Food Trucks: 3 Insights For F&B Marketers
Food trucks have been around longer than we know. The beginning of food truck dates back to as early as 1866, where they gained popularity in Texas for the sole purpose of catering to the needs of cattlemen. From the late 2000s, food trucks became even more mainstream, capturing the attention of not only consumers but marketers too.
A recent study by Emergent Research projected that the revenue of the Food Truck industry (a business model that didn’t exist before 2008) would touch $2.7 billion by 2017, which is 3% to 4% of the total restaurant revenue in the US. Even a recent survey of 1600 professional chefs of the American Culinary Federation, named food trucks amongst the Top 20 Food Trends of 2016.
With its growing appeal among food enthusiasts, brands can look at targeting audiences during big food festivals like the LA Food Festival that happened last week, to generate more brand awareness. We put together three insights, F&B marketers can use to further reach their existing consumers and ideas to attract prospective users.
Using AiQ data along with social data from Twitter, coupled with secondary research, we analyzed from which geographies are they tweeting from, and what kind of food they prefer. Insights such as these can help marketers plan their advertising strategies to capture the attention of the right audience.
TOP THREE INSIGHTS
Target users through hyperlocal: California and Texas house the highest number of food trucks. When we looked at tweet volumes we found that 30% of the tweets related to food trucks came from regions that house the most number of food trucks. This trend is a strong indicator of the fact that the food truck industry is gaining popularity in the US.
When we looked at the most preferred food items, we found that in the Northeastern part of the US, Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Indian, and a variety of ethnic foods are most preferred cuisine, while in the Southwest, particularly Texas and California, ‘taco trucks’ serving Mexican foods are immensely popular. And while streets account for 55% of the food truck sale, shopping malls account for 12 percent of the sale.
Tip: With Media iQ Locate, our hyper local advertising product, advertisers can geographically target audiences to deliver relevant ads by using a smartphone’s GPS data. They can monitor real-time check-ins of users around food truck locations, and help in creating a repository of food enthusiasts who can then be targeted through custom audience optimization.
Run event sync campaigns during popular food festivals: Our analysis indicates that food enthusiasts visit food trucks during office hours, mostly between 10 am to 2 pm. A recent survey by Intuit stated that 59 percent of customers’ lunch at food trucks at least once a week, out of which 27 percent visit these trucks multiple times during the week.
While they are at these venues, they tweet about the ongoing food festival and cuisines. A tweet about food trucks is seven times more likely to have a positive sentiment, and 68 percent of the content shared on Twitter about food trucks is an original post. Fridays see the highest tweet volumes with #FoodTruckFriday trending as the popular hashtag, as a large number of food truck events and rallies occur on Fridays.
Tip: Running event sync campaigns during major food truck events can help push brand awareness at the right time to the right audience.
Run social sync campaigns to increase brand awareness– Social media has had a major impact on the food truck industry. Food enthusiasts today not only constantly tweet about food truck websites but follow them on social media as well.
Tip: Running a Social Sync campaign will benefit marketers as it will enable them to capture the sentiment of food lovers, and thereby help them create brand awareness and gain a competitive edge over competitor brands.
The food truck craze has become a worldwide phenomenon. Armed with location data, and knowing what food enthusiasts prefer, or what are they tweeting about, can enable Food and Beverage brands to broaden their appeal to a larger group of consumers. Crafting their advertising messages around popular food festivals can further ensure that they are able to target the right audience.
With inputs from Anant Kaushik, Insights Specialist.