9 Food Trends to Incorporate for Food Truck Success this Season

BY Courtney Huckabay
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Food truck owners can look to the future for ways to grow their business and create more culinary magic with the help of food trends. Adopting upcoming food trends can keep a business current and competitive and give cooks the inspiration needed to be a trendsetter too. Check out these ways food truckers can incorporate food trends for 2018 into their food trucks.

More Greens Please

"One of the biggest 2018 food trends is the push for more plant-​forward cuisines," Zac's Burgers reports. "As more people are starting to see the light about the important role vegetables play in a healthy diet, customers are looking for more dishes chock full of vegetables. To distinguish yourself from fast food, food trucks, you should try to offer more greens at your truck. This can be done in many ways. You can simply add more vegetarian dishes to your food truck menu or by adding more vegetable side dishes or toppings to your meat dishes."

"According to the National Restaurant Association, chefs are focused this year on finding creative ways to substitute vegetables for meat and carbohydrates like cauliflower rice and mash potatoes or zucchini spaghetti. Peas and different types of nuts are also getting used in unique ways. Popular dishes are a beet-​green pesto or broccoli stem slaw. The key is to have enough variety for everyone."

Promoting these food trends is sure to drive traffic among Food Truck Lovers. The newest AudienceSCAN study showed 8% of Americans eat at food trucks at least three times per week! They are the bread and butter of the food truck business!

Dessert as Art Form

"Most food trucks unless they specialize in desserts pay a lot of attention to offering cakes and other sweets. If they offer any type of dessert menu it is usually limited to one or two items and rarely is homemade. That is starting to change though. Everyone loves something a little sweet every once awhile and cake as breakfast is becoming really popular too. Another dessert trend is to sneak some vegetables into your dessert like cauliflower in chocolate mousse."

Arepa, the New Taco?

"Who doesn’t love tacos, right? This Mexican delicacy has become very mainstream in America with most people enjoying “Taco Tuesday” every day of the week. The taco may have a stiff competitor coming from South America though. The Arepa, a corn meal dough filled with meats, cheeses and other goodies and grilled to perfection popular in Colombia and Venezuela, is starting to show up in restaurants and food trucks across the United States too. Could it be the new taco?"

A great way to tell Food Truck Lovers about new arepas, artsy desserts and greens is through video. The latest AudienceSCAN survey showed 48% of Food Truck Lovers watched an online or streamed video in the past six months on their mobile devices.

Homemade Breads Are Back

"Bread is no longer the evil carb when it comes in the form of homemade breads from healthier whole grains. More and more restaurants are showcasing more homemade, rustic breads and customers are eating it up. While it probably isn’t practical to bake bread on your food truck because of lack of space, you can still add it to your menu by doing your baking early in the morning at your commissary and just bringing it out on the road with you."

More Indian Cuisine

"More chefs will be playing with Indian flavors in 2018 and Indian cuisine could be a popular addition to your food truck. Not sure how it will go with the rest of your menu? Consider starting with just sneaking in some Indian flavors into your dishes to amp up the taste."

Transparency in Food Prep

"With allergy and overall health concerns about our diets, consumers want to know exactly what they are eating and this desire will only increase into the new year. Whether you display ingredients and calories on the front of your food truck or just make it easy for customers to find out what is in your dishes, it will be important for you to be transparent about what goes into make your dishes."

Food truck owners can show their food prep steps in ad campaigns! Send a link to a quick video that is behind the scenes! The most recent AudienceSCAN data reported 55.5% of Food Truck Lovers took action after receiving mobile smartphone app ads or text message ads in the past month.

Deep Fried Everything

"Despite all the interest in being more health conscious, people still can’t deny the deliciousness of fried foods. This year though you will see more than just the traditional fried foods like fried chicken and French fries. You will see savory combinations like deep fried squash and deep fried and battered eggs even fried pizza. If you have a deep fryer on your truck, why not start experimenting with different flavor combinations?"

Are you a Fungi?

"In 2018 you are also going to see a lot more mushrooms in kitchens across the country. There are a lot of ways you can incorporate this fungi into dishes and it can bring some added fun and flavor to your menu."

Waste Not, Want Not

"Restaurants are not the only ones concerned with food production waste. Food trucks are also being more cognizant of their daily waste from food scraps to paper products. Do some research on some eco-​friendly changes you can make to your food preparation process that will help you cut down on unnecessary waste."

AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards through the SalesFuel API. Media companies and agencies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.