Mobile Food Services Industry Profile

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Excerpt from Mobile Food Services Industry Profile

Companies in this industry prepare meals and snacks for immediate consumption from motorized vehicles or nonmotorized carts, such as food trucks, ice cream trucks, mobile concession stands, and hot dog carts. No major companies dominate the industry.

About 2.5 billion people around the world purchase food from mobile food outlets and street kiosks each day, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Demand for mobile food services is high in Asia and Latin America, as street food is a culinary staple in countries such as Brazil, Thailand, and Indonesia.

The US mobile food services industry includes about 5,200 establishments (single-location companies and branches of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $1.2 billion.


Demand is driven by consumer tastes, personal income, and local demographics. The profitability of individual companies depends on location selection, food quality, and effective marketing. Large companies have advantages in name recognition and economies of scale in food and equipment purchasing. Small companies can compete effectively by specializing in unique food products and leveraging relationships with local suppliers. The industry is fragmented: the top 50 companies account for about 30% of revenue.

Mobile food service operators compete with traditional brick-and-mortar restaurants and specialty eateries, as well as grocery and convenience stores that sell snacks and other prepared food items.


Sales of meals, snacks, and beverages from mobile food outlets account for the bulk ...

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