Food trucks are large vehicles built for food processing and service at a specified location. Customers of different pocket sizes now enjoy eating from food trucks as part of their urban lifestyle. Recently, the food truck industry has shown undeniable rapid growth globally. From 2018 to 2023, business growth in the food truck industry averaged 9.9%.
Low-income and middle-income earners are frequent patrons of food truck businesses. About 63% of people are regular food truck customers, with many worldwide food trend lovers. Also, many food truck customers are most likely disposable income earners. These food truck statistics are not just for research, but also present a sense of the size and potential gains of the industry. These statistics will cover revenue figures, market size, and industry trends. Let’s get started.
Major Food Truck Statistics
- 9.9% annual growth experienced in the food truck Business.
- The Global Food Truck Market Size in 2022 is estimated at $5.01 billion.
- The US has around 36,324 food truck businesses in 2023.
- California has 883 food truck businesses in the US in 2023.
- Portland, Oregon, is the best city to set up a food truck business.
- An average of $250,000-$500,000 annual revenue is generated from the food truck business.
- 34% of food truck business owners and chefs explore new dishes.
- 80% of food truck customers patronize food trucks because of their experience.
- The US food industry’s total revenue will exceed $2 billion by 2030.
2023 Significant Food Truck Statistics
1. Global Food Truck Market Size is Valued At $5.01 Billion in 2022.
According to the Custom Market Insights report, the size of the food truck market will be approximately $5.01 billion in 2022. The report revealed the truck market will hit $5.26 billion by the end of 2023 and 7.55 billion in 2032 at a CAGR of 6.2%. However, the actualization of the prediction depends on certain growth factors like customer trends, regulatory environment, and some economic factors.
2. The Market Size of Food trucks in the US in 2022 is Estimated At $1,486.6 Billion.
The market size of 35,512 food trucking businesses in the US is estimated to be $1.48 billion in 2022. The market experienced a significant growth of 3.4% from 2021’s $1.162 billion record. The revenue forecast is predicted to hit $2.04 billion in 2030 with a compound annual growth rate of 6.4%.
3. About 36,324 Food Truck Businesses in the US in 2023.
The total number of food truck businesses in the US in 2023 is estimated to be 36,324, indicating a 9.9% growth from 2022. The record for the food truck business in the US in 2022 was 35,512 and 32,287 in 2021, increasing by 12.5%. Throwback to 2011, there weren’t as many food truck businesses as in the US in 2023. There were 8,677 food trucks in 2011, just about 23.9% of 2023’s record.
4. The Food Truck Business has Experienced Significant Annual Growth of 9.9%.
The food truck business has increased by 9.9% after the pandemic. Maybe the pandemic influenced the industry’s growth, but the food processing and service quality have preserved it. Before the pandemic, the average yearly growth rate was 4.9%, which increased afterward to 9.9%. It is predicted that the food truck market will experience growth at the same pace every year for the next 5 years.
5. The US Food Truck Industry’s Total Revenue in the US is Predicted to Exceed $2 Billion By 2030.
According to data from Grand View Research, the total revenue for food trucks is predicted to hit $2 billion in 2030. The report expects the industry to amass $2 billion in revenue with a compound annual growth rate of 6.4% from 2022 to 2023.
6. The Food Truck Industry Records Over 40,000 Employees.
Statistics show the food truck business owner employs an average of 1.2 people, including the owner. This means most food truck owners operate the business alone and barely employ workers due to the small workspace. Lately, some data has revealed that about 40,547 people are employed in the food truck industry. The industry hopes to increase its employees as it keeps growing daily.
7. Employment Rate in the Food Truck Industry Increased By 6.5% in 2022.
The food truck industry has experienced a significant increase in employment rates in recent years. Between 2017 and 2022, the average employment rate hit 10.2%. The US food truck industry recorded a workforce of 40,547 as of January 2022, which indicated a 6.5% increase from 2021. The global food truck industry grew by 13.7% between 2017 and 2022.
Food Truck Statistics by Country
8. The Number of Food Trucks Doubled in 2022 Compared to Six Years Ago in the Netherlands.
In 2022, the number of food trucks in the Netherlands doubled the record in 2017. The total number of registered food trucks in the Netherlands in 2017 was barely 1,200, but it will grow to about 2,500 in 2022.
9. Portland, Oregon, is the Best City to Set Up a Food Truck Business.
Food truck business setup can be expensive due to the cost of the truck, location fees, and permits. Portland is one city with the least cost to set up a food truck and an average yearly permit of $7,287. This city is considered the best because of its low start-up and permit cost, which is, on average, cheaper than other states. Indianapolis has the lowest setup cost, which is around $590. Other cities known for food truck service include Denver, Orlando, Philadelphia, Houston, etc.
10. Boston is the City With the Least Number of Food Trucks.
Setting up a food truck business can be difficult in Boston due to the difficulty of getting permits. Boston is rated low in terms of high cost and high maintenance of food trucks. However, Boston, Washington D.C., and San Francisco have the most expensive setup costs. The average permit cost in Boston can be around $1,864, and the cost of a food truck can amount to $17,066.
11. California Has the Highest Number of Food Truck Businesses in the US (883).
Interestingly, California has the highest record of 883 food trucks, with Texas having a record of 774 food trucks. Florida takes third place with a record of 725 food truck businesses.
Food Truck Demographics Statistics
12. 43% of Middle-Class Millennials Make the Greatest Customer Category for Food Truck.
