Street food is going strong

Vom Fast Food zum trendy Liebling der Millennials

Find innovative products by studying street food trends

Part of our job at AGRANA Fruit is tracking and analyzing the food trends shaping our world. Recent findings show that there are new opportunities arising from centuries old traditions: street food.

The rise in street food popularity in the past few years is undeniable.

Younger generations are ditching traditional restaurants for food trucks and street vendors, and these new food sources incorporate social media into their promotional strategies – capitalizing on the power of word-of-mouth marketing. For example, today you can find more than 2 million posts with the hashtag #foodtruck on Instagram alone (Source;

The street food ecosystem offers “retraceable, personalized social food” made by a local vendor right in front of you. The perception of food trucks has transitioned from grubby, greasy fast food peddlers to authentic, flavorful and creative restaurant alternatives. The “fancy without being posh” appeal attracts millennials, who are known to favor authenticity, local and custom-made options. Street food festivals are booming around the world and have been embraced by local tourism agencies as they attract a new visitor demographic - those same millennials. Researchers have found that 88% of US millennials surveyed are interested in trying new types of food (Source:

As people continue to embrace traveling abroad we are noticing that culinary adventures are becoming increasingly attractive. Keeping this in mind it’s worth noting that when the travellers return home they want to recreate the authentic foods they enjoyed during their trip. 

Street food inspired flavors lend a feeling of authenticity and artisanal handiwork and appeal to foodies looking for new experiences.

Power to Plants

Street food is authentic, versatile, gutsy and provides inspiration for what’s next. One of those trends is the rise of plant-based alternatives and ethnic flavor cuisine. Millennials prefer a natural, simple diet which will further drive the rise of plant-based products. The use of vegetables, spices and herbs and their flavoring has been steadily increasing among cooks and consumers alike.

In 2016, 29% of German and 34% of Polish consumers stated that they deliberately chose food and drink flavored with spices and herbs (Source: Mintel Global Food and Drink Trends 2017). There is even more inspiration to be discovered from global cuisines. Turmeric and ginger is widely used in Indian cuisine – we see its influence in  brands all over the world.

Indian and Thai street food are well established in their respective countries and we are seeing other regions of the world borrow from their expertise. This will turn out to be especially interesting in the area of dairy products. Influences from African cuisine, driven by the use of African superfoods and supergrains, are likely to further deliver additional inspiration.  Original flavor combinations for baked goods in combination with various fruit fillings will be particularly exciting as well.

All of this explains why so many product developers (including our NPD colleagues at AGRANA Fruit) have kept a close eye on trending street food dishes making the rounds on social media. Staying on top of food trends and being an early adopter in developing them for mass markets is vital in keeping up with consumer needs.

From ethnic dishes to haute cuisine to the shelves

Many chefs and restaurant owners have noticed that watching street food vendors is like getting results from a focus group. Food trucks are flexible enough to try new recipes and flavors and adapt to consumer needs very quickly. 

Many famous chefs started with a gourmet food truck, like Roy Choi and his Korean Taco truck Kogi BBQ in Los Angeles. Asian flavor inspired pulled pork tacos and other fusion recipes are as famous as his short rib tacos. Several years ago, while food shopping for one of his restaurants, celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck noticed that farmers markets were making huge additional profit by offering soups, sandwiches, fresh salads and grilled food “to go”. Using his famous name, he developed his own line of grab & go products for Gelson’s (a US grocery chain), including his street food inspired rosemary rotisserie chicken.

David Chang, legendary founder of the Momofuku restaurant group, derived enormous inspiration from street food when he developed the menus for his restaurants, many of which are ramen based. Ramen dishes have moved on as well, from street food and hipster restaurants to the grocery shelves and the grab & go segment. 


Over the years

Over the years many - slightly modified - street food favourites have been hitting the shelves of supermarkets and grocery stores. For example pulled pork is now widely available in various flavors like "Asian inspired" or with Indian spices.

Find some of the growing street food trends here

Keeping up with street food trends can be overwhelming. Nearly every week, a new social media food star rises above the others. AGRANA Fruit can help identify the mass-relevant stars among the fads. From flavor trends to creating new products that capture the appeal of street food dishes, our team of experts around the world can help you find your new hero product. Here are some of the latest trends we have noticed around the world.


Opportunities for you:

  • Creating street food inspired products will attract more millennial consumers.
  • New flavor combinations can be used to elevate existing products or product ranges and also create “limited editions”.
  • Consumers are more and more adventurous and are looking for something different and exciting to try.
  • The plant-based product segment is one of the biggest opportunities and offers a wide flavor spectrum to play with.
  • Street food is an opportunity for NPD to push boundaries with entirely new concepts and product categories. 

Feeling inspired?

AGRANA Fruit can help your company find its new street food inspired hero product designed to meet the needs of millennials and other target groups. Together we can develop products that support a wide-range of needs - innovative bold and spicy profiles, indulgent desserts, and savory products like spreads, dips or sauces. Our team also has a very successful and creative track record in creating “Limited Edition” lines and premium seasonal products.

Let’s create your street food inspired product together!


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