We partnered with Custom Concessions USA to gain insight into the biggest trends happening across the food truck industry for 2017. The result is the 2017 Food Truck Industry report that you see here! In addition to compiling data, we put together a great infographic video below that high-lights the findings about the most exciting industry on the planet. This informational video is under 2 minutes in length and worth watching if you’re interested in the state of mobile food for 2017.

2017 Food Truck Industry Data Process

The goal of the The 2017 Food Truck Industry Report is to gather data to help answer frequently asked questions within the larger food truck marketplace. As you may already know, the mobile food industry is hyper regional. Different cities have different trucks that are popular and data collected about these businesses is not consistent across cities, counties, states, and countries. The trends you may see in Los Angeles could be completely different in Omaha, Nebraska.

Furthermore, there is a larger industry debate over what types of businesses should be included within the overall food truck industry. Most people agree food trucks, trailers, and vans should included within these economic estimates. But what about carts and street food vendors in general? For our report we included food trucks and trailers in our estimates only.

As a result of these regional factors and definition of what a food truck really is, it’s tough to a true bird’s eye view of mobile food economics. Fortunately, we were able to partner with Custom Concessions USA, which is the premier manufacturer of mobile kitchens with customers located across the United States and around the world. We were able to base this report on internal estimates and reporting from Custom Concessions USA combined with some of the most comprehensive market research data available from IBISWorld.

The Findings

Here are the key insights from this year’s annual report. We hope you find the information both helpful and insightful.

What types of organizations are investing in food trucks?

a.) Individuals / Sole Proprietor – 33%
b.) Restaurants / Franchises – 33%
c.) Organizations: Schools, Universities, Charities, etc. – 33%

What’s the average age of someone that invests in a food truck?

1.) 25 years of age and under – 0%
2.) 26 – 35 25%
3.) 36 – 45 25%
4.) 46 and older 50%

How many people that buy one food truck then later expand to a second food truck?

About 5% end up expanding into a second mobile unit. This number does not include food trucks that have gone on to build restaurant locations based on their brand.

What percentage of men VS women own food trucks?

80% Men VS 20% Women.

How many sales can the average food truck generate per hour?

$750 – $1500 per hour when busy such as during the dinner or lunch rush. $300 – $750 during slower hours.

How many employees can comfortably work on the average food truck?

Between 2-4 employees can operate a typical size food truck. The number of employees that can operate a truck will depend on the size of the unit and the menu that’s being developed.

What are the most popular food truck concepts?

Simple and gourmet cuisine typically does the best. Twists on common or super popular options work well. One popular example would be combining tacos (something common and popular) with Asian flavors to create something new and exciting, but recognizable.

What are the top 4 countries food trucks are sold?

USA, Canada, Dubai, Saudi Arabia. These are the countries with the largest volume of food trucks.

What are the top 5 states food trucks are sold?

California, New York, Texas, Florida, Oregon

What’s the typical food truck built from? 

A Ford F59 Gasoline or Freightliner MT45 Diesel Chassis are most commonly used for mobile kitchens.

What’s the expected annual growth rate for the food truck industry?

According to IBISWorld market research the industry will continue to grow at 7.9% annually within the United States until 2020. In the near term, this industry shows no signs of slowing down!

Want to start your own food business?

Hey! 👋I’m Brett Lindenberg, the founder of Food Truck Empire.

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