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The growth of the pop-up food industry


Jul 28, 2017 #Business

The number of food and drink events that are being hosted on the Eventbrite platform has been increasing every year, research by the firm has found. In an analysis of more than 40,000 of these events, the organisation has also discovered that the fastest growing trend was that of the pop-up dining experience, due to 82 per cent growth being recorded.

With all of this in mind, join one of the UK’s leading LPG suppliers, Flogas, as they explore why businesses in the food industry have started their move away from brick and mortar buildings:

Analysing the rise of the pop-up food industry

Eventbrite found some interesting findings about pop-up dining experiences after surveying over 2,000 members of the public who had visited one of these events.

Within the survey, 75 per cent of attendees pointed out that they felt it was fine paying more money for a unique dining experience. Around half of respondents also said that they would be happy to pay more for a meal from the exact same menu at a pop-up event where chef interaction is involved as opposed to one served in a regular restaurant.

A unique menu or theme was picked out by 84 per cent of the survey’s respondents in regards to what they will look for in a pop-up event. This was followed by events held at memorable location (76 per cent) and occasions that promised to be a one-of-a-kind experience (74 per cent).

Setting up a unique event is a two-way street for those in the pop-up food industry, Melissa King, a chef and creator of Co+Lab the pop-up, was keen to point out. She explained: “There are so many chefs out there — they have their restaurants, their day jobs, but they’re looking for something more. That’s what the pop-up culture offers them. They are able to take over someone’s space for only a few hours and convert it into their own identity. It’s not just about the food, it’s about creating a memorable experience for the guests.”

Analysing the rise of the street food industry

Popularity is growing when it comes to street food too. In fact, UN-FAO statistics claim that street food is now eaten by an estimated 2.5 billion people worldwide and StreetFood.org.uk had some 2,800 members with over 7,000 units serving food across the UK as of 2015.

There are many appealing aspects of street food. The produce available is usually inexpensive, for example, while it also provides a nutritional source that is based on traditional knowledge and often follows the seasonality of farm production.

Establishing a business in the street food sector needn’t be expensive either. General guidelines suggested by The Hub has detailed that a small second hand catering trailer or market stall could be acquired for under £5,000. A report by the Nationwide Caterers Association acknowledges that a fully equipped market stall can be bought for around £3,000 and a food truck for an estimated £10,000.

“Street food as a trend is certainly growing, although it’s still not at the same level as in New York,” commented street food vendor Charlie Morse to Produce Business UK. “I think it will die off a little as a trend and then become a normal, everyday offer. A lot of office workers go to street food stalls to buy their lunch and eat something healthy, cheap and different. There are so many trends within food but it works when you consider that people are money conscious and like variety.”

By Emily