deny that the food truck category is growing and expanding. As establishing a brick and mortar location is becoming ridiculously expensive in NYC, independent food proprietors are turning to trucks to create and sell their mouth-watering delights.
Perhaps this post will inspire you to open your own truck. Read the article from the link below; it gives a nice estimate on the costs incurred: http://bit.ly/hOLkGF. You can also contact the NYC Food Truck Association for more information.