The Rise of Street Food

Until recently street food has been associated with greasy burgers and various other dodgy offerings, but times are changing as the ‘modern street food’ trend becomes increasingly popular.

This growing trend for gourmet street food started over on the West Coast of America in 2004, when catering trucks from LA movie sets went out onto the streets. Around the same time, the recession resulted in unaffordable restaurant rents, forcing chefs out onto the road in adapted trucks serving high quality simple dishes to continue earning and so the trend began. However, it wasn’t until the trend landed in New York that it was picked up by the UK.

Fast forward to 2016, and the British street food revolution is in full swing. It started out in trendy neighborhoods in East London and has fast spread to other parts of the UK.

One report from Santa Maria, one of the market-leading suppliers of spices and international food concepts found that favourite street food dishes are sandwiches/wraps, noodles/rice pots, burgers, vegetarian and hot dogs. In addition, the street food experience encourages people to send more with 64% of consumers happy to spend more than £5.

The idea behind London Union, set up by Jonathan Downey, entrepreneur behind Soho cocktail bar Milk & Honey and Henry Dimbleby, co-founder of the Leon restaurant chain, is to bring the street food trend to more London boroughs with new pop up markets and permanent sites. Not only is this good news for street food traders but it will also be turning derelict sites into bustling vibrant areas, bringing communities together, creating employment and providing opportunities for new food entrepreneurs.

Although street food traders set up temporarily, there are signs that the street food trend is here to stay with 47% of consumers said they are planning to eat more street food in the next 12 months than they do currently.

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