People aged between 25 and 44 years eat mostly from food trucks and account for 43% of food truck sales. This group eats truck food because they have supportive funds, while the 18-24 age group accounts for only 20% of food truck sales. The food truck market in the US targets middle-class customers aged between 25 and 44 years but does not exclude other age groups. This is because this demographic values the convenience the industry offers and their tendency to have disposable income. Additionally, the major target of this age group can be attributed to their activeness on social media. Notably, food truck locations can be explored online and considered an option for getting food.
13. Burger is the Most Sold Junk in Food Trucks.
With the variety of food options on the menu from the food truck, the burger is the most popular food bought from the food menu. This may be due to its low cost and how appealing they appear to customers. Another reason customers consider burgers is because of their various flavors. Indian street food is another famous food truck, followed by stone-baked pizza and loaded fries.
14. 60% of Food Truck Businesses Fail After Three Years of Operation.
Approximately 60% of food truck businesses fail after a few years for certain reasons. One major reason for such failures is the lack of basic business requirements like a business plan. While so many food truck businesses fail, about 40% remain operational after three years. This percentage adds up to the $1.2 billion in revenue generated annually. Food truck businesses are cheaper to begin in some areas, but the success rate may not be appreciating. However, in the US, the average success rate of the food truck business is 55%, which is good news.
15. Food Truck Business Generates An Average of $250,000-$500,000 Annual Revenue.
Some statistical data shows that an average investment of $100 in a food truck business will yield between $250,000 and $500,000 in annual revenue. This business is lucrative depending on the location, amount invested, and food types on the menu. If the business is situated in a good location, it can succeed with a $500,000 yearly revenue. However, even with the right location and menu, you must understand that the revenue generated isn’t the same as profit.
16. 34% of Food Truck Business Owners and Chefs Change Their Menus Regularly.
Exploring a new menu is a norm for food truck business owners because creating a menu isn’t that easy. You need to be a passionate chef to be able to keep a menu, as you would love to try out new dishes. Some data shows about 34% of food truck business owners frequently change their menu or some part of it. Somehow, this may be influenced by a change in the taste of their customers to keep the business exciting.
Some mobile food truck operators do not try out new menu options. 34% of food truck owners, who may likely be chefs or passionate about cooking, try out new dishes. However, 11% of food truck owners admit not experimenting with new menus, while 26% are driven by the “the sky is the limit” mindset.
18. 80% of Food Truck Customers Remain Loyal Because of Their Experience.
Drawn from a survey carried out on food truck customers, 80% of interviewees attested to dining at food trucks for the experience. These people claimed their experience at food trucks was either fun, unique, exciting, or new. About 43% said the food quality was excellent, and 48% said the food was good. Some said they enjoyed the convenience of the food trucks, while some said they enjoyed food trucks because of the speedy service. Out of everyone interviewed, about 92% were satisfied with food truck services and would continue eating food at food trucks.
19. An Estimated 30% of Immigrants Are Food Truck Owners in the US.
The food truck business, as earlier established, is one of the many lucrative businesses in the world. Most food truck owners venture into the business because of their passion for cooking or because they are professional chefs. The food truck industry is one industry that’s easy to dive into as long as you have the money to invest. 30% of immigrants invest in this business for this cause. Some food truck business owners consider the business as a traditional restaurant within the premises. Moreover, a food truck business is a cheap way to get involved in the food industry and help you raise capital to run a restaurant.
Steps to Starting a Food Truck Business
Starting your own food truck business can be fascinating, but it may not be easy as it requires hard work. Below are a few things you must do to run a successful food truck business.
Get a Truck
To run a successful food truck business, the first thing to consider is a good truck. A food truck business cannot run without a food truck, either a new one or a fairly-used option.
You need to factor in who would run the business, how much food needs to be stocked, and other necessary facilities. With these, you can decide how many trucks you’d need and whether to purchase a new one or refurbish a fairly-used one. You are one step ahead after successfully purchasing a truck; hence, proceed to the next.
Acquire Necessary Permits for the Truck Business
Once the truck is set, the next thing is to get Food Truck Permits. Depending on the location, the cost of registering the truck can vary. However, proper inquiries can help you know the cost to make financial decisions in the truck business.
Starting the truck business might require extra funding, and a good place to seek financial help is your bank. Aside from the bank, there are other financial places to source for financial aid or loans with your business plan.
Consider the demography and what kind of dishes they crave more and include them in your menu. Create an excellent menu with the information gathered and attempt to practice the different dishes before introducing them to the menu. A twist in the recipe won’t be a bad idea as this might keep your customers or increase their interest.
Cook the Food or Hire a Chef
After creating a menu, the next factor to consider is who would cook. You might need to hire a chef or cook the food yourself if you have a cooking passion. By hiring a chef, ensure the truck can contain you and your chef to avoid getting into each other’s way.
Secure a Good Spot
After everything is in order, getting a good spot to place your food truck is very important. A deep look into where to mount your food truck and checking to see if there are food trucks around is crucial.
If there’s no other truck, you can dominate the area. If yes, look at their menu to see if they offer the same dishes as yours. Having the same dishes as the other food truck owners leaves you in competition, and the business might not strive for success.
The statistics presented some insights into the food truck business. Previously, mobile food services were a high-risk and high-investment business with little profit assurance. This isn’t the case in this modern era as it requires fewer risks and less capital to start, except for high permit fees. The food truck business has become more flexible and mobile and even available online for high-potential patronage. Good location and quality investment amount are a few factors that determine the success rate of a food truck business.
Some requirements for a food truck business are a business plan, skills, getting a truck, permit fees, and not violating the restrictions. The food truck industry hopes to provide healthy food products and create large spaces to accommodate many customers. By this, the industry will expand, increase its workforce, and experience growth in its annual revenue.
